Coffee makers. Telephones. Wheelchairs. Microwaves. Our world is full of inventions created by brilliant and resourceful people. While we should celebrate ingenuity in all the ways it enriches our lives, it’s hard to think of many that have impacted our lives as much as the internet.
Today, we celebrate World Internet Day. On this day in 1969, the first electronic message was transmitted between the University of California, Los Angeles and Stanford University, and our lives were forever changed. Now we can video call from Toronto to Barcelona, order that new pair of boots we saw online and have dinner from our favourite restaurant delivered to our doorstep in half an hour.
Here in the Western world, it’s often taken for granted that we’ll have internet access whenever and wherever we want. This is not the case across the globe, however. Just imagine how things could change in developing or least developed countries, where citizens, especially those of school or university age, could have unhindered access to all the educational tools available online. And then there’s the gender gap. This report from ITU indicates more men than women using the internet globally, including Africa, where this gap is higher than average. Clearly, there’s a lot of work to be done to bring internet access to all parts of the world and to each citizen. Everyone deserves the right to learn, to discover and to understand.
Are we becoming too attached to social media and the electronic connections we form, rather than face-to-face interactions? This BBC article examines the idea that, not surprisingly, social media can have varying effects – some positive and some negative – on different people and even different genders. Perhaps there is no one-size-fits-all conclusion.
In the meantime, go ahead and celebrate World Internet Day. Video call that friend across the border, the one you haven’t seen in months. Find a video tutorial online for that hobby you always wanted to try. Post some encouraging words on social media to help brighten someone’s day. The ripple effect may go beyond what you could ever imagine. Thanks to the internet.
Let’s stay in touch.
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing
the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
~ Romans 10:17
Thanks for reading!
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