Thursday, February 03, 2005

State of the Internet

As President Bush stood up to address the nation and those parts of the world that are interested in his views on the State of the American union, my mind quickly turned to other things. Most notably the irritating crashes I had been experiencing a few minutes earlier on a travel web site (which will remain nameless but let's just say it's a big one). I thought then about the first time I really started using the Internet using a dial up connection. I remembered the first iteration of MSN and how.. terrible it was. As my mind drifted away from the President and the incessant clapping, I thought about how I use the Internet today versus even five years ago. Like many, I'm now hooked. My Treo has a terrible web capability - but I still use it. I get depressed when I can't access email and my wife goes insane when instead of using a newspaper I insist on using the Internet to find out what movie's are playing. For birthdays, holidays etc I use the Net to shop for all those people that are miles away so I don't need to think about shipping anything. For travel I wouldn't dream of calling a travel agent unless I was stranded somewhere. Put simply the Net has become a part of my life. I can't put an absolute percentage on it but my best guess is that at least 50% of my work life involves the Internet and about 10% of my private life. That's a lot given my parents spent zero time on the Internet when they were my age (for obvious reasons). So did the technology that is changing society even get a mention in the President's State of the Union speech? I don't think so, but then I did rather switch off for most of it. I do remember thinking that it was probably a good thing that the government doesn't have to run the Internet. If they did it would no doubt be heading for bankruptcy by 2052.


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