The Internet: What’s so great about it?

On June 4, 1996, in Opinion, by Abraham Amchin

The Internet: What’s so great about it?

There is so much talk about the Internet now, we can’t help but get involved. It seems that you have to be on the ‘net to get any information. In a few days, I will be receiving my direct Internet connection. Unlimited access was their key phrase. This means I will have great amounts of information at my fingertips.

That last statement was a little over done. I will admit this is a very big jump from a sheltered company like America Online, but will I get everything I’m expecting? I doubt it. I’m sure many people will argue with me, but from what I’ve seen, if you don’t know exact locations, you’re out of luck.

I know there are many search engines, but they don’t know of every single location on the Web. If I tried to find my high school in any search engine, I’m sure I wouldn’t find it. If I do, I will change all my skeptical opinions about the Internet. Many of the small, but very interesting, sites probably aren’t going to be found through a search. The phrase ‘surfing the Net’ makes one believe that you can easily find any place on the Web. Like most things, that is easier said than done.

With links from page to page, you can find obscure locations, but there are no easy ways to find those. You have to find bigger sites and hope they have links to many places. If you have an online service, you can’t afford to find locations that aren’t right in front of you. At three dollars an hour, you will be broke as you find the site. I’m sure I will spend hours trying to find a few really good locations. Luckily, I will have unlimited time.

The Internet seems like a very lonely place. On America Online, if I wanted to talk to someone, I could go to the lobby. There I could talk to hundreds of people about anything I could think of. You can’t do that on the Internet. You can e-mail people, but you have to find people to e-mail. That’s not nearly as easy as going to the lobby. The only way you can tell that other people have been to the same site as you is the counters that some sites have posted.

Another thing I’ll miss about America Online is the software. I know that software is on the Internet, but it’s not as easy to get as on America Online. One of the best things to do is get some great shareware stuff. FTP sounds so depressing when you’re not used to it. As far as I know, most sites have that all automated. Large sites will have all the software that I’m looking for. Places like MacWorld Online have it all easily accessible. Hopefully, most sites will find easy ways to download software.

An irritating thing about the Internet is how it’s broken up. You need different software for e-mail, newsgroups, the Web, everything. I’ve gotten used to the all-in-one design of America Online. What if I want to check out a newsgroup someone found. It’s not like I can go over to Internet Connection and click on Newsgroups. I still don’t know how I would go about doing this. I still have to actually get the Internet first, though.

Information is one of the main reasons I’ve ordered the Internet. There seems to be a lot of it everywhere. This is one thing that I didn’t like about America Online. It’s also the main reason I left America Online. I could never find enough information from America Online to make it useful. For any research papers I have, I always look to the Web first. Hopefully, I won’t have to look into books. On America Online, I couldn’t afford to get all the information about the topic.

In some ways, I will miss America Online a lot. But mostly I will look forward to the day I actually find a really cool obscure site. Maybe it’s just me who likes to find small places to relax. One day I’ll get a site to call my own. Maybe I should just work on mastering the Internet first.

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