Five Things the Internet Brought About That I Can Live Without…

…and one that I could not.

I could easily live without:

  • SPAM email

Commercial TV was bad enough. At least the commercials there served a purpose. They paid the bills for the folks broadcasting the programs you watched. What does SPAM do other than clutter up mail servers all over the world?

  • Twitter

I mean c’mon… really. What the hell purpose does this serve? It’s bad enough that folks have the attention span of gnats nowadays. This thing just makes it worse. If we’re all limited to 140 characters in the future, what will communication be like? There won’t be any.

  • Ignorant, know-it-all trolls with their own blogs/websites

Sheesh! Aren’t the talking heads on the Sunday news shows enough? Oh, no. Now we have to deal with fat-headed writer wannabes who think their facts are the only facts. Any rope-a-dope slob can bang out lengthy pseudo-authoritative articles about any topic under the sun. There oughta’ be a law!

  • eBooks

Now this is just a crime against humanity, folks. Gutenberg set us all free when he made it relative easy to disseminated information in printed form. People like Shakespeare made it entertaining for us to actually read books and plays. Along comes the ebook, an electronic facsimile of a real hold-in-your-hands printed and bound book. Now those same folks with the 140 character limit attention spans can download all kinds of books to their i-whatchamacallit and NOT read them either.

  • Internet Service Providers

Alright… now who in the hell gave these rat-bastards the sole guardianship of the Internet? Why must I use one of their services to access the Internet? Why do I have to PAY to access the Internet? It’s just wrong. The Internet should be free. Knowledge should never be restricted and doled out to only paying customers. Knowledge, and the means to access it, rightfully belongs to everyone. It’s an open source world, folks. It was that way long before the Internet was invented.

And that one thing that I could NOT live without:

  • You, my friend.

The shrinkage of the world, the tearing down of barriers, the interaction of people from vastly different cultures and far flung domains has been the most wonderful experience in my life. It has broadened my horizons to well beyond my own little group of friends and relatives. It has brought happiness, joy, and also pain. In other words, it has helped me to live a more fuller life than what I could have achieved from my own little town. You are the one thing the Internet brought about that I could not live without.



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  • BambisMusings  On March 20, 2011 at 20:47

    I hear ya on much of the things you can live without…and certainly the one thing you can’t!

    Wouldn’t be the same without all my friends and family … online and offline!

  • Buffet  On March 21, 2011 at 05:28

    Amen to all.

  • SpyderBite  On March 22, 2011 at 03:39

    Well said. However, as far as ISPs go; had a handful of innovative people hadn’t invested large sums of money in to modem banks, expensive T1 connections and gateways via their already heavily invested BBSs, there would be no access to the Internet as we know it today. More likely, it would have been a government funded project which eventually would have made it to our home computers in a highly regulated state.

    Upstream providers, equipment & support services are expensive. Somebody has got to pay for it. Whether you pay via taxes or a subscription is redundant. ISPs will never be “free”. The internet is not Oxygen.

    Besides.. We used to pay as much as $25/month for 14.4kbs connections 15-20 years ago. Today, if you bundle it efficiently with your Television and Phone service.. you can pull off 12-14mbs for only a few bucks more each month.

    I don’t think anybody is getting gouged here. And, should the Internet magically become free one day.. it will increase the unemployment rate, decrease the quality of service and increase our taxes.

    The only people I come across that truly believe the Internet should be free are the those who can’t afford it. And, that is a simple remedy.. get a job. Or get a better job if you already have one and $25-$40/month is still too cumbersome on your budget. Quit smoking, drinking or $4 Lattes every morning are also good strategies for justifying the cost of Internet Service in your home with a small budget.

    The only exception are the students who should not have to pay for Internet while they are at school. But, again, somebody is paying for it already.. the school, government or school boards.

    • V. T. Eric Layton  On March 22, 2011 at 08:11

      SpyderBite… I understand the points you’re making regarding ISPs. Actually, this article was just a bit tongue-in-cheek. I thought folks would catch that when I tossed bloggers in there (with me being one). The only really important non-joking point was the last one in the article.

      That being said, though… I’d like to make one rebuttal to your reply; in particular, the part about getting a job being a simple remedy to lack of $. I’m an educated, relatively skilled (manual, managerial, technical, etc.), literate individual who has a decent work history/resume. I’m over 45 years old. I’ve been out of work since August of 2008. I’ve sent out literally hundreds of resumes and filled out (and continue to update) a like number of online applications. In the past 30 months or so, I’ve received exactly two call backs and one interview. That simple solution you speak of is not quite as simple as you think these days.

      Anyway… thanks for reading and commenting. 🙂


  • SpyderBite  On March 22, 2011 at 03:46

    eBooks: This is simple evolution of a medium. If printed publications weren’t still charging $6-$12 for a paperback release which is yet another accessory that we must carry around with us; then I can see a valid concern.

    Unfortunately, it is a million times more efficient to publish, purchase, distribute and transport a novel in eBook format than it is to churn a million copies out on a press.

    Hardcover and paperback books will eventually take the same path as Newspapers, Magazines and other print mediums. They’ll evolve in to digital formats with affordable pricing and accessible from anywhere without toting a dead tree around in your pocket or purse.

    • V. T. Eric Layton  On March 22, 2011 at 08:16

      I actually agree with you regarding eBooks, SpyderBite. I’m not quite the Luddite I was pretending to be. It’s still sad for me, though. I have to admit. I’ve had a love for books all my life. At my personal library’s peak, I had nearly 10,000 editions. I’ve had to liquidate about 2/3s of them because they were literally taking over my home. I could have kept them all in eBook form in a much smaller space. However, I just haven’t gotten comfortable with the thought of curling up in my recliner with my blanket and hot cocoa on a cold winter’s eve with my eReader. I don’t believe I’ll see the end of the printed book in my lifetime. However, you are correct. They day is probably coming. 😦



  • Yogesh Pawar  On March 22, 2011 at 05:09

    You won my heart, thank you for such a wonderful message.

    • V. T. Eric Layton  On March 22, 2011 at 07:56

      Mr. Pawar,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. What I write means nothing unless someone like you reads it. 🙂

  • Francis J Golden  On March 30, 2011 at 21:58

    Nice read Eric, I agree with on everything but ebooks.

    BTW, speaking about Gutenberg there is a project called the Gutenberg Project that offers thousands of books that are in the public domain for free.
    It is of course open source and the files are offered
    in all the common file formats so they can be read with most of the e-readers on the market.

    I just downloaded a bunch of Mark Twain stuff that can be read in Nook’s PC reader program as well as Nook’s standalone reader device.

    • V. T. Eric Layton  On March 31, 2011 at 07:23

      Hi, Frank! Good to see you here.

      I love Project Gutenberg. It’s been in my favorites/bookmarks for years. I do still prefer to hold the book in my hand and turn the paper pages, though. A book isn’t just a book to me. It’s an all around experience. I like to look at the cover, the binding, the font, the color of the paper that it’s printed on, and even the smell of the book. All those things make the book a book. Oh, there’s the content, too, I s’pose. 😉

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