Hello and welcome to the blog.
Whether I’m at work, watching a show with my wife in the evening, or looking up new origami folds to try with my son – I’m always online.
We’re all spending more time online these days, whether because of the pandemic or just in general. In fact, this isn’t new. If you follow improvements in technology over the last decade, you might notice that we had a perfect storm of innovation.
Internet access became both widespread and of a higher overall quality. Meanwhile, technology leapt ahead in other ways through the innovation of smart phones and tablets. Chrome books emerged as a cost-conscious option for online computing. The last piece of this puzzle is social media. While we’ve had early attempts at it as far back as ’99, it wasn’t until technology really caught up with smart devices that we became absorbed in tweeting, snapping, tikking and tokking, liking and pinning among other online pasttimes. Online dependence is its own sort of pandemic, as more and more of us become absorbed into the web-faring fold.
“Online dependence is its own sort of pandemic”
While we can’t seem to stem the tide of our lives on the web, we can certainly take advantage of it. As is human nature, we use the tools given us in order to speed up our tasks or make them easier to accomplish. As a tech support senior, I have to say the one thing that makes the biggest daily difference is how long I spend searching for information.
Am I spending more or less time searching for information? And, am I searching for more kinds of info, or fewer? The answer is less, and more. So then how can this be? How can I be looking for more things, but not spending as much time doing it?. There are two answers..
Technology got Better.
In 1990, the internet was just a bud. Barely seeded, and noone knew yet what it might grow into. Archie was humanity’s first real attempt at a search engine, which was housed more as an archive of information – the ‘search’ portion of it existing more as a symptom of the arcive itself (if you’re going to store info on something, you also need a way to retrieve that info).
Archie gave us a real launchpad to start with. Thirty years later, we have numerous search engines to choose from – all of which offering different features and built on three decades of archives, algorithms and code. The advances made on the software side of things has been truly remarkable, and groundbreaking.
Humanity got better too.
I don’t know about you but my first searches on the web(Yahoo and Lycos were the popular ones when I got started on the WWW) consisted of entire sentences, complete with punctuation. “What website can I use to check my email?” and things like that. It was terrible. But it didn’t matter. I didn’t really know what I was looking for most of the time, so stuck to the few things I knew how to do like build my AngelFire website, or check my Hotmail. It wasn’t until I got into doing tech support in the late 90’s that searching really began to matter.
As time went on, we became a bit smarter at knowing what to search for. Adding and eliminating key words from our search terms, so that we could get a meaningful result a bit quicker, or with fewer searches. Using the equations and special tricks that Google and others employ now.
So, we’ve freed up our time. Crucial seconds and minutes – a little here, a little there. And all because we wanted to scroll through a few more pet pics, or read about the latest viral trend. I use my extra time to write about my experiences.