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How did internet change your life?

All of us here were born before the internet came along. Before we had the oportunity to connect globally.

Before the emergence of the internet we only had the local community to connect to, learn from, be influenced by.

Today, we live in a global village that gives us access to knowledge, gives us inspiration, gives us understanding of who we are and how everything works. All this, the online experiences of all sorts, may be just as valuable in our life everyday life experiences.

It can build your character, show you what's important.

How did the online experience change your life?

And if you were born before or after that (the emergence on internet), how do you think your perspective is different from the people who haven't had the internet all their life?

All comments, links and stories are welcome.

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      Jun 30 2013: Wow Lamar. My first contact with the net was the late 80's and that was watching someone that owned a pc on a bulletin board and my thoughts were "What is this?"

      Edit - A lot of my friends have stopped watching modern content as they find modern film making too stupid.They prefer to watch 70's and down and some of them are only young people in their 30's.Black and whites are popular,some are almost hd-ish in quality.
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      Jun 30 2013: Lamar, we need more RURAL people like you.
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      Jun 30 2013: Thanks, laMar,

      It's true than people use the internet to earn money. No secret. This is a complicated world. As i said before - it can also help a lot of us when it comes to understanding what it's all about. The gender war maybe, it's just one of the perspectives.

      I do not play poker or engage in casino-type activity online, why would I? Waiting on you.
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          Jun 30 2013: You have to look closely at the comments, LaMar. What do they mean?
          Focus on what's positive and can help all the commenters.
          Best wishes.
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          Jun 30 2013: If and when I start a TED discussion it's because of many things - curiosity, hunger for knowledge and perspectives. I thank you for yours.

          Expectations - it's interesting that you mention that. My expectations when clicking "submit" where - let's learn! I hope of all of us will!

          Best wishes.
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    Jul 1 2013: Oh my goodness Anna.....I went from having one addiction (gardens) to two addictions (gardens and computer!)

    I rejected computers for a LONG time......"I don't need a computer"! Well, my daughter is a computer guru....EE, IT, manager for a major computer company. One day, she sent me a computer, which rested on the bed in the guest room for about a year. She finally said.....mom.....you need to take it out of the box and plug it in. Well.....ok......I will do that to please her....LOL:>)

    Now I'm hooked! Of course, she loaded the thing with all kinds of bells and whistles, and my addiction began! It is a FABULOUS tool, and I'm still astounded at the connectivity it provides instantaneously! I feel that TED, is providing a HUGE opportunity for us to connect globally, and from there, as you say Anna, we have the ability to learn and grow as a global community.........I LOVE IT!
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      Jul 1 2013: You have so many stories, Colleen, you really do! :)

      Thanks, I also think it's important to hear about stories from all around the world, connect, share and learn. This will make a better world eventually, also see my other comments in a different conversation, there are links there and some explanation.
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        Jul 1 2013: I have had a long interesting life in which to live the stories Anna....LOL!

        The computer addiction is simply another stage of the life experience, and it's interesting that it is a focus in my life, when physical activity is a little more challenged.....perfect timing:>)
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          Jul 1 2013: Yes, you said you were almost seventy! You're a survivor, Colleen :)
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      Jul 2 2013: Colleen, your computer's story is really funny, but it just so like things happen! :-)
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    Jun 30 2013: "How did the online experience change your life?"
    A lot.
    I think it helped me to understand life, views, emotions in a more effective way apart from gleaning useful information. Well, it can never be akin to sharing life with someone in daily reality for a person 2000 miles away, in a different culture but it can provide a glimpse into a human being whom I will possibly never meet. Many people say that this is a great shortcoming of online experiences. But I think it has positive sides too. Sometimes proximity can rob a relationship of some intellectual substance, a disembodied purity, that online relationships provide.
    On the more practical side, my speaking ability in English largely owes credit to my online friends and hours of skype sessions.
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      Jun 30 2013: I agree that a relationship can be robbed of intellectual substance when proximity gets in way. Example - my mother's neighbour tried to tell me something once about her life. I didn't feel like listening to her because she has just smoked a cigarette and used a parfume that I didn't like and she was so close. She had something to say, but I just didn't feel like listening because of the way she was speaking, the smell and so on.

      I also agree that you can learn a lot freom the internet, it can boost your language skills as well. I don't use skype that often, I use it very rarely, but having access to internet in general really helped me to learn English - I had games, search engines, e-mails. I also had penpals from all over the world once, that really taught me a lot about it, that is - the world. Example - I once corresponded via e-mail with a gay man in Yugoslavia, he had a different perspective that I had, the e-mails ended at one point but this and other sorts of communication that I've had really told me something. I was a teen then, connecting, reaching out, listening, learning.

