Random Thought: When Was the Last Time You Took a Step Back and Appreciated the Internet?

As I was tweeting back and forth with my online buddies, I kind of had a moment where I just looked at the screen in utter amazement of the fact that I’m able to communicate so easily with so many people all over the world. Setting aside all of the web pages we look at, code we build, videos we see..isn’t it just amazing that a set of cables (obviously a lot of them) allow our thoughts to go from one end of the planet to another at incredible speed?

Seriously, take a step back and consider your IM chat or your Skype call or even a tweet. Think about the fact that every keystroke and every data bit somehow gets to where it needs to go. That’s just damn impressive. I think back 32 years ago when I was 10 years old having to get up to change a channel on a TV or using a paper map to figure out how to get to a vacation spot. Now, our phones can accurately pinpoint our location and find the nearest eatery for a great meal. Amazing!

I know the younger guys & gals may not be able to relate. You guys grew up with much of this stuff so it’s just normal to you. For me, this is some really cool and amazing stuff and I truly hope that every now and then, you take a step back and just appreciate the wonder that is the Internet.

Rey Bango


  1. Something I will probably say to my daughter one day: When I was your age, phones had cords!

    Daughter: How did you call someone when you weren’t at home?

    Me: They had public phones stationed throughout the city that you put coins into.

    Daughter: Wow!

    Me: Yeah, and you couldn’t see the person you were talking to.

    Daughter: You couldn’t see them? How did you know who it was???

    Me: You just recognized their voice.

    Daughter: What if they had a voice enhancement injection?

    Me: A voice-enhance-what now?

    Daughter: Nevermind *rolls eyes*

  2. My aunt recently told about here new GPS-capable watch, that could track her movement during a hiking trip and later get that data on her PC and display the trip in Google Maps. She complained a bit that it wasn’t easy to get the data off the watch on to the PC.

    At that point I thought: You’re complaining about that one step not being easy enough? Please just take a step back and consider the amazing technology at work here! A GPS device in a watch! Satellites IN SPACE to track your positions. Free global maps, including satellite images! And all that working together! And usable by a non-engineer!

    The things made possible by all these technologies being so cheaply available to everyone are stunning, and we’re just getting started.

    • Yeah it’s pretty amazing how quickly we start taking for granted the technology because it’s become so integral to our life and incredibly easy to use. I guess when things are harder to work with and we finally master them, we appreciate them more. :)

  3. Yeah, the fact that you and I work from home makes that hit home even more.

    I told my grandfather that I was working from home and he looked really confused.

    Me: Yeah, we chat online and use skype to video conference

    Grandfather: *confused look*

    Me: You know, like you did when you chatted with Health (a skype video call w/ his grandchild that my Aunt setup)

    Grandfather: So, I don’t understand. What do you produce?

    Me: Programs… err, websites

    Grandfather: *shakes his head*

    Me: I’ll show you sometime ;)

    • LOL. Yeah I get the same reaction sometimes. Without the Internet, I don’t see how I could’ve worked for one of the greatest browser developers ever (Mozilla) or one of the greatest software companies in the world (Microsoft) because moving to Mountain View or Redmond isn’t an option. :)

  4. First and foremost, this is spot on Rey. It is crazy how far things have come in the last decade alone. And since Dave seemed to start a dialog, here’s one I had with my nephew a few months ago:

    Me: I wish I a netbook type device when I was in in school.

    Nephew: What do you mean?

    Me: I wish I had a computer that I got to carry with me to do my school work on, the way you do now.

    Nephew: You didn’t? How did you do your school work?

    Me: Pencil and paper.

    Nephew: (look of shock and awe) You had to write everything you did by hand?!? Didn’t that hurt?

    Me: (laughter)

    • hahah! Cory that’s an awesome exchange. I would love to send back my kids in time to see how they’d react to life w/out the techno gadgets we have now. :)

      • Yeah, it was something else. I can only imagine what my two boys (2y/o & 5mo) will think when they get a bit older. Should be interesting.

  5. I started using the Internet in 1975, when it was still the ARPAnet. These last 35 years have been a… mixed blessing.

    • You’re showing your age, Wil. ;)

      BTW, I realize you mentioned it was a mixed blessing but I’m a little envious that you got to experience before it became so commercial. Must’ve been a very different atmosphere.

  6. I remember opening up the “Terminal”, dialing my cousin’s number, typing “ATA” or whatever and then playing doom over a direct modem connection and thinking it was the most amazing thing ever.

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