I can’t believe that one day my kids will say, “Did you know mom was alive before the internet existed?” I can only imagine the hushed shock and dismay as my future children wonder how I ever survived without the internet. And to be honest, I am not sure how I ever survived without the internet. Even though the world wide web is a mainstay in almost every household, there are a few rules/tips to stand by to make the experience enjoyable and painless.
- Become an online shopper. Online shopping has never been easier. You can buy anything from toilet paper, groceries and designer clothes. You can even find cheap online car insurance quotes from the privacy of your own home. Long gone are the days when you were bound by a store’s opening hours. You can get online car insurance quotes 24 hours a day. Plus, by getting online quotes you can compare prices easier than ever before.
- Staying in touch. The internet has united and reunited many friends. Social networks like Facebook can keep childhood friends in touch. Many friendships and relationships have been rekindled by the site. Besides, it is much easier to keep in touch with so many people through the internet than by phoning.
- Finding information at your fingertips. I find myself on a daily basis saying, “Google it.” Meaning, let’s just use the Google search engine to find out something we are talking about. Readily available information has settled many arguments and made school work (and paper writing) significantly more efficient.
- Beware of scams. Unfortunately, with the good comes the bad. The internet has made it easier for scammers to take advantage of unassuming victims. Take this one for example: you get a Facebook message from a friend saying they are stuck in a foreign country without any money. Do you think you could wire them some? or my personal favorite: you have won the international Nigerian lottery! If you send me a $5,000 advance and I will send you $1 million. Sadly, many people are fouled up by scams every year. Never, I mean NEVER, send money to someone you do not know. And be cautious when an email requests your credit card, social security or pin numbers.
- Reduced communication. While social networking sites have made it easy to keep in touch, many people argue that it has diminished our society’s (mostly the youth’s) ability to communicate effectively in person. Online relationships and conversations are very different than in person.
- Check your sources. The internet makes it easy for falsified information to make it mainstream. Students often fall into this trap when they quote or use Wikipedia as a source in a paper. (Note: Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, regardless if the know anything about the subject.) When quoting or reading an article, make sure to check the source before using it. Is the site well-known? Is it reliable? If not, you risk looking like a fool. Another example is when shopping for online car insurance quotes. Make sure that the site is reliable.