Thinking, breathing deeply, trying to rationalise something out. Please excuse me.
1. Things that are nice about the internet
a) Pictures of kittens.
c) Real-time rainbow location tracking devices.
d) You can buy any kind of hat you can imagine. Hats made of fabric, hats made of plastic, made of fur, hats made of meat, hats made of other hats. Hats that are very small, hats that are giant. Hats for your cat. Hats made of cat. Seriously, there isnt a hat that you could want that you cannot find on the internet. Its a miracle.
e) The glory of email.
f) Finding people with similar interests that you can hang out with. Even if theyre on the other side of the world and you only get to hang out with them in cyberspace, its completely amazing.
g) The little bite-sized glimpses of peoples lives that twitter gives you.
h) Shopping sites that deliver that THING you want, the very morning after you suddenly decided you wanted it, and then realised that no shop within three hundred miles would stock it.
i) Epic tales of unicorns in love.
j) The ability for people to find and support small businesses thousands of miles away through charitable innovations like the amazing Kiva.com.
k) Blogs. When I started this one, they were basically the whole of the internet to me. I now realise theyre the tiniest grain on the tiniest corner of the tiniest corner of the internet, but dont care at all. Blogging means a ridiculous amount to me.
l) Pictures of kittens with words written on the bottom.
m) The ways that people find to circumnavigate censorship and bring about real political change through mediums that the traditional media used to dismiss as pointless wastes of time. [NB: point (l) is not necessarily closely connected to point (m)]
n) Ordering flowers for a sick friend half a world away.
o) Brilliantly beautiful and funny, and sociable and time-eating online games. Like, you know, ones like Glitch.com. Well, like that one will be when it launches, I mean.
p) Video chatting with your family.
q) Finding out what that tv series was called that you used to love when you were four that you remember vividly, but cant quite recall the title of.
r) … Then finding that you can listen to the theme tune of the thing that brings your childhood rushing back to you. And whole episodes. Because someone out there loved it enough to take the time to put it online.
s) Pandas sneezing. (And because you cant see it too many times: Here. Go on. Look.
t) Knowing what your hotels going to be like before you get there.
u) Maps with a street view of places you used to live.
v) The ability to look up old friends, and find new ones.
w)Travelling vicariously. Looking at pictures of ridiculous thunderstorms you may never see.
x) The support that people can give each other, whether in living with depression, going through big changes, losing a loved one, serious illness – people band together in groups all over the internet being supportive to each other – people theyve never seen, and will never get to meet.
y) The ability to find delivery food, order, and pay without ever having to do that terrifying phone thing.
z) Listening to radio programmes people told you about but that you missed. Ten years ago, you would have said Oh bugger, I missed that. Now you get to listen to it, and talk about it with them.
aa) Non-scary shopping. With decent return policy.
bb) Real connections with nice people. Connections that sometimes turn into physical connections, be they postcards from holiday (me), a pint (me) or a wedding ring (not me, dont get over-excited, seriously you guys, youll just leap on anything and think its a hint, wont you?).
cc) Laughing until your stomach hurts about a typo or a misplaced apostrophe.
dd) Learning about things you never knew existed. Looking up one little fact for a piece of work youre doing and finding yourself three hours later reading biographical information about specific llamas who appeared in Russian screwball comedies of the soviet age. Or polydactyl cats.
ee) The joke that didnt exist yesterday and that suddenly, EVERYONE knows.
ff) The world that it has opened up for so many, many people.
Things that are not so nice about the internet.
1) Random cunty shitworms who know nothing about you or your personal circumstances, but dont let that stop them leaving deeply personal, poisonous comments on your site.
Yes. That is decided. The internet is a truly marvellous place, and I love it very much. And that is the point I have decided to settle upon.