7 Reasons I’m Grateful for the Internet
I often see posts about how technology is tearing families apart, interfering with face-to-face contact, and the big scary ‘Net is worming its way into every aspect of our lives with the threat of a nameless and faceless “They” watching our every move. I’m sorry – I can’t jump on that bandwagon. While there are occasional frustrations, Internet and the progressing technology that comes with its existence has given me so many important things to be grateful for.
1. Online Banking
It used to be a nightmare to pay rent, bills, and get money from the bank. Then the internet evolved into the glorious living breathing cyber creature that it is today. Without having to pack up my toddlers, and drive all over town, I can take care of all my bills in one location within 20 minutes. I am able to control incoming and outgoing moneys, track my spending, and even send money to friends and family all from the comfort of my chair.
2. Online Shopping
There are some things I need to buy regularly. Every 3 weeks, I need diapers, every month, I need Lacteeze drops. Every month, I need... The list goes on and on. Luckily, I can purchase what I need online, and in some cases set up a subscription, which is automatically delivered and billed to my credit card on a regular basis.
Being in a small community, there are many things that I do not have access to. Second-hand clothing stores, bookstores, health food items, bulk items, an electronic store ... the list goes on and on. Thanks to the internet, I don’t have to drive an hour (or two) in order to find a store where I can buy the things I need. I buy my books online. I can find excellent second-hand or affordable clothing.
There are so many things I can purchase online and most with free delivery if you know where to look. That it is a true blessing for our family.
As a writer, this is a no brainer. When I need to look things up or delve deeply into research, instead of dragging myself to the library and flipping through countless books (or trying to track down what I need through an inter-library loan), I can find a wealth of knowledge online, most of it from reliable sources.
For those who aren't writers, the internet is a fantastic wealth of information. If you move beyond the “Google it” mindset of looking at the top 5 listings of the Google results, you can actually delve into medical journals, research papers, and all sorts of reliable sources to find the information you need.
More information is available to us online right now, than the world as ever known previously. How can we not be in awe of this?
a) Home Schooling: More families are returning to the traditional concept of home schooling. Since I discovered the joyful freedom of correspondence classes when I was in high school, I knew this was the route I wanted to take with my children. I value being able to work at your own pace and succeed under your own strength without the pressure of being compared to other students or frustrations of overwhelmed teachers doing their best to teach dozens of children too much in too short a time.
Thanks to the internet, it is easy to find affordable (and even free) options that suit your child’s needs and style of learning. You can find:
- learning videos;
- fun songs;
- age-appropriate exercise programs;
- engaging art, dance, music tutorials;
- exciting science and math programs;
- lessons for writing, geography, history ...
Where to start?
For an amazing list of free educational resources for students from kindergarten to high school, check out the Open Culture website. They list free textbooks, ebooks, and tutorials. Topics range from history, art, math, music, and geography to language courses, computer sciences, paleontology, and physics. The possibilities are vast and exciting.
In short; any topic a person could wish to study, can be found online. And, most of it it's free. No matter what style of homeschooling you might be interested in, it's available online. You and your children can explore different styles of home schooling, learn at a pace you’re comfortable with, delve deeply into topics that interest, and even connect with supportive people who have “been there and done that”.
b) FREE Post-Secondary School Courses: I never in my wildest imaginings thought that one day I would be able to access free college and university courses in any subject my heart desired. Today, I can do that. Online. For FREE.
While you won’t earn a degree or certificate, places like Yale and Harvard (via their Extension School and HarvardX) are making it possible for everyone with internet access to further their education.
Movies, music, books, podcast, radio stations, television series, video games; any form of entertainment that you could want is online. Again, much of it is free or very affordable.
We don't go out to movies. We do not have cable television or satellite television. In fact, we do not own a television. Believe it or not, this is a growing epidemic across the world. By choice. Anything that you would like is online.
We’re not forced to watch what a network wants us to see, when they want us to see it. If I want to watch The Flash at 10 a.m. on a Thursday morning, by the grace of the internet, I can do that. If I missed the last three episodes of My Little Pony, I can find it online. If I want to keep up with baby metal, youtube has it. And as mentioned before, books. Glorious, wonderful books, from the classics to what's currently being published this very second.
We also do not have a landline telephone. Instead, we keep in touch with our family and friends true VoIP, Skype, and other programs that allow us not only talk to each other, but see each other instantly across the globe. For free. (Seeing a trend?)
With the internet, I can work from home, connect with clients from across the globe, or collaborate with a team scattered across the country. I can freelance, telecommute, or run my own business(es) from my home. I can generate multiple streams of income for various websites, such as HubPages and Crowdsource. Or, I can outsource extra tasks via Fiverr.
It boggles my mind at times when I realize that I can earn a living while my children colour by my side or sit on my lap. I can walk away from the computer and play with my kids. I can work from anywhere in the world at any hour of the day ... or not. I have that choice.
The internet has saved us hundreds of dollars. For one internet subscription, we saved ourselves phone bills, long distance bill, cable/satellite bills, late fees, gas money, the list goes on and on.
What internet freedom are you most grateful for?
Some people are afraid of the internet is taking over our lives. They say technology is tearing us apart and putting a distance between people. I say:
If used wisely, the internet can make our lives better while helping families and friends stay close.
It is helping businesses relate better, serve the customers better, and reach them better. If used properly, the internet will continue to make our lives a better place make our lives better happier and the world a better place.
What wonderful blessing has the internet brought to you?
© 2016 Rosa Marchisella