Understanding The Internet

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12 years ago all I used to do online were:

  1. Ensure my yahoo mail doesn't get full,
  2. CTRL + G people in Yahoo chat rooms,
  3. Send singing greeting cards,
  4. Read jokes online, and
  5. Play games on Miniclip
Now things are a lot different. I have my entire life typed out, videoed and photoed online. My online friends know me way better than my offline friends. Studying Electrical Electronics Engineering, being a computer geek and having an immersive online life has given me a deep understanding of the internet -- theory-wise and practical. And today I'm going to share the practical part.

image: drhurd.com

The internet is a like electricity. Electricity in itself is of little value and kills; but when you plug in your light bulbs, your treadmill, your 100" HDTV, your PS4, your fridge, your home stereo system and all your other beloved gizmos life becomes colourful and fun. Even businesses can't survive without electricity. Internet is suchlike and much more. It powers ideas, businesses, dreams, and is increasingly becoming as essential as being able to read/write. In the next generation, without the ability to use the internet one will be seen as an illiterate.

Forget about the cybercrime movies you watch. I fix viruses better than the most expensive antivirus software. Everything in the computer world is logical. Once you keep a cool head and pay attention to details, you'll be safer online than offline. There are no magicians online -- good or evil ones. The rules are simple, whatever you don't want to be linked to you don't post it at all. Don't even use an anonymous name. Anything that gets on the internet takes a life of its own; there's no (real) undo. The only way to secure your privacy is to travel back in time to the 20th century. In this century all the resumes you have emailed, the bank account opening forms you have filled and the details in your international passport are floating on the internet (closed or open). You don't even need to have a Facebook account or even touch a computer to lose your privacy. A bank account, an international passport and a telephone is all it takes to kill your privacy. What you should worry about is what shows up in Google when people search your name. Because potential business partners, recruiters and business clients are going to look you up on Google. And only one outcome is desirable -- you showing up in a positive attractive light. Not showing up at all is as terrible as showing up in a bad light.

The internet is growing at a fast rate. You are better off leveraging it than letting it become the reason you are denied an opportunity or you have a tough time connecting with your grandchildren. Most of us avoid staying too close to an elderly relative who is constantly interacting with his phone through you -- you load the recharge cards, you place the phone calls, you read the SMS, you unlock the phone and you help charge the phone. If we don't embrace the internet we will end up like that relative. 

The internet is a tool and it relies on your skill to serve you. Understand it and leverage it.


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