When I heard the news, I was a bit taken aback. I mean, hasn't the Internet always been there?
Apparently not. The world wide web celebrates it's 20th birthday this week, 20 years of changing lives, generations, countries even.
I can honestly say, that life as I know it today, would be very difficult without the Internet. Apart from all the information it feeds my insatiable curiosity, it's rubbished its touted abilities of alienation and given me friends, and I'm pretty sure those handles are actual people, most of the time.
I've lived long distance relationships through it, shopped and escaped the cash guilt through it, discovered the wisdom of authors I would never have found in Ahmedabad's less than five bookshops. I've visited places, shared forbidden conversations with interesting males, shown complete strangers my baby's photographs and have them gush over him with me. Google's next to God (why God why has effectively been replaced by tell me why google, no?), blogger's replaced the bedside diary. For my every why, how, when, where and why not, it's there, with its million reasonings and offerings of choice. Once I believed that I could travel the world through a book, needless to say, the Internet belongs in that category too.
My profession has changed outright because of the Internet. I now have to 'unlearn' writing witty and catchy headlines (after all the grief it took to get to that frame of mind in the first place), and make my content 'search engine friendly'. I'm in a bit of a time wrap reading papers in the loo: I've read most of it the evening before. News is updated constantly: 24/7 has made way for the ability to see change happen every few seconds.
It's also served some global good. A platform for mutiny, the Internet has spread the word quicker than a dozen marches or protest strikes. For the planet, for people, for a bear in a Russian Zoo, sympathy, empathy and concern are truly glocal thanks to the WWW. It's made heroes out of ordinary folks we'd typically miss, and it's pulled our Gods down, shown us more than one pair of dirty feet.
Personally, for me, one of the greatest highs of the Internet is that it has been a technology that women have embraced fully: in all our torrential glory, stamping our identities, both good and bad, all over it.
I'm not the sort that gets addicted to things very easily - and I'm having a slightly uneasy feeling saying this, but I'm totally addicted, dependent and lost without the wired world. I like that I don't always like what it throws back at me, and I'm comforted knowing there are so many things I've yet to see, yet to learn, yet to experience.
Happy 20th. Tum jiyo hazaaron saal.
What makes you go whoopee for the WWW?
3 hours ago