barefooted's picture


    Could you get by without the internet? Google? Word processing? GPS?

    Most of us, when asked, would quickly and easily say sure, no problem, we'd adjust. But when was the last time you used (or saw) a telephone book or a map? Actually looked up reference material in a book? When did you last write something of length in longhand?

    If you immediately reach for your phone before your feet touch the ground in the morning, hesitate. There will never be a reason or a way to discard the importance of technology - but it may be just as important to be able to survive it.

    And as if to prove the point, imagine yourself a member of a prison debate team. Then imagine beating Harvard with no internet access.


    I still write letters in long hand and use mail.  My telephone book gets used and so do my really fat Webster dictionary.

    I like looking up words.  I usually learn more then just the word I was looking for.

    I keep my cell phone in the kitchen because I will forget where it is at if I don't keep it on top of the mixer.

    My US map book sit under the telephone book.  I am always looking up where towns are. GPS...I never go any place so if I did I would use a map.  I teach the kids how to read a maps to me it is important as much as reading a standard clock dial. 

    Online dictionaries are helpful, though, since you don't have to know how to spell the word! I write in longhand often ... still seems odd that schools are phasing out teaching cursive. And I can't get by without a phone book - love the yellow pages.

    Great to hear you're passing along the "old school" ways to the kids. Being able to read a map is an essential skill (unlike being able to fold one!).

    And then there's this. They have national ads telling people that it's important to keep children under control regarding technology. They show parents tearfully wondering where they went wrong with their pre-speech kids and smart phones. Can you hear me now?

    Could I get by without the internet?  Yes.  Would it be difficult? Probably..  Would I like it or want to do it?  No.    

    For me, the internet provides an opportunity to increase my reach, to fight against the encroachment of disability, to let my voice be heard when my physical world and my presence in that world are  becoming ever smaller.  

    When I first signed onto the internet over 20 years ago, and created a support group for people with Ankylosing Spondylitis (Spondyville), I quickly realized that the internet offered a wonderful opportunity for disabled people; a chance to meet and be in contact with others with the same disease,  something that due to our physical limitations, might otherwise be impossible.   We might have limited options when it comes to getting to a support group meeting in a town on the other side of the state, but we could get to our computer and spend an hour interacting with others who understand what we're going through.

    To me, this is the biggest benefit of the internet.  The ability to find people with common interests and / or problems and interact with them.    Could this happen without the internet?  Not in the same way and definitely not so efficiently.

    The Internet provides an easy way for people with shared interests to form coalitions. Protest groups have an easier time organizing.

    Pls send me a note at decader gmail - had an idea re AS .

    You're absolutely right, Mr. Smith. The ability of the internet to shrink this big 'ol globe down to a neighborhood is likely the very best thing about it. And as we celebrate the unique connectivity it provides, we must also insure that those we can physically touch and hold are cherished. How strange is the too-weird-to-be-true-but-is scenario of people in the same room texting each other?

    Technology is amazing, most of the time. I guess I'm just hoping that as our hunger to do more and more in bigger and better ways grows we don't stop noticing what's lost in the process.

    Definitely we will evolve with larger thumbs, like Sissy Hankshaw. 

    Hmmm. Since I use my middle finger to tap on my phone's virtual keyboard, that sort of evolution might prove interesting! ;-)

    I think about these things.

    We have these movies and old TV shows demonstrating that even the police had to find pay phones.

    And like Law & Order, I can almost tell the year of the episode by looking at the computer screens on the tellie.

    I still screw up of course, but how in the hell I will still spell things wrong or get the wrong date or mix up historical events is my fault.

    There are these folks with perfect memories; but damn if we take the time, we should be okay responding to these people.

    This new age can be fun and the masses might actually be heard.

    Happy "Back To The Future" Day, Dick!

    Sadly, phone booths are rapidly becoming disappearing antiques ... how will the next generation understand Superman?

    The masses have a voice, that's for sure, and it's grand. Unfortunately, it's also sometimes more of a din than a symphony.

    Not a stretch to believe - Biff was based on Trump in BTTF II. Ack!

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