May
09
2007

How the Internet has changed our lives

How has the Internet changed your life?: (Gene in his all-too-natural habitat.)
How has the Internet changed your life?: (Gene in his all-too-natural habitat.)

The newspaper USA Today is turning 25, and is running a series of list -- 25 important events of the last 25 years in 25 different areas of life. Recently, they listed 25 ways in which the Internet has changed our lives. And it got me to thinking how my life has changed because of the web.

  • I couldn't do my job without the Internet. Literally. I live in Michigan, but work for the Science Museum of Minnesota. Everything I do is via e-mail, FTP site, or shared server.
  • Liza and I were talking just the other day about how the Internet has spoiled us, making it so easy to find photos and information that we now get annoyed if we can't find some obscure piece of information within the first five minutes.
  • I keep in touch with family and friends all over the country, through e-mail and a personal photo blog. In fact, I maintained a long-distance relationship with a girlfriend in another country, thanks to e-mail.
  • I spend wayyyy too much time reading blogs every night.

So, tell us: How has the Internet changed your life? Leave a comment.





Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (23 votes)








Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (23 votes)




Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

mdr's picture
mdr says:

Oh boy, I'm with Gene. I spend way too much time surfing the Web. We have four computers operating currently in the house. My "home office" has spilled out onto the dining room table where I currently keep my laptop (there’s no more room on my desk). But it doesn't necessarily stay there. We're wireless and so I can take the laptop anywhere in the house, and probably out to the front or back yards.

I don’t think I could function without the Internet. I use the Web for just about everything: working, paying bills, transferring funds, ordering and paying for merchandise, paying taxes, student loans for my kids (FAFSA), entering festivals or contests, sending samples of work (or links to them), communicating, forwarding jokes, photos and videos, downloading music, etc.

I've always loved getting mail so email (mostly junk) feeds into that addiction.

Back in 1999, I created an informational website relating to some of Duluth, MN’s history. This seemed just a natural (and modern) way to further disseminate the research I had originally gathered for a couple of magazine articles I published in the 1990s. I still get hundreds of hits each day on these sites. According to my usage reports, visitors from something like 75 different countries visited the site last month. The site also links back to my “home page” where visitors can access other work samples (photography/video) I have posted. I don’t have a MySpace page, but I do have a Web presence on MNartists.org, which has been a great place to post my work. Some childhood friends and I also keep in touch through a blog site we set up about four years ago. We meet for lunch about one day a month, and the site serves as an easy way to post information and also give each other a hard time. We’ve kept it as a private blog rather than public, so participants have to be invited.

I'm a collector of sorts and have bought and sold a lot of stuff on eBay. I went through a silent movie memorabilia phase for a decade, then NASA Apollo-era stuff, vintage photography, and now mostly historical paleontology material (engravings, books and some early toys, etc). eBay has been a tremendous source for collectibles. It does tend to send prices soaring but that's either good or bad depending on if you're selling or buying.

The problem with having all this presence on the Web is two-fold. It’s a lot of work keeping websites up to date. The original software I used to create my personal and information sites is outdated and doesn’t recognize new file types, plus I can’t run the program on my current system software, so I have to use one of my older computers, or else find and learn a new program to do it. It’s a lot of work and expense keeping up with it all, and the thought of dealing with it doesn’t appeal to me so I tend to just leave things as they are.

The other big problem is remembering passwords and web ids. It is a major problem, and it’s beginning to drive me crazy. How is one to keep track of them all? I haven’t quite figured that out. My system software has an application for storing and keeping track of that kind of thing but just last week for some unknown reason, my computer ditched just about all of it. I don’t know why. Luckily, I still had a document elsewhere containing the information but what if I hadn’t? It would have been a nightmare. But where do you store back-up files and documents? My wife and I purchased a safety deposit box last year to store backups of that kind of stuff but with bank mergers, and new credit card companies, and revamping of existing websites, our id/password information seems to change on a regular basis. We’d be running to the bank all the time. I used to use one particular password, but at one point, someone breached my identity on eBay, and I had to change it for all sites in fear someone would use it on some of my other accounts. Then once you change an id or password, it usually can’t be used again on that particular site, so eventually you end up with a boatload of different identities and passwords. It’s really a dilemma.

posted on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 12:13pm
Robin Humphrey's picture
Robin Humphrey says:

I dont have a homepage. Im in the process of going to school online, and just starting to learn about computers. i read about your problem with keeping up with passwords and ids, and i have an idea that might help. how about getting an address book, and using it just for this. for instance, put yahoo under the y's and then write down your user name and passwords, and so on. then, when you get ready to go on ebay, look under the e's and there you are. good luck, hope this helps . and its more organized than trying to write it down in a regular notebook or someplace else.

posted on Fri, 09/19/2008 - 9:37am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

I enjoyed seeing your workstation, Gene. Here is mine. I sit on a futon, usually with my feet up, and use a wireless mouse and keyboard. You might note that my mouse pad is the armrest which is only 3/4 inch wide, but it works fine. In the winter the hot water radiator touches my right shoulder. Cozy. I just bought the 22 inch wide screen monitor on Memorial Day. It was $190! Having two browsers open side by side really improves my work flow.
I really like how the internet allows me access to information and people. I have chatted with several people via the internet that are CEOs, venture capitalists, or cutting edge developers.
My workstation: Pretty comfortable setup.
My workstation: Pretty comfortable setup.

