the internet

My dad doesn’t understand the internet. He knows how to use email and I’ve even seen the man use Amazon to order things he can’t find at the local store. He’s not totally out of the loop.

The other day we were talking about the world. I referenced before about how the world is statically safer than it’s ever been and he asked how I knew this. I told him I read about it online and he scoffed at me. Another time, he asked why I’m a vegetarian and when I went into detail about the ecological impact farming animals for human consumption has on the planet, he responded: “you’ve never farmer so you don’t really have any idea” in spite of doing a ton of research. Obviously, I don’t know what it means to be a farmer like he does, but I can still read and understand data and a bigger picture.

I’m apart of the older millennial generation which means I didn’t grow up completely with computers or least not as saturated as they are today. I did witness the birth of the modern internet and kids these days have NO IDEA the dial-up struggles we went through, the turmoil of having to learn how to do makeup from a magazine or worse yet, when Google was kind of useless as a search engine.

I distinctly remember spending a day in the computer lab in high school and being taught how to use Google. We had a paper to write or something and had to use so many internet sources (but not Wikipedia). Isn’t weird to have to be taught how to use Google? You couldn’t just ask it a question back then. You had to be specific in keywords in order to yield the results that were relevant to what you wanted.

The first silly video I remember going “viral” (which may have just been my friends) was called Forehead Shavecut and you can still watch it on YouTube. Except, it was made before YouTube ever existed and that sounds as absurd as saying “before time existed”. It’s hard to comprehend a time when anything you wanted to know or learn wasn’t at your fingertips. The internet answers questions, you didn’t even know you had (like how sharp cheetah tongues are).

I’ve lied on resume’s about my skills with Excel because I can just Google how to do something and learn it in under 5 minutes. I can teach myself how to write code, how to build websites, and even how to change a transmission. When I had my own house, I taught myself how to sharpen the blades of my mechanical lawn mower (you know the old school kind… no motor, just blades).

That’s the part of the internet my dad doesn’t understand. In his mind, traditional media reigns supreme and he thinks anything on the internet must be misinformed or a lie or whatever. He doesn’t seem to get that yes there is a lot of bullshit on the internet and if you’re not using your noodle, you will get bamboozled but there’s also a lot of bullshit in traditional media. An entire Wikipedia page exists that highlights CNN Controversies and there’s a page for all the major news outlets.

I mean it’s a generational thing. Having lived away from my family for many years and coming back to them, I’m extremely sensitive to the fact we have very different lives and outlooks on the world. It makes me really excited to think about my generation taking over in the next few years. I know everyone complains about the millennial generation (I’m going to complain about the next generation when I’m old/ I already complain about younger millennia’s) but I think we have the capacity to really push the planet in a more positive and sustainable direction.

Having knowledge at our fingertips is incredibly insane. At no other time in our human history, have we been able to call up anything we could possibly want to know. We used to keep encyclopedias at our house. We had 2 sets and neither of were printed during my lifetime. That’s how we got information or you’d go to the library and get books about a subject but now, you can just type into Google “how sharp is a cheetah tongue” and it will give you thousands of videos, pictures, and articles about a giant cats tongue in the same amount of time it takes you to blink and it blows my damn mind.

I guess those are my thoughts for today. Bit of a struggle bus today, I had no idea what to write about. Until tomorrow, friends!


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