Caught in the Internet’s Web

February 13, 2012

It’s very seldom nowadays to see people who are not engaged on their gadgets while doing something or walking somewhere. Never have I walked down a random street, or sit/stand on the bus going home, and not come across a person checking her Facebook or tweeting something about the day (no I don’t read them but their logos are recognizable so yes they distract me a lot) and do other things on their Wi-Fi enabled phones/ tablets/life. Technology has become the present generation’s second skin, and I am wondering how soon it would be for the future ones to be their second essential body organ as well.

I was not brought up with the internet. It never did become part of my lifestyle until I entered high school. My earliest encounter with the World Wide Web was when I was in fourth grade and I had to pass a decent final project and had to rent a computer in a shop to type whatever it was I needed to do. Turns out you don’t go there just to type but to connect to the internet. It meant email and Google and Friendster.

But ever since it seeped into our lives, more and more people have a hard time disconnecting themselves from their online world. I must admit that when I was younger, I went gaga at times when I want to tweet an event or a witty one-liner or whatever word vomit I can create in the span of 140 characters but can’t do it because of the circumstances preventing me from doing so. Fortunately, that craving for the virtual reality met its demise when I got older.

It shouldn’t bother me so much that the dependence of the people I know, especially by the students, on the internet is becoming more like a wallet or a cellphone- you just couldn’t leave the house without doing at least one online-related thing. Information and communication are continuously flowing here and those two mentioned things are essential to anyone who’s studying or working.

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I should know these things; after all, I am one of the people who benefit a lot from the connections the internet provides. I’d be mentioning the social media I use in this entry, just to give you a glimpse of how the internet is part of my academic and personal life and how I could “unplug” from all of it whenever I need or want to.

Facebook has become a multimedia social networking site through the years because there are chat boxes and groups incorporated together with its photo and video hosting functions. Through Twitter I continue connecting with my friends and say things I can’t tell in Facebook. I have Livejournal and WordPress for my blogging and the things I can’t put on my Twitter (not all of them, at least). Youtube for my video and music needs. Google for my e-mail and the things I need that I can’t find in the library. Skype for my video calls with my relatives abroad. Tumblr for my mini madness and fangirling.

I could go on and about how the online world has become part of my life but I still have this urge to get away from everything every once in a while. I still get drowned with the intricacies of the online life, of how censorship should start from us and not from other people. That online life shouldn’t be a substitute for the real world.

Because it never will.