Cell phones, laptops, and virtually anything that has a battery, a hard drive and can be connected to the internet has the ability to do so. If we choose to, we could be connected and surfing the web twenty-four hours a day in a coffee shop, our home, or even on top of certain mountains (provided you are able to get cell service of course). However it was not always like this. Although I am still in the prime of my youth, I am old enough to remember the days when the internet was still a new phenomenon. For a long time, my only experience of the internet was through the one computer our school could afford to hook up to it. It wasn’t until I was ten or eleven that we were able to finally purchase a computer that had the ability to connect to the internet. Needless to say that after I earned the privilege to surf the internet by myself without anyone hovering over me worried that I would somehow break the machine, my world was changed forever. I suddenly had a vast well of information at my fingertips and it felt powerful. I could read a whole book, learn how to cook a dish, understand how a film was made, and get tips on good story structure just by opening my browser and starting to search for things. These long search sessions fed my curiosity and kept my brain active. As the technology became more affordable and faster, I became more adept at finding exactly what I wanted. I was now able to read a poem that had never been published by a famous author or understand the different roles each production person plays in making a film, or support local artists by buying their handmade wares. I essentially went to class on the computer after I had left my traditional learning environment.
Being able to access the internet has reached critical mass in the last couple of years. I actually feel sorry for my younger brother and his generation, because they see the internet not as a vast system of information, but as a distraction from every day life. Most teenagers cannot live without their phones permanently attached to their hands, constantly clicking away at something whether it is a game, texting or looking up a bit of trivia. Being have to physically get up off of your butt, walk into the other room, boot up the computer, and sit while it loads, made searching the internet a small yet significant event in my life. To motivate myself to do this, I would have to think that what I am about to do is pretty important. Not today. Any random thought that a person has can be answered, verified or reinforced in a matter of seconds. While that is impressive, it has made us a world of people constantly looking at a screen.
I cherish the internet not only because it helps me further my own education, but also because it gives me an outlet to express myself. Without the internet I would not have this small blog to feed my motivation to write and discover new things about movies and the process of making them. I have learned everything I know about movies from the internet. I literally owe it everything.