Thursday, June 3, 2010

What Did We Ever Do Without the Internet?

I admit it. I grew up without the Internet. Now, though, I can’t imagine living without it. I may not understand much about social networking, but I’m an Internet addict of sorts. I have to check e-mail, and Killer Hobbies, and other sites every day.

Even more, I’m addicted to being able to research anything in an instant.

Example: My husband and I own a refrigerator that’s about two years old. It has a really nice ice maker and water dispenser. Earlier this week, the ice maker stopped dispensing ice right in the middle of my preparing the drink of water I always take to bed with me.

My husband, bless him, is a very handy guy. He disassembled the ice maker the next morning and believed that the motor had just stopped working. He considered buying a new one online, but first did some Internet research to try to ensure that the motor was, indeed, the problem--and found a whole discussion by people who owned the same model refrigerator who’d had the exact same issue when the refrigerator was about the same age. Some even used the term I’d suggested before he came across it there: planned obsolescence. That gave him the confirmation he needed to order a new motor. It hasn’t arrived yet, of course, and there’s no guarantee that it’ll solve the problem--but it sure sounds as if it will.

What about the old days before the Internet? How could we have found other people with the same refrigerator model who’d had the same problem so we could compare notes? Maybe via a repair shop, but they’re unlikely to give out that kind of information. Maybe their technicians would tell us of similar problems they’d repaired... or not.

Then there’s my younger Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Mystie. She’s had a tummy problem all her young life, and she had a more severe recurrence of the symptoms last week. We took her to the specialist vet who’d diagnosed and treated her problem before. When I got home, I looked at the problem on the Internet. Unsurprisingly, the vet had prescribed the same kind of treatment as is standard for the problem. I found the confirmation reassuring. Without it, and the Internet? I’d certainly have taken this vet’s word for it. But the extra corroboration still felt good.

And of course I always research aspects of whatever I’m writing on the Internet. Even look up words, and word origins, if I wonder if there’s a better way to say whatever I’m thinking than the first way that comes to mind.

How about you--do you love the Internet? What’s your favorite aspect of research?


Dru said...

I love the Internet because without it, I would not have discovered blogging and read and/or met some great authors.

Also without the Internet, friends and relative most likely wouldn't communicate as much as one does now.

Part of my job is doing research and it is so much easier to google than go to the library and sift through several large books to find one itty bitty data.

so, I love the Internet.

Linda O. Johnston said...

You're right, Dru. What would we do now without blogging! And it's certainly fun for authors to interact with readers and each other--as well as friends and family. Research of all types is so much easier, too.

Camille Minichino said...

Same here, Linda and Dru -- I'm constantly checking a detail on the Internet and can't imagine how I did it before and got anything done!

About twenty years ago, I created a special calendar with a significant event in science and technology for every day. It took me almost a year. Now I could have one ready for you in an afternoon!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Amazing, Camille, but I believe it. So much is right at our fingertips now--fast!

Janie Emaus said...

I love it too and through blogging and Facebook, I've made new friends and connected with ones from my past.

Betty Hechtman said...

What I love most about the Internet is that if you have some question like what year a particlar song came out and it happens to be the middle of the night, you can find the answer in a few minutes and then go back to sleep with your mind free.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I agree, Betty. Questions like that used to be impossible to answer in the middle of the night and often time-consuming during the day!