For a techno-newbie like me, the Internet and computers are still a wonder. I remember the old data-processing rooms at school where monster-sized machines that could sort punch cards were the marvel of the day. I now literally hold libraries in my hand, along with a comprehensive glimpse of all facets of my life. It's incredible.
As an author, I can research files and collections from around the globe, take virtual tours of buildings, cities, and even countries. Any subject about which I care to learn is laid open to me, limited only my my imagination and curiosity.
I can make new friends, connect with old friends, and speak to loved ones faraway as if they were in the next room. I can dream of a new challenge, research it, and arrange to fulfill it with a few simple keystrokes. I saw a recipe for a homemade body scrub. Within minutes I had not only studied the steps for making it but I had the ingredients winging their way to my home. Marvelous!
I know more about my ever-changing world than I can process, and I have at my fingertips the means and power to have my own voice and opinions broadcast far and wide without leaving my chair. But so can others, and so we enter a world that requires careful filtering. There are no worldwide editors checking for accuracy or value in what we might find here, and no Internet police protecting us from material that assaults sensibilities. Each who enters the cyber-world holds a Pandora's box of choices, which not only challenges our minds, but our ethics.
With that in mind, I still rejoice over the possibilities this technology affords me, for the expanded opportunities to learn, to grow, to entertain, and to communicate. And for that, I am very grateful.