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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, March 12, 2004

Musing about the Internet

In the book Scrolling Forward, David M. Levy discusses whether e-mail has obliterated the art of letter writing and consequently caused us to let our writing skills deteriorate. I love my e-mail. With e-mail, I keep in touch with friends in Israel, Alabama, New Jersey and Oklahoma. I am at a computer all day long and while I might have an extremely hard time picking up the phone when I get home at the end of a really long day or sitting down to write a letter to someone, I can take a few minutes while I am at work to quickly catch someone up on what is going on in my life and inquire about theirs. I am always irritated when I meet people who don't use e-mail, because I know that without it, I will have a much harder time keeping in touch. With e-mail these days, you can send pictures, cards, links to interesting articles and so much more. What a great invention. Branching out from just e-mail, having a blog has been a really interesting experience. I have tried and abandoned many diaries in my life. When I first began this blog, I saw it as an opportunity to get some of my thoughts out, I didn't expect anyone to read it. It was my new diary, I don't think I had any real plan on how often I expected to update, or what would really go into it. Then I started school, and I started reading, writing and thinking. I had never been especially interested in writing before, but then I found that there were things that I was thinking about that came out better when I could organize them in words instead of keeping them all in my head. Through this blog, I have come to have such a greater appreciation and enjoyment of writing. And I think it has caused me to become a much better writer. Then I started getting the occasional e-mail about my blog, which surprised me. I guess I never thought about real people reading it, and about my words causing someone else to think. Now, with comments, it has gotten even more interesting, I am now seeing other people interact on my blog. What a weird medium the Internet is for meeting people, inspiring people and making connections. I never thought I would be a part of it, a part of this online community where people from disparate corners of the world; people who very likely will never meet in person; can interact, communicate with each other and air their views on important and not-so-important topics. I am still not quite sure how I feel about having a blog that other people can read and comment on, it is weird knowing that people I don't know probably know a good bit about me. But I know that I like having a forum to be able to express my thoughts, I like working my ideas out and writing about them, and from the comments I have been getting, making other people think as well. I think the Internet, while it may have caused a lot of people to give up their pen and paper, has also caused some people, at least me, to work at their writing and thinking skills, and it has given them a way to interact with people who they never would have previously come in contact with. I am not ready to condemn it quite yet.

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