The Internet and Me

I love the Internet.

If the internet was a boyfriend, he would be the perfect one. He would give you anything you want; when you want it (I imagine this kind of internet is the fast kind). There would be no secrets between you; you can dictate the way he dresses, the way he talks, the way he acts. Best of all, he would assist you in everything. He can book your flights; keep your millions in check, and even save your favorite cartoons for you to watch.

For years, I have lived in this positive bubble, that the internet is my best friend and that anything in it was created for my entertainment and to make my life easier. Oh, I knew about the bad stuff; the pornography, illegal downloads, and privacy issues. But they were so far away from my own reality.

However; when THE Bill Gates admit these shortcomings himself, even I know my bubble must be popped, and pop it did.

In his essay, Shaping the Internet Age, Bill Gates outlines the challenges that the internet faces in order to move forward and be further accepted by people. He gave three challenges to be overcome for the further development of the internet: Protecting intellectual property, regulating global commerce, protecting individual privacy, and keeping the internet secure. These are all very sound, idealistic, even. Although I have no doubt that accomplishing these would certainly improve the internet, I would just like to add some of my own.

No freebies? No thanks!

Protecting intellectual property is really all well and good. Artists deserve their salaries, their creativity and talents should be rewarded. But one has to beg the question: Will the internet garner as much consumers as it does today when every downloadable thing has to be paid for?

Even now, many lament the loss of Limewire, as it has lost in court and will be soon shut down. What would happen when we lose torrents, or, god forbid, youtube? These all fall under the intellectual property category.

I know that a lot of website now ban stuff that does not have a proper license. I can honestly say that it did not bode well for them. Take for example; Mininova. Mininova is popular torrent, and one that was very popular with a lot of people that I know. Just recently, they began asking payments for their downloads, and as a result, all of my friends turned to Isohunt, Mininova’s rival torrent which STILL offers free downloads. This kind of reaction should be expected, and analyzed thoroughly.

Child Access

Governments and other committees are certainly to be commended on their actions towards protecting children from objectionable websites. The problem is, there are different forms of decency and propriety all over the world, or even, in different households.  What would be their future basis for censure?

I suppose they can allow the parents themselves to make that decision. But again, what is proper for one set of parents, may not be for another. One house may think that naked women are perfect models for anatomy, while another can think of it as forms of vulgarity.

One also has to ask if by censuring, do we also somehow withhold vital information?

There are many many more things to tackle, a lot more problems to handle regarding the internet. Heck, even its sub-problems have sub-problems.  The good thing about it though, is that we have excellent people manoeuvring the wheel. Bravo to Bill Gates for understanding the present and future problems that the internet will face instead of being close-minded about it. After all, being one of the people who would benefit the most in the integration of the internet in society, he could just turn a blind eye to all of these. Hopefully, with Bill Gates leading, the internet will continue to be our best friends.

I wonder if good ol’ Bill can kill my viruses, too?

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13 Responses to The Internet and Me

  1. Yes, the Internet is problematic but then again, these problems are worth facing. The Internet is a two-edge sword. Let’s just all be very careful in using it. 🙂

  2. Mina Loyola says:

    The Internet can still be your best friend. It’s far better than our old CAS library! A relationship with the Web, however, entails that we use it responsibly, we be wary of what information to share and with whom, and we install an strong antivirus to keep all malware and spamware out of our system. 🙂

  3. mavcastillo says:

    ” Will the internet garner as much consumers as it does today when every downloadable thing has to be paid for?”

    I’m thinking of the same thing!Much of the charm the internet has comes from the fact that you get a lot of stuff(i.e.information, free movie/music) and you get all those for free. Although, I agree that digital artists must be recognized for their works but I guess it will have to depend on respect and conscience for the meantime since rigid rules will only work when the Internet is already as indispensable as electricity. By then, everything will revolve around the internet and people will have no choice but to follow. It’s kinda scary though.

