We’re living in a high tech society, so almost everything is accessible by means of the information superhighway, the internet. It is where we connect with our friends and relatives online, and it is something we rely on when it comes to finding information about various things. Yes, the internet is a cyber miracle.
The internet is a fascinating place to search for anything you might find interesting. Back then, it was a luxury.
Thirteen years ago, I was pretty curious about how the internet works, but I don’t have the idea where to start. Anyway, my brother and I used to surf the internet outside the house, at a nearby internet shop, probably browsing through some interesting websites. He’s the one doing the browsing since I’ve yet to learn the basics of surfing the net that time. As I watch him visiting a few websites and logging on to a social media platform (Friendster, I believe), there was this website, a search engine, where you can search something by typing the keyword on a search bar, and out comes the list of websites that’s related to the keyword you just entered. And that’s how I came to know Google, which I knew back then as a search engine that I still use as of this writing.
I decide to surf the internet on my own and try visiting various websites. Of course, I don’t do downloads just yet. I somehow managed to visit a few sites within hours of the session but it was not until my final year in high school when I finally learn how the internet works, as well as discovering a lot of awesome sites and had my first e-mail (Yahoo) and social media account (Friendster). Of course, Google becomes my constant partner in internet browsing, but I also use AltaVista, Yahoo Search, and MSN Search as well.
From that point on, I began downloading various stuff, from image to music and video files. I then became more active on Friendster and Multiply (and later, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and I tend to check on my friends’ profiles for their pictures… yup, mostly pictures. Well, I tend to post updates and testimonials on my social media accounts, but as of the moment I’m more focused on my Twitter and Instagram accounts and less on my Facebook accounts. I mean, I’m no longer comfortable posting updates on my Facebook account due to various reasons, mainly due to the incident of bashing and bullying online. I just want to stay out of trouble. Anyway, I mostly post updates on my Instagram account, and Twitter on a sporadic basis. I believe that social media is becoming a circus lately, courtesy of some of the millennials who wouldn’t control their urge to post a lot of selfies (and groufies), emotions, and flaming statements online. Also, social media is pretty much a dangerous place to meet strangers, do business transactions (like online selling), and sharing information with anybody.
Well, I use the internet for social media, blogging, news and information, and downloads. There are a few websites (mostly mall construction and public infrastructure forums) I routinely visit every time I power the computer on, and I always check my e-mail and social media accounts. I may have spent a lot of time online, but I’m quite the observer type. And of course, the hardworking type when it comes to blogging.
Anyway, the online world is becoming more and more accessible so we tend to be online all the time, thanks to smartphones and mobile internet offers. Still, the netizens need to learn some basic rules when it comes to posting content and comments online, interacting with others online, and respecting cultures, values, and privacy online. This is where netiquette and online ethics comes in.
So what are the things to remember when you’re online?
- Always remember that the internet is a public space. You may have the freedom to express yourself or post a lot of content, but there are certain limitations and restrictions on what you say or post online.
- The internet is not a venue for hate, discrimination, bullying, bigotry, and anything that can harm a person’s well-being. Be mindful of your actions and respect everyone.
- Don’t use the internet for any illegal activities, such as uploading copyrighted content, any form of theft, child exploitation, and child pornography.
- Don’t share your personal information, pictures of valuables, location, and any offending and disturbing material such as pornography. Any of these can get you into trouble.
- Be careful of who you meet online. Although the internet can be a good place to meet and chat with others online, there are some bad guys who are using the internet to do terrible things to others, such as online bullying, identity theft, extortion, scam, and various crimes when trying to meet someone offline.
- Respect other people’s privacy. The internet may be a public space, but you certainly don’t want others to tag along, right? Stalking others and stealing their personal information online is already an invasion of privacy, what more if it happens offline?
Being online is something to be thankful about. A miracle to friends, family, and relatives who are miles apart, the internet is essentially helpful in long-distance communications. For students, the internet can be a great place to do some research. For those who want to entertain themselves, there are music and video streaming sites available to suit your amusement needs. And of course, the internet does provide convenience through its online services, online delivery, and online shopping. Anything is possible as long as you stay connected.
But of course, there are also dangers in the online world. So it’s best to exercise caution while surfing the net. And of course, be courteous and respectful to the other online users at all times, no matter how nice or rude they are.
The internet really is a miracle, don’t you agree? Well, as long as I find something interesting and stay connected with others online, I’ll definitely live this kind of life.