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Compared to several decades ago, do you think the Internet has changed people's lives?
Question Date: 2014-03-10
Answer 1:

I think that the Internet has had a dramatic impact on the way that people live today in comparison to a few decades ago. It has changed the way that we communicate with people, how we shop, and how we access information (just to name a few examples).

When I was in second grade, we had to go to the library and look through a giant file cabinet full of index cards in order to find books on the topics in which we were interested. Now I just type a keyword into Google, and I have access to endless amounts of information.

I’ll also add that I am currently writing to you from a small village on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua (which is in Central America) where I am living and doing research this year. If I was here 20 or 30 years ago, it would take weeks for me to send or receive a letter from home. Now I just open my computer, and I can send emails and talk over FaceTime with my friends and family everyday. I can even answer questions for ScienceLine!

I think that the changes that have come with the Internet are not all good or all bad, but a little of both. It is amazing to be able to instantly find out the answer to any question you have. And thinking of my life right now, I would feel really lonely if I couldn’t talk with my friends and family for a whole year while I was away doing my work. Yet, my friends and I often complain that we used to have long conversations about issues or ideas. Now when someone asks a question, someone else pulls out their iPhone, looks up the answer, and the discussion is over. Also, if I was in Nicaragua 30 years ago and unable to talk with people back home, I wouldn’t know what I was missing out on!

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