Why Do We Use the Internet?
Sara’s alarm clock goes off, she gets out of bed, showers, and combs her hair. Next, she turns on her computer and checks the news headlines. Then she checks her e-mail. In the process, her mother IM’s her. After she chats with mom, she goes to Amazon.com and buys a few old books to help her research her science paper. After that, she downloads a game. Next, she checks her professor’s web page to see what the next assignment will be. Sara then realizes that she did all that just over the internet, from the comfort of her own home. What started out as a resource for scientists to share scientific information but has grown to so much more. Today’s internet has many purposes as can be seen from our story.
When Sara entered cyberspace this morning, the first thing she did was to check the news headlines. We can see what’s going on in the world today with the internet in real time from various news sources. CNN, for example, brings us videos of the latest happenings as well as traditional news articles to keep us informed about our world.
Next, Sara checked her email. Before the internet, Sara would have had to check her mailbox or wait for days to receive letters from her friends and family. Now, she can receive messages within seconds of their being sent. While she was checking her email, Sara’s mother sent her an instant message. With the internet, Sara can talk to her mom very frequently. Since her mother lives in another state she can communicate with over the internet her for less than it would be to call her.
After chatting with her mom, Sara used the internet to shop Amazon.com, the largest internet retailer with sales of almost 5.5 billion dollars each year. (Bloomberg.com). Before the internet people had to go shopping, now shopping comes to them. They can purchase just about anything online from food to electronics and medicines to clothes and so much more. Small mom and pop businesses can sell their products to people around the world. Before the internet, they might have been able to sell only locally.
At this point Sara needed a little break, so she downloaded a game, but she could have just as easily downloaded a movie or a song (or Quran).
Then Sara had to get back down to business, and turn to her studies. Sara takes online courses from a local college. Sara can attend college from the comfort of her home. Although Sara herself could physically attend school, the internet can bring education to those who can’t. For example, Freeworldu.org has a K-12 curriculum available for free to any one around the globe. Connections Academy and K-12 are examples of virtual schools that are available online. Free-ed.net offers free courses online, however students cannot receive certificates or degrees. These are just a few examples of education available through the internet. Even if students do not attend school online they can still take advantage of resources such as educational videos and learning games.
While Sara is waiting for her Amazon.com books to arrive she can still do research for her science paper by surfing the internet, which again was the original use of the internet……for research. As we can see from just a few hours of Sara’s day, the internet can touch just about every aspect of our life. It keeps us up to date on the world around us, it helps us communicate with friends and family, it allows us to buy and sell instantly, it enables us to educate ourselves and others, it entertains us, and helps us learn amazing facts at the click of a mouse. Suppose something were to happen to the internet. What would happen to us?
Galante, Joseph. “Amazon.com’s Profit Soars as Kindle Outsells Rivals.” Bloomberg. 22 Oct.s 2009. 18:45 EDT. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aqYsOUDUFyTQ.
SNW, Grade 9, 11/11/09