Those were the words of one of my dinner companions tonight, a good friend I have known for 37 years.
We actually met in a Lamaze class in 1982 when our spouses were pregnant with our first child, and from that humble beginning, a close, long-lasting relationship was formed.
The World Wide Web wasn’t created until 1990, so we knew each other before the internet was really a thing.
The world is certainly a different place today than it was 30-plus years ago, in no small part because of the Internet.
Trying to imagine the world without the internet is nearly impossible to do as a thought experiment since it has become such an entrenched part of our personal and business lives. We take it for granted. And who knows what life would be like today without it.
Yes, I’ll admit that the Internet has created its own unique set of problems – security issues, privacy issues, internet addiction, cat videos, and an always available attitude towards work, to name just a few.
But at the same time, it’s created a wealth of opportunities that would likely never have happened, or certainly not at the speed that such opportunities happen today.
Here are some amazing things I can do because of the Internet, that likely would not be possible without the internet:
- look up anything of interest and get an answer in less than a second
- real-time traffic directions, spoken to me through my car’s speakers
- re-establish connections with long-lost friends and relatives
- share this blog with people from around the globe
- take an online course, and get real-time feedback
- listen to virtually any song I want, when I want
- choose from millions of books and start reading the one you want in less than a minute (and walk around with thousands of books on a device that weighs less than one pound)
I’m sure I could come up with hundreds of more examples of how my life has benefitted from the internet.
Of course, if the internet had never been invented, I would never have been aware of such possibilities, and I’m sure my life would have been just fine.
All things considered though, I’m thrilled that the internet exists.
But despite all the wonderful opportunities the Internet offers, it will never replace the simple joy of having dinner with friends.