If you had to describe the internet to someone who has never heard of it and has never imagined that there could be anything like it, what would you say?
I thought about this for a while. And then I came up with a nice metaphor.
The internet is a town.
People venture to this town from all over the world. Some, just for a few moments. Others, however, stay in this town for years at a time.
This town can only be seen through special glasses. When you first arrive, a pair comes complimentary. It’s called Internet Explorer. But as you go along you will realize that it’s not sufficient, so you ask someone or go to a website to find a better one. E.g. Firefox or Opera.
You must pay monthly for a means of transportation. The company you seek out will affect the speed of your transportation. If you get AOL, you’ll have to pay about $25 a month for a snail to take you places. If you get Comcast, you’ll have to pay maybe $40 a month and ride a Mustang, but you run the risk of your horse getting tired. A LOT.
In this city, there’s many things you can do. You can watch short clips at youtube, hulu, or vimeo. You can listen to music that people post there. You can talk to people through special programs that will allow you to connect to them. You can go to certain websites, register for free, add people as “friends” and proceed to stalk them effortlessly.
You can play games with people. You can play games with yourself.
People go and share their ideas all over the town. Some get feedback. Some don’t.
It’s all good ‘n’ fun.
Until you go to one of “those” places.
People will try to attack you. People will try to mind-control you. They will try to go and steal your personal information. Make you their own. They will put parasites in you. They will throw fatty food in your direction so you get fat and get slooooooooooooooooooooooooow.
But hey, if you’re responsible and use the internet like you should, there should be no problems.
That is the internet.
Sounds like something from the future, doesn’t it?