With the birth of the Internet has come a whole host of new problems as well as innovations that have made life easier. For instance, as many people are already aware of, the United States is suffering from an obesity epidemic. It is believed by some that the reason why this obesity epidemic is so out of control is due to the fact that so many of us now spend our free time either in front of the television or in front of a computer screen.
Admittedly, I would say that I spend the vast majority of my week days (and even some weekends) on my computer either doing work, looking up things related to work or simply surfing the Internet. It’s not that I don’t have anything better to do. Rather, it is the fact that the Internet is everywhere you go, and it’s really convenient! It’s gotten to the point where I almost struggle to remember a time when the Internet didn’t exist. As a matter of fact, I can still remember when the Internet first came out. My family was one of the first ones (out of my friends) to get it. It was back in the early 1990s, and I can still remember my father reading the directions and setting up our brand new Apple Macintosh computer. Back then, we used something called Netscape to log us onto the Internet. Because it was dial-up, the connection was really slow, but this didn’t mean that we weren’t excited.
Contrary to popular belief, the Internet was new and it was exciting. We would all take turns looking up the most obscure things to see if there was information that someone had put out there on the Internet about it. That was a time when AOL chat rooms were still popular, where AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) was the first thing you rushed home from school to log onto so that you could chat with all of your friends. It was a lot of fun. However, back then, children and adults weren’t nearly as overweight as they are now. So, what has changed; and more so, is the Internet to blame?
As time went on, technology improved vastly. We saw the disappearance of rotary phones, the introduction of corded phones, the disappearance of corded phones, the introduction of cordless phones and then the introduction of car phones turned to cell phones. We were moving at warp speed. Beepers came and went and then people began switching out cell phones every other month for the latest and greatest new cell phone device. It was hard to keep up. Big, clunky computers were soon replaced by flat screen computers and laptops, which greatly improved mobility…And now, we have Internet at lightning speed and new inventions every other week with things such as electronic notebooks and other devices that actually allow you to read books online.
There is no doubt that the Internet has greatly improved the way in which we communicate and do business, and it is exciting to see what the future will hold for America as well as the rest of the world in terms of technological advances. But perhaps we do need to get out more and control the amount of time that we sit stagnant in front of a brightly lit computer screen.