  4. kitsatwork says:

    Coming from a consumer’s (or downloader’s) point of view, the idea of paying for torrents is infuriating. But if you look at things from the profit-oriented producers’ perspective, torrents and piracy really are huge concerns. With torrents and piracy in the Internet, artists and producers are not compensated for the work they do. 😦

    • But on the other hand, artists who do not have the budget yet can post their work online and if they’re good, then they’ll start making money. Think Joseph Vincent (cover of Iyaz’s Replay), Charice (although she was popular in the Phils already), etc. And most artists and producers themselves post their videos online, to gain more popularity. Although it can not be denied, that if their work gain more downloads than buys, eventually they’ll die. 😐

      • The mainstream music and film industry will be the one most affected with the issue of torrents and privacy. Television shows will still be affected, there’s no denying that, but the power of advertisement money will help soften the blow. On the other hand, producers cannot rely on advertisement to pay the bills; heck, they even pay for advertisements! Of course, like I said earlier, this only applies to the mainstream industry. For the indie industry, however, this might be a good thing. Torrent sites can provide another way of disseminating their product into a broader audience, further reducing distribution costs for starving artists and filmmakers. The irony here is that torrent users are only interested in more mainstream music and films; the more obscure the artist/work, the less seeds it’s likely to have.

  5. KC says:

    Yo, eya! Your internet-boyfriend analysis really got me. It’s really fascinating that the internet gives you what you want when you want it, and you can control it and make him ‘compatible’ with you 🙂 However, the internet can also control you through the things ‘he’ shows you– he can dictate how you will act, he can show you the ‘ideal’ person you should be, he can offer you things you thought you need, but not really.

    In this kind of relationship, you should be the one in control 😉

  6. Eunice says:

    good one eya, 1st paragraph really gets me and you have good points , all relevant. I like how this reads like you, very quirky with punches here and there. would’ve loved it even more if you kept the boyfriend-internet thing going on.since the article is called “internet and me” i expected more personal accounts. the child access part feels a bit off, seems too serious, if you can stick to the “no freebies, no thank you” (i suggest you make that your title too)then incorporate the child access part na lang no need to separate them para mas swak!). as i said “good one” i know you can make this better!
    PS. i like how you refer bill gates as “ol bill” parang uncle mo lang ah.

  7. kimgiel says:

    It would take courage for someone to admit the weaknesses of his work. Maybe Bill Gates realized that sooner or later, people will be pointing out those flaws to him. By admitting the negative implications of the internet and warning us about those, he is seen as someone responsible for his invention and someone genuinely concerned about the welfare of those who will benefit from it (and I hope he really is).

  8. barrycade says:

    like most comments here, i can also say that your intro was good at keeping the readers hooked immediately; stories always fascinate us. i just thought you were referring to an assistant than a boyfriend. haha 😉

    i also don’t know if it’s a function of a poor title or bad decision on content, but there seems to be a disconnect between the title and the content of the post. i agree with Eunice; i was expecting more personal experiences in the discussion; something that shows how Internet is impacting your life—potential risks included.

    Glad that you raised the issue on freebies because that’s one of the reasons for Internet’s popularity and some businesses are quick to ride on that—with profit in mind–so they offer something free first and when you’re so at it, they’ll start charging. Good thing we have other choices.

    I’d also like you to use more concrete words than “excellent people maneuvering the Internet” or vague ones like “sub-problems.” Specify them and back them up with evidence or proof to substantiate your statements. A little proofreading before you hit the publish button would help, too.

  9. slightlydillydallying says:

    This post reminds me of a debate motion I proposed once. It goes, “This House Believes that internet censorship should be replaced by individual parental control.” Assuming but not conceding that internet censorship does a good job in filtering “malicious” information, it still impedes on an individual’s right to self-determination. This reminds me of the proposal devised by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to place an xxx extension for pornographic sites instead of a .com. Eventually, this idea was rejected because of the fear that all sites dealing with sexual matters (even those biologically and anatomically concerned) will be branded as “pornographic”–hence, harder to find.

  10. oddłużenie says:

    Thanks to my father who told me concerning this website,
    this website is genuinely awesome.

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