Encomium to the Internet

March 25, 2009 at 1:16 pm 22 comments

What did people do before the internet?!?!

I know some of the smug answers:

They spent time with their families.

They connected with “real” people.

But seriously, I see the internet as a tool, a common grace. Here’s why I think so, just from my life today:

  • My dear friend Kate calls me at lunchtime to say her flight through Minneapolis is going to now have a longer layover, so can I meet her for dinner at the airport?

    Pre-internet, I would have been calling Northwest Airlines 4-5 times this afternoon and would have spent half my day on hold, just trying to follow her flight’s status. With the internet, it’s done in a matter of minutes, thus leaving me more time with my family!

    Also it took me 2 minutes to map out our route to Potbelly’s 3.9 miles away.

  • I have a wedding shower to go to on Saturday. But the next two days are going to be really busy for me, so I’m not going to have a lot of shopping time.

    What does the internet allow me to do? I go to target.com, browse the registry, pick the gift I want to give, and I can either order it right then or find out if it’s available at my closest store.

    Since I didn’t give myself enough time to ship it, I’ll just run over and get it on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. Without the internet, it would take me until Saturday morning just to choose a present!

It’s such a time-saver. I know the reverse could be said, that it’s a time-waster, and that’s often true. But when I think about how much time and effort the internet saves me, it makes me want to blog about it!!!

Also, how many of you have already used the internet to find out what the word encomium means? That’s what I did!


Entry filed under: Fun, Shopping, Spoutings.

30til30: My favorite blog series from one of my favorite people. Are you as distracted on the internet as I am? A poll.

22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. abigailsleftovers  |  March 25, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Amen.. preaching to the choir with me. 🙂 And I now have a new vocabulary word to whip out at the right moment.

  • 2. jamsco  |  March 25, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    The Mapping thing is huge.

  • 3. ToilingAnt  |  March 25, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    As long as it’s not a synonym for meconium.

  • 4. Rachel  |  March 25, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Not to mention how it has changed the business world. The internet at work was down yesterday for literally 20 minutes and everyone was walking around like zombies. There was absolutely NOTHING to do. I work for a marketing company and we couldn’t even make flyers because we needed the information off of our e-mail.

    Not to mention that I might not know what all 235 of my nearest and dearest were up to if it weren’t for Facebook. 😉

  • 5. bean  |  March 25, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    @ToilingAnt – that’s exactly what I was thinking!

  • 6. Sarz  |  March 25, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Yep I agree. It has changed our lives… the other day a group of us were on our way out and we were checking movie times on our phones on the way… it struck us all at the same time how much we love the convenience! However I am so addicted to finding more tools/gadgets and ways to save time on the web that I end up wasting time looking for them. The social internet world has so many opportunities attached to it too. The whole thing fascinates me. Yep definitely a technology lover.

  • 7. Crystal  |  March 25, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    We realized this recently when our internet was down for a couple of days. I never knew how many things I use the internet for. It can definitely save a ton of time…and money!

  • 8. RaJen  |  March 25, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    http://www.dictionary.com is one of my favorite sites. it has a thesaurus, too. Though after writing that, I might need to look it up in the dictionary to make sure I spelled it correctly. or not.

  • 9. paula77  |  March 26, 2009 at 7:47 am

    As a teacher, the internet has made my job easier and my teaching more interesting. Just this week I was able to find and excerpt from Frederick Douglass’ Independence Day speech AND a diagram of a slave ship recovered off the coast of Florida to use in my class….while wearing my pajamas!

  • 10. Susan  |  March 26, 2009 at 9:42 am

    What I find especially helpful are review sites (yelp, allrecipes, etc.) It’s great looking over reviews before making a purchase or trying a new recipe.

  • 11. Ebe  |  March 26, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    I think it’s an amazing tool. I was talking to Chris the other week about how I think God loves the internet. I said it flippantly and then thought about it a lot afterward.

    It’s such an amazing tool we use to spread the Gospel. To be connected to other believers and share what He’s doing in our lives. To bring Him glory, honor and praise!

    Of course, like anything else, we pervert it and use it wrongly…what can’t we say that about?

  • 12. Amy  |  March 26, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    i wasn’t going to look it up…but then you said you did so now i will….

    the internet is an insane waste of time and time saver. it’s ridiculous. i cannot find the balance yet.

  • 13. aaron  |  March 26, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I often wondered how the internet, twitter, facebook, IM, etc has changed some marital relationships, etc. I once heard someone say that they learned something new about their spouse because they saw them twitter it to someone else. I shutter the day that would become me. Are people beginning to have more connected relationships with people a thousand miles away than the person at the dinner table?
    Maybe…..maybe not?

  • 14. Deron Arnold  |  March 26, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    I’ll bet Abraham knew what “encomium” means.

  • 15. Jennifer S  |  March 28, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    I took a 7 day internet fast a few weeks ago and it was amazing how many times I thought, “oh, i’ll just look it up.” Before, I would have needed trips to the library or a home encyclopedia collection to get the info I was looking for. Now, in just a few minutes, I have what I need.

    And don’t get me started on Cha-Cha!

  • 16. Anita Koller  |  March 28, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    My husband works 60 miles away from home each day, it’s long distance to call his desk. I can IM anytime for free.

  • 17. Jeanie  |  March 31, 2009 at 7:43 am

    I absolutely agree. It has revolutionized gift giving in our household! It’s irreplaceable for my children when doing homework assignments and saves us so much time searching for materials, visiting libraries, etc. I still love, love, love books in printed form..always will…but it is very convenient to have so much information at our fingertips whenever we flip open the computer and log on.
    I honestly believe people spend a lot more mindless time watching stupid t.v. shows then on the internet.

  • 18. Ched  |  March 31, 2009 at 7:48 am

    The internet also allows you to tweet random Flight of the Conchords lyrics.

  • 19. shana  |  April 1, 2009 at 8:34 am

    My mother is moving to Afghanistan for two years at the end of the summer. We grow up overseas, so talking to my grandparents was a very infrequent, and expensive, luxury. Thanks to Skype, my kids to talk to (and see on video) their grandmother every day if they want to, for FREE.

  • 20. Jennifer  |  April 14, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Oh my goodness, I totally agree. I just had the exact same thought yesterday.

  • 21. Dawn  |  April 18, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    I, too, love the internet. Don’t need to have dictionaries, phone books, encyclopedias, atases, and so much more! Love it!

  • 22. FindingTruth  |  May 11, 2009 at 10:01 am

    For us, we home school, and I really can’t imagine doing it without the Internet.

    Not only is it a wealth of information, but there are so many resources that are available for cheap or even free, that quite honestly wasn’t possible before the Internet.

    One of the neater things we’ve experienced are home school conferences hosted live on the Internet, that are literally attended by people from around the world.

    I have not doubt we could home school without the Internet, but it would make a lot of aspects of home schooling much more challenging.


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