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September 7, 2013 / Poooooooooonie

#1. Week One – Introduction to the Internet

Helloooooo. I guess since the first week’s lecture was about the Internet in general, I’ll start off with a list of personal advantages the Internet has provided for me.

1. Easy accessibility to research material
I think every university student (not just university in fact, JC and secondary as well, considering how many projects we have to do!) will agree with this; the Internet has made it so much easier for me to find information I need for my school work (or I guess, information in general)!

Way back then, before wireless and even (gasp) dial-up, if you wanted to find information you had to either go to the library, or buy books on the subject matter. My aunt had this huge set of encyclopaedias for children; they were really colourful, fun to read, but crazily HEAVY. Not to mention they were quite expensive as well – several hundred for the entire set. This meant that I had to take my dad’s car down to her house every other weekend to borrow the encyclopaedias to read. My aunt lives in Pasir Ris while I live in Toa Payoh, and this was before I was allowed to take public transport on my own. It was all obviously rather inconvenient.

Now, however, when I need to check up on something either for my own interest or for school, the Internet is my best friend! Looking for information is now as simple as opening the browser on my laptop or mobile phone on and simply entering terms in the search engine bar. Say goodbye to going to libraries!

(Okay not really, I do still go down every now and then. But you guys get what I mean, yes.)

2. No more time limits
One of the great things about using the Internet is that we can access websites any time we want on any day! Now I don’t know about you guys but I tend to keep pretty late nights. If, say, for some reason I felt compelled to be reading up on the mating habits of the red-chested robins at 3 in the morning and I didn’t have any books on the subject on hand, I’d have to wait till the local library opened at 10am. With the Internet, on the other hand, I don’t have to worry about opening and closing times (unless, of course, you’re referring to UB Hub -___-).

3. Music on the go
When I was 12, my aunt gave me my very first discman. Mind you, this wasn’t one of those cool and sleek (according to those times) and shiny ones from Sony, but a rather cheap version of it. It was kind of like buying a china imitation/no brand version instead of getting an iPod. Not only was the quality of the attached headphones incredibly abysmal, it had the audacity of having the tendency to skip every now and then. I couldn’t even listen to my pasar malam-bought-for-$4 Avril Lavigne CD in peace. And of course I had to carry around a pouch of CDs (mostly from the pasar malam; I was a poor child whose parents didn’t see any point in spending on them anyway) on my person all the time if I didn’t want to keep listening to the same songs.

Now with the Internet, being able to download and store songs on music devices aside, I can also access online radio or music sharing sites even when I’m away from the computer. I find this incredibly helpful when I suddenly have the urge to listen to a certain song that I don’t already have stored on my device.

4. Online shopping

I’m not even going to lie, I find online shopping so much more enjoyable and therapeutic than actually going out to shops to buy my things. There’s something really rewarding in adding items to my virtual basket and keying in my credit information when checking out, and seeing the confirmation email telling you, “Congratulations! Your order has been successful blah blah blah!” Not to mention that with shops being online, it’s so much easier to compare prices of the same item instead of having to go from store to store and having to remember which had a better deal. I could really go on and on about how incredibly satisfying online shopping is but my best friend has (repeatedly) told me that it gets a little creepy and stinks of compulsive shopping behaviour, so.

5. Keeping in touch 

One of the things I’m really glad I have the Internet for is the ability to keep in touch with my friends and being able to reach out to them all the time, even if they’re situated overseas. My best friend’s currently studying in the University of Melbourne and (obviously) we’ve been depending on the likes of Whatsapp, Facebook Messaging, and Skype in order to communicate. We are able to message each other everyday, occasionally sending each other photos or even videos. It makes me feel a lot better about the distance between us, to be honest; I would feel a lot sadder and miss her so much more without these communication channels. They can never completely make up for not being able to go to her house to meet her, but they are acceptable substitutes for now. Although I am still waiting for the day when teleportation is successfully invented.

6. Catching up on television programs

Lastly, the Internet allows me to keep up-to-date with all my TV shows! As a rule, I only buy DVDs for the shows I really really really really enjoy, like Supernatural and Sherlock and Arrested Development. What this means is that for the other shows that I have not so much as passion for but more of fleeting interests in, I typically rely on either torrent download sites or live streaming to do the job. I used to like torrenting but I’ve been preferring streaming recently because I’m running out of space on my external hard-drive. Another way I watch my shows is also through live-streaming (this is mostly for Korean variety shows though), although those tend to be really laggy and I can’t rewind if that happens so it makes me really frustrated.

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Alright I think if you’ve made it this far in my entry then you deserve cute kitties for your effort.

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AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE KITTIES TOO BAD SUCKS TO BE YOU.

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2 Comments

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  1. Huiwen / Sep 16 2013 6:00 PM

    SAME HERE! These are pretty much the exact same benefits the Internet has provided me. Like the first point, university might’ve been unbearable if not for all the research we could find online! In fact, this semester all of my textbooks I got online, which is a pretty sweet deal considering how darn expensive they are at original retail price (not to mention expensive school fees)! And yes, online shopping *u* In retail stores, I usually feel too overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff that it slightly turns me off from browsing… something which online shopping has changed! and I love being able to circumvent the ridiculous crowds 🙂

  2. spacestruck / Sep 17 2013 1:39 AM

    I feel like Internet has gone from being a mere privilege to something that everyone needs. Having an Internet almost seems like a requirement, especially in our country, as almost everything requires it. Whether it’s uploading of assignments, accessing information via our lecturers, everything can now be done online.

    It’s so scary when you think about how dependent and reliant on the Internet we have become. I really wonder what will happen if one day, Earth loses all its electrical power, just like in the show ‘Revolution’. Will we be able to survive?

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