Internet: The Net that Caught Its Fisher

Misha Bychkov

The sun is rising, the birds are singing, your Twitter is tweeting and your Facebook is updating. Our generation has been willingly caught in the net of our predecessors and, although we  say, “I can live without it,” events that occur prove otherwise. This past week, our school has been cut out of that web. Instead of running free without it, we begin to think of ways of getting it back. When we lose the simple connection, it’s as if we have lost our virtual luggage of essentials. We can’t check what our friends are up to, we can’t get that presentation from our email account, we can’t check the
school schedule, and we can’t connect.

In the 21st century, the world is connected to the Internet. And now, with such high demand, we are running out of space. Just as we know that the planet is reaching its maximum limitation, the Internet is a reflection of our own world. “The internet — in its
current form — is now completely colonized. All that’s left is to divide the
allocated properties into ever-smaller portions, or to start trading what’s
already been assigned” (Wired, February 2011). Once we run out of space,
the outcome will be frightening. A study was done in the United Kingdom and
“the results show that those under 12 years of age have a strong emotional
connection with the net, with half claiming they would be ’sad‘ without web
access, while teens scored even higher, with 60 percent saying they’d also feel
’sad‘”(Digital Trends, Jan 2012).  This was not a singular finding as the same
results were discovered at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA. “The absence of information – the feeling of not being connected to the world – was among the things that caused the most anxiety in students”(A Day Without Media, University of Maryland).  It is becoming evident that the longer we stay in this web the more tangled we become.  So, how did we all end up in this world size net?

Since the beginning of the human race, individuals have strived to stay “up to date” with their news. Initially, language was developed to bring communities together.  Later people learned how to preserve events with drawings and writing. In the Roman Empire “the only way to increase the speed of communication [was] to improve the speed of the messenger. This depend[ed] on good roads, fast riders and well provisioned staging posts at which fresh men and horses [were] always available” (HistoryWorld).
Today, the only way to increase the speed of communication is to improve the
speed of the network. This depends on good cables, fast providers and well
maintained servers where technical support is readily available.  The primary goal, to stay connected, still remains a huge part of our race.

The Internet has become our sacred shrine, and when access to the Internet is in
danger, we seek to protect it. Recently, the United States attempted to pass
the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which limited the use of the Internet and recommended censorship. When the public was made aware of the bill, the government knew that the bill was in danger of being revoked and tried to prevent information
from leaking out. It was too late and, like a tsunami, Internet users protested.  In a surprisingly short period of time, millions of people united against SOPA. The companies that didn’t join the movement were hit by the wave and when GoDaddy didn’t reject the bill, December 29th was set “as the day on which customers would transfer sites and domains away from GoDaddy. The proposed boycott forced a U-turn from GoDaddy, but many remain[ed] committed to transferring” (BBC News, Dec 2011). After these actions, companies were forced to
consider that no matter how big they are in the world, their customers were
powerful enough to bring them down faster than ever before.

Today, the Internet has become a powerful tool in our modern society. It holds our world together but can tear it apart at any moment.  It starts
revolutions, it ends wars, it gives power to leaders, it brings people
together. It is a web in which we have been caught.  The question now is do
you want to get out?


I think it’s fair to say that personal
computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re
tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by
their user.

Bill Gates