Unlike some of my friends, I grew up with no internet access, while they were turning to Google to do research for school I had to mosey on down to the local library where I had to rely on outdated books and encyclopaedias for the information I needed.
Even with limited knowledge of the Internet I decided to pursue a career as a Graphic Web Designer, at the time not really knowing what it was. After completing one year in college I started working as a Graphic Designer in a local Advertising Agency. I will never forget, my first task was to design a business card for a local business, while the task was simple it felt like I was asked to build a bridge. My employer encouraged me to use the internet for help, after seeing that first results page I was hooked. I quickly found all the business card related information I needed, from sizes to best practice, and more.
At the age of 21 I decided it was time to get my own internet line at home and once I started surfing I could not stop and quickly found myself going down the rabbit whole. While I spent countless hours using the internet to further improve on my programming and design skills, I also started learning more about topics that had nothing to do with my career.
In the past, I’ve used Google to teach myself how to cut my own hair, make pasta from scratch, learn video editing programs, and how to change a flat tyre. Google has taught me more about the influence wars have on countries, how drugs are used to suppress hunger in poverty stricken countries and even how and that telepathy is already possible in some form. The knowledge and information I’ve gained from Google has opened my mind and widened my playing field so much that it is almost impossible to truly explain.
Now while I can spend hours explaining the benefits of Google and the internet I cannot and will not deny that along with all its greatness come a lot of downfalls. It is true the internet is filled with pornography, cyber-crime, violence, bullying and utter filth, but should this stop us from still using it or encouraging our children to use it?
We all know and understand the true dangers of driving a car (especially in Namibia); however, every morning hundreds of people get behind the wheel. As parents, we encourage of children from a young age to take an interest in and learn how to drive – why, because we care enough to know that we cannot stop them from driving, but we can give them the skills and knowledge to be safe and keep the safety of others at heart.
So logically speaking if we know how dangerous the internet could be, should we not take the same approach and rather give our young ones the tools and knowledge to stay safe online?
Another aspect we could use to argue against the use of the internet is online bullying – this is a problem that occurs on a daily basis, but what about real-life bullying. I was bullied at school for a range of reasons and my parents never stopped me from going back to school, they rather sat me down and taught me how to handle and deal with bullying. If a child does complain about online bullying, would it not be wise to rather teach the child how to deal with and handle the bullying rather than denying them access?
So many people are so use to obtaining new information via stagnate mediums such as books, lecturers, seminar’s, etc. that they forget about the amazing interactive medium that is the internet. Learning science no longer has to be boring and tedious it can be entertaining and interactive. Exploring the world no longer has to cost you thousands you can do it on any day with the entire family.
What I would like you to take away from this article is the possibilities that lies within the internet and Google and encourage you to challenge yourself to reach new heights. If you don’t know how to do something and always wanted to know how, believe me Google has the answers – all you need to do is ask.
Here are a couple of things I found online, which I feel is rather interesting, that could kick start your internet exploring adventure: -
There are so many YouTube Channels and websites online today dedicated to teaching science, below are a couple of portals I follow the most:
There are thousands of documentaries available online today and many of them can be found on YouTube, below are a couple that really opened my eyes and mind to the world. Some might not be for sensitive viewers.
Here are a couple of very random sites that I found interesting throughout the years.