the value of the internet

As I discuss my various activities on college applications, I am concerned about how admissions committees will view some things. One of my concerns is that people often do not understand the value of the internet. The will see how much time I spend, for example, blogging, and I’m worried that they will take blogging, which is hugely interactive, as being shut up alone in my bedroom. Yes, I am alone here, physically, but I am making connections with people all over the world, discussing everything from books to education to politics to, well, anything you can think of. My interactions with people on the internet are often far more worthwhile than the real-world conversations I have at my school lunch table, which often focus on things like who’s dating who or what happened in band class (almost all of my school friends are self-proclaimed band geeks; I have not one bit of musical talent).

I do spend quite a bit of time in front of a computer screen, and I know this can be seen as mind-numbing, antisocial, any number of negative things. However, a computer and an internet connection are tools that can be used in a number of ways. It is a bit mind-numbing and antisocial, not to mention gross, to spend loads of time looking up porn on the internet. However, that’s one extreme, and certainly not what most people utilize their high-speed connections for (or so I’d like to think).

My internet activities are varied. I write emails and blog posts. I look up news stories. I read blogs on topics from books to fashion to politics. I study languages. I learn about topics that interest me. I search for answers to questions that would be almost unanswerable without this resource! I connect with people across the world. I talk to friends in California, Brazil, and the Philippines.

I use the internet to talk to people whose lives are very different from mine, and I learn from that. I use the internet to improve my communication skills, reading and writing constantly in three languages (English, Spanish, and my often-cringe-worthy French). I use the internet to expand my horizons, to do things I could never have done without it. I use the internet to find information, to form my own opinions, and to share them in what I hope is a relatively articulate manner.

I am concerned by the close-mindedness of some people. I am concerned by the fact that so few activities are considered worthwhile or educational uses of time. I have done most of my learning outside of the classroom, and the internet has facilitated that. Almost anything can be a worthwhile use of time and a learning experience, and I wish that was better understood by most people. (Also see on my book blog: fiction, television, and a previous post on the internet).


  1. Erin Said:

    I really like this post.

  2. girljordyn Said:

    I love this post. My entire life (okay, not THAT extreme) (but close) is on the internet. And I’m really lucky to have parents who are mostly okay with that, but a lot of people really don’t understand the value of the internet. I have a few friends I’ve met over the internet (though BLOGS, never though anything as scary as myspace) and sometimes I feel like those people “get” me more than a lot of people in my real life do.

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