The initial sobering thought is that you would not be reading this post if there were no internet. The thought of LWTI (Life Without The Internet) came to me in sort of a wave of experiences. The front edge of the wave led me to admit sometimes I use my smartphone and its connection to the Internet to avoid human contact. Yes, if I am restless at dinner or a Poker game, I take out my phone and check email or scan world headlines. Every time my phone vibrates I take it out, often interrupting an ongoing conversation. In short, I am addicted to the stimulation of the Internet.
What was life like before the Internet?
- Communication – There were F2F meetings, often requiring time- consuming travel to meetings. There were long distance phone calls. There was snail mail. In the 1960’s, I can remember patiently waiting in my college dormitory post office to find out if my family’s care package shipped 10 days ago had arrived today.
- Banking -Ah, the days of standing in line to make a deposit or to pay a vendor. It was licking a stamp on an envelope and mailing the bill to the provider of your services.
- Libraries – Walking to the library and hoping that the reference book you needed for your report was available and paying the library fines often.
- Movies – As a child, Saturday afternoons were special for my bother and me. I fondly remember going to a matinee where admission and popcorn for the both of us cost less than a dollar.
- Employment. There was no such thing as working online. You dressed for work. You commuted to work. More often than not you worked from 8-5 and commuted home.
- Television. For the first 18 years of my life there was one T.V. in the house. We watched together as a family and of course there was no streaming, Youtube or viewing on a tablet or smartphone.
Was life slower, better, more enjoyable before the Internet? For my grandchildren there are no comparisons. All of their lives they have experienced Email, Google, Facebook, iPhones and ordering from Amazon and receiving their products in the same day. They don’t know the meaning of film and typewriters.
Could we exist today without the Internet? Does the child growing up in the Internet age lack personal communication skills? Do we as adults keep our personal communication skills sharp?
In Part 2, I will discuss a need to return to some of the skills we had before the Internet.
A great article by Jon Negroni that you can find here Here are the ones I found especially interesting.
- Duolingo – Learn another language
- Khan Academy – A fantastic way through youtube to learn about interesting subjects.
- MIT Open Courseware – free college courses online
- Investopedia – the subject says it all
- Quora – find experts to ask about almost anything
- Geography IQ – select any country and access virtually every facet of useful information
- TED – my favorite site on this list. Superb talks by interesting people from around the world.
2016 Google Year In Search Video
Another great video production. I would love to spend some time with the very talented video editors. Take 15 minutes out of your day to see 2011 -2015.
Pop Quiz CTL Subscribers. Do you know the subjects you searched for in Google. How about images, finance, news or maps.Well now you can not only find those subjects but delete them if you think it might prove embarrassing. You can find all this information including the device you searched with by going to myactivity.google.com. Here are some of my results:
- Today at 3:25 pmJ I was on Facebook on my desktop computer and viewed Researchbuzz.me
- June 19th I downloaded the Alexa App on my Nexus phone
- May 30th I searched for the Cuenca temperature on my iPad
- Last year on my birthday I searched for the term “disruptive technology” 5 times using my computer
While you’re using Google statistics go to myaccount.google.com and check the following
- Security Checkup
- What apps have access to your account
- Google Drive storage
- Backup emails and phone
Below is a screen capture of some of the apps that have access to my Google Data. Notice the App Streak which somehow has access to more data than I am comfortable with. I deleted the access of the app.
Devote 3o minutes to peruse myactivity.google.com and myaccount.google.com you will be informed and surprised.
Alexa is Amazon’s answer to Siri the voice command assistant for your digitally connected devices. I have Alexa running on my Nexus Smartphone and recently they added the capability to my Amazon Fire TV. So now I can use my remote or smartphone and say the following to the TV and have the answers, video, music etc. displayed on my big screen HDTV. You can also use Alexa on iPads and iPhones.
- Play a song in my Amazon Library
- Launch a movie from Netflix
- What’s on my calendar or to do list
- Play a favorite music or news station from any radio station in the world
- Read the next chapter from my Kindle book
- What’s my flash briefing from NPR News
- Re-order physical products you previously purchased on the Amazon website.
- Ask Alexa to find and read information from Wikipedia
- Tell me a joke – What do you call a Grizzly with no teeth (Ans. a gummy bear)
- Alexa Skills -turn on skills that allow your device to tell you about upcoming concerts in your city or play math games with you.
The whole idea of creating a brand is that the title should be memorable. Well, the Plonked – Business Search Engine hit the target. I am in the very early stages of exploring the possibilities of this site. Take a look what CNET has to say about Plonk. Worth a look.
I would be interested in what you think of Plonked
I’m going to bet 10 cents that no one guesses this site: Here are some of the things this site can do that Google can not:
Know exactly what to expect when you go to the doctor
You can plug in various bits of information to find out risks of developing diseases.
Generate awesome demographic charts
How much a dollar from any point in history would be worth today
Convert, say, 1950 dollars to 1995 dollars
Compare all sorts of man-made structures
You can learn about what the internet sees when they look at your computer
You can also look at long-term energy price trends for all sorts of locations
Ok, so pay your 10 cents if you didn’t say the site was Wolfram Alpha.
LifeHacker just came up with 13 awesome tricks for the Average Wolfram Alpha User