      Thank you for your communication, Pabitra.
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      Jul 1 2013: Pabitra, I agree with you.
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    Jul 1 2013: Iternet changed my life by giving me the wonderful opportunity of having access to a wider and nice horizon of knowledge. For me, that compensates for other flaws that the network may have.
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    Jul 1 2013: Hi Anna,

    This is a great question!

    The internet has had 2 profound and contradictory affects on me:

    1. It has allowed me to round-out all the academic questions I could not access without the net - I no longer have to spend fortunes on gaining access to the great thinkers of the world and the experimental results of scientists - it's all there.
    2. It has captured a significant amount of my time - this is time that is excluded from service to my day-to-day survival needs. That's good and bad. The bad bit is that it has taught me that I am less able to generate immediate wealth and short-term advantage, the good bit is that I never had any real need to expend so much energy - and others were syphoning my energy - that does not happen any more, and I keep all my energy for my real life and those who I love.

    When I look around, I see many people working 12-hour days and getting only a fraction of the value they produce. I cannot help them, because if I mention it, they get violently defensive. I will note that all these violent fools still watch television.

    There is a huge difference between broadcast and interactive media. I can't help those who still have to deal with their captivity. All I can do is hint and hope that they will wake up one day .. won't happen in my lifetime, but maybe in the lifetime of my son.

    As for him? He will have to deal with the issues of interactive media in ways I cannot imagine. I am not fool enough to think that his life will be any easier .. but I would hope that he gets some results.
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      Jul 1 2013: Hi,

      It's true that internet can be addictive. That's probably why I'm typing this now :)

      I also agree that broadcast and being interactive are two different things, but I wouldn't totally discard broadcast. I don't have a tv now (it implodeed, that was weird), but sometimes it's good to see the news, now what is happening. The TV should always be on, especially when young people are watching and there is one thing they should EDIT - NOT be watching - commercials.

      Where I live now the system when it comes to tv is completely different, ask me if you're interested.
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        Jul 1 2013: Anna, why should young people be watching commercials? Can you explain more?
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        Jul 2 2013: I am weary of the devolution of media.

        On the other hand, it cannot be supressed.

        Internet is already old and corrupted. There will be a new thing.
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    Jul 1 2013: I need not to ponder much as I had to once if I need any information, it's just now click away.
    I can connect and communicate with people again with a click .
  • Jun 30 2013: Internet broaden my perspectives in life,it helps me to get information to guide in my thinking...it makes me feel the world is connected .
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      Jun 30 2013: I agree.

      It's incredibly important to know that the world is connected. I'm not sure what you mean by guide in thinking, but information is important. After reading your comment I feel like editing the conversation again to add some more questions - what have you learned from the internet and has that changed your life or perspective in any way?
      • Jul 1 2013: Eight years ago,I learnt english by myself via Internet.I think if no internet,I wouldn't think of learning english,wouldn't get chance to talk to so many friends from all over the world,wouldn't have chance to read so many books to enlighten me...wouldn't like my teaching job as much as I can be now...
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    Jul 1 2013: I suppose we are just following our bacteriological heritage.
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    Jul 1 2013: The most important benefit to me is that I have been able to do extremely interesting work from home and also to converse and share information with people who are hard to reach in real time.
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      Jul 1 2013: Agree, it also helps to show phenomena. And when discovered and shown - do something about it.
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      Jul 1 2013: I don't see how this is connected to my question, please explain.
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        Jul 1 2013: You asked how the internet changed our lives. I replied with what the internet made possible for me on a personal and professional level.

        To me this seems quite clearly connected to your question. No?
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    Jul 1 2013: Just to add to the conversation and give a reply to some of the comments - or just explain:

    A come from a poor family (or at least my parents were poor, hard-working people, others in the family before the war maybe had some money, lost everything). That means the following - I didn't have internet until I was about 16-17, I had only the books, those were in Polish and English. I don't know if you would like the books, but that's just a question of taste - it was fantasy, sci-fi, all of Agatha Christie, encyclopedias and, well, school.
    My English teachers at two of the schools (it was the system there and then - 8 years in primary, 4 in the secondary school) actually misliked me. I have some stories to tell here too :) But I'm only mentioning it because the conversation seemed to be on English. I also learned it from music - lyrics and such (maybe I'll start a new conversation on that - How did you learn English?)

    Best wishes to all the commenters.
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    Jun 30 2013: anna, did you mean for your conversation to only go one day, you can click "edit" and have it remain longer.

    I'm not sure how much the Net has changed my life, I think some. I have had the experience where I wanted to contact someone important, or contact the authority in a field, and I found the Net made it easy to quickly find out who the right person, or a high authority, or the highest authority in a field is, I think this would have been much more difficult before the Net. In a way I think email is so much faster and more convenient that sometimes busy people will write back to me on email whereas they wouldn't have in the past. For example, I might send an email to a person who wrote a newspaper article, and they might write back, whereas with regular mail in the old days they wouldn't have.