I am using the internet to archive family photos and videos. I have joined several open source communities to contribute health care and science curriculum ideas. I have not yet used the internet to convert some of my stuff into cash but when money is short and time is plentiful I might.

posted on Tue, 05/29/2007 - 8:12pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

And what will the next 25 years bring? Who knows? But here's a sneak peak at the future of computing.

posted on Thu, 05/31/2007 - 12:14pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i am using the net to find people of my liking. it is amazing how easily i can find so many people, sort them out by my yardsticks, and contact them and keep info on them.

posted on Mon, 06/04/2007 - 8:41am
Sean John's picture
Sean John says:

i agree i use way to much internet but there are somany ways to get sidetrackted

posted on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 7:01pm
Toria's picture
Toria says:

I use the internet for everything.. i don't know what i would do without it. I find information that can help me with my assignment work and to meet knew people. It's amazing how easy it is to find exactly what your looking for.

posted on Fri, 03/14/2008 - 9:40am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think the internet is great in some way like being able to chat and email for free, but i agree, people are becoming too reliant on computers and the internet

posted on Mon, 10/13/2008 - 10:18pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

computers have changed our lives in school alot. we have to work all year on them. its not about grades now. its about the use of technology..

posted on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 7:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

the internet is amazing as you can use it for eveything.

posted on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 11:39am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

awsome

posted on Tue, 02/03/2009 - 5:09pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Computers have given people a poor excuse for just sitting at home all day. For example you dont need to leave your house to get shopping, electricity ect.
However; the internet has impacted our lives amazingly, as this technology is by far ingenious,.

posted on Thu, 03/05/2009 - 6:21am
Karan's picture
Karan says:

I like the way in which internet has changed our lives. We get everything that we want at home. We don't have to go to malls for shopping or to pay eletricity bills. It's just cool to have internet.Like DICK(in famous 5) says its smashing.

posted on Tue, 05/26/2009 - 8:48pm
sakeya's picture
sakeya says:

Ok so the internet has changed, some in good ways and some in bad ways. The few ups are everything is faster and you can do mostly everything from your house . Now the bad thind about the internet is that anyone and everyone can see everything that you put out there about yourself. So don' post anything about yourself that you don't want people to see.

posted on Wed, 05/27/2009 - 11:37am
Amna's picture
Amna says:

I THINK SCIENCE HAS GREATLY REVOLUTIONIZED OUR LIVES. INTERNET, USE OF CELL PHONES AND MANY OTHER THINGS HAVE HELPED ALOT IN MAKING PEOPLE INTOUCH WITH MODERN TECHNOLOGY BUT MOST OF THE PEOPLE ARE USING IT IN A WRONG WAY............
YOU CAN TAKE THE EXAMPLE OF INTERNET I THINK ONLY 40 % PEOPLE USE INTERNET FOR SOME GOOD REASON OR FOR KNOWLEDGE BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE 60% PEOPLE USE IT IN A WRONG WAY...
AND ONE MORE THING I WOULD LIKE TO SAY WE ARE GETTING AWAY FROM OUR DEARS AND NEAR ONES ..............
ITS MY KIND REQUEST PLEASE TAKE CARE OF THOSE WHO ARE CLOSE TO YOU AND TRY TO FORGIVE OTHERS MISTAKES
GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 09/26/2009 - 2:04am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

and what you means by using in the wrong way?

posted on Sun, 09/27/2009 - 8:44am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i love computers nd i think theyve changed ppls life soo much but i think that some ppl use them too much:)

posted on Thu, 10/22/2009 - 10:16am
JUDELYN's picture
JUDELYN says:

computer is very useful coz its help a lot for a daily life like , surfing in the internet the important things that we wanted to know, and computers it makes our world small, we can communicate our loveones , its easy to do things here, and we can explore more here. and

posted on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 9:34pm
Josiah Charley's picture
Josiah Charley says:

Think about it, everything is made on the Internet, nowadays. Everything we do, the way we keep in touch with others, the way we work or study, the way we search for good music or great books, the way we cook a fantastic recipe we've found on Google. I for one would find it hard to live without these facilities.
Josiah Charley - Internet Security Software manager

posted on Mon, 12/20/2010 - 4:33pm
kimmy.'s picture
kimmy. says:

I'm only 15 but i know when my parents were growing up, doing homework must have been a pain. Now you can simply google your question instead of finding it another way. When you do research on people you dont have to go to an encyclopedia...
Internet has made life a little easier but we are spoiled with it for sure.

posted on Mon, 02/21/2011 - 8:52am
selva's picture
selva says:

I think, the internet has changed our lives in a better way coz we can access all the knowledge for free no matter where you go or what you do. this makes our world easy. undisputedly we use internet for everthing. However we should be careful in order to protect society from its abuse.

posted on Thu, 11/10/2011 - 10:43am
Amber's picture
Amber says:

The internet has changed my life so much I use it for just abotu everything I look recipes up, online shop,Facebook,skype, listen to music, email,forward photos,online bannkk and soo much more. but how do u think our kids will b when the r old enough to use the internet? They will b like us

posted on Thu, 03/22/2012 - 6:12am

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