I was going through several blogging sites this morning, just seeing what's out there, and it suddenly struck me how important the Internet is. Oh, sure, there are all the obvious reasons; research, shopping, email, but one thing really struck me. How about the fact that it has virtually changed the lives of many people who would have otherwise been horridly lonely or isolated for one reason or another? I'm sure everyone has known or read of someone who doesn't blend well into their surroundings. Not blending in can be caused by many things, such as extreme shyness, physical issues, health issues, socio-economic differences, location - whatever. The Internet has now bridged the gap for these people, and given them a resource for connecting.
Okay, I know you're saying that it's not really a connection, since you really don't know who's at the other end of your screen, but I disagree. As long as you surf safely (don't give out a bunch of personal info) you now have at your fingertips millions of opportunities to connect with people who have similar interests. I mean, literally, there is a site, group, forum or blog out there that you feel totally aligned with. Drop a comment or two, and you start building these little cyberfriendships. Voila! Friends.
When the Internet was first becoming a household tool I thought Internet dating was the absolute height of recklesness and desperation (read: loser). I couldn't have been more wrong. It's accepted and normal now, and I know of several happily-together couples, some married, some "not-married-but-we're-still-a-solid-couple," from all different walks of life, who found each other over the Internet.
So, all in all, I would say that the Internet has become a lifesaver to some people, and I'm glad it's here. Everyone deserves to be happy and connected (ooh, pun!).
Okay, here's my Orange County image for today:
This is the Newport Beach Pier during a beautiful pink sunset.