By Kelly Rayl
There are 7.8 billion people in the world and in 2016, 3.4 billion of those people were using the Internet (World Wide Web). On June 30, 2019 the number for internet users jumped to 4,536,248,808.
When the Internet first made an appearance on computer screens, I was working at the Yuma Public Library, and we were so excited! Libraries all over the world could access collections and information with a a strike of a key and a monitor. It was all words then, no pictures.
Imagine an opportunity to visit the Library of Congress, not in person, but virtually.
From a DOS prompt you could command your computer to travel to libraries in our state and others, the Library of Congress and a porn site. Yes I said porn site. Pornographic words and dot pictures of naked men and women.
It was pretty easy to avoid the porn. You had to specifically choose to travel to that site, it didn’t just pop up on your screen without a prompt.
Amazing freedom of information and access to collections! The World Wide Web was built and took off at a blazing speed. POP’s (point’s of presence to get out there) were established. Technology that progressed so fast that a battle ensued between two major computer developers. IBM and Macintosh.
Telecommunication companies were probably incredibly busy building infrastructure for access to Internet and they still are.
Software, desktop and laptop computers, telephones changed so quickly, it seemed that we would never be current.
Then came Social Media. Now from a personal perspective, I was excited again! Facebook made it possible for me to talk to long lost relatives and old friends. Lots of fun!
Social Media can be so much fun! The communication, the jokes, the recipes, the list is endless really, but recently I noticed that every time I checked in to a social media site it was really just to check and see what load of crap was on there today.
I gave that some thought and decided to stay off there for awhile. I mean that’s really not a positive way to get through the day.
There are some social media sites and apps that are more positive than others in my opinion, and it makes me wonder if I just shouldn’t give up a couple that have left me with my mouth hanging open at times, but would I lose contact with some that took me years to make contact with?
Enough about me.
The Internet has definitely tested the First Amendment to the extreme. So much so that it has made things kinda hard for the Judicial system to bring people to court when things go bad. Where are they? Was it the company that provided the platform? Lot’s to be said about that, but we are not lawyers down at the Pioneer headquarters.
The First Amendment was first. People should have freedom of speech, but with that freedom there comes a bit of the bad.
Is it true? Not everything has to be nice, but is it true? Do you take the time to check it out?
Much has been said about “Fake News”, and yes there is some out there. The term fake though is probably a bit harsh. We prefer slanted.
If you take the time to check something you have seen on Social Media before you pass along or share, it might make the World Wide Web a better place.
Making the world a better place can happen in many different places.
Newspapers don’t pay for libel insurance because we like to and we sure as heck don’t like to use it.
Making a case for newspapers? Of course! Consider the source.
Rayl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Kelly Rayl