I asked my father what the internet is to him and he said “It’s like nuclear power. We can make nuclear power plants or we can make nuclear bombs, unfortunately we make both.” It’s enabled the best in humankind whilst simultaneously enabling the worst in us. The internet is the type of place where for every resource there is to end child pornography and sex trafficking, there is some dark web link that exploits and capitalizes from it. It’s a tangled and messy spider web after a rainstorm; some threads are beautiful, helpful, and strong whilst other threads are harmful, wrong, and dangerous.
The internet brought about a different form of entrepreneurship where small business owners can now utilize a world wide platform to sell their products; however, it has allowed for those same small businesses to be exploited by larger corporations. It allows for social media and ways for people to promote themselves and their products along with connecting with others, but comes with trolls who only promote bullying whilst hiding behind a photo-less profile, or better yet, using their profile and showing how cruel they are. It promotes accountability and learning, especially in today’s times, yet allows for media to twist and misconstrue information.
To me, the internet is survival. It’s the reason I’m able to be a part time student whilst I work full time to pay for my expenses. It’s the reason I was able to finish my Spring 2017 semester as I was undergoing severe ocular migraines and neurological tests because the internet was able to read my syllabi and reading assignments out loud to me so I wouldn’t fall behind, along with being able to use voice diction to do all my homework. It’s the reason that in 1997 my mother was able to work from home and mitigate day care costs. It’s the reason I can begin applying to grad schools without the worry of having to move across the country.
The internet is a place that makes me wonder whether the positivity it brings about justifies the negativity in this ever swinging pendulum. It goes back and forth between the good and the bad and feels like there is a never-ending quest to find the middle-ground.