Essentially the mission of OneWebDay is to create, maintain, advance, and promote a global day to celebrate online life. The idea was created by Susan Crawford and the name suggested by David Weinberger.
So in the spirit of OneWebDay, how has the internet affected my life?
Firstly it’s given me RSI! Hours spent on the computer either surfing the web or creating websites has meant that I suffer from repetitive strain injury. Sometimes it gets to the point where I can no longer lift a kettle to make a cup of coffee which leads me nicely onto my second point.
The internet has made be a caffeine addict. I drink several pints of coffee a day. To quote Wikipedia
An acute overdose of caffeine, usually in excess of 250 milligrams (more than 2-3 cups of brewed coffee), can result in a state of central nervous system overstimulation called caffeine intoxication. The symptoms of caffeine intoxication may include restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushing of the face, increased urination, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, a rambling flow of thought and speech, irregular or rapid heart beat, and psychomotor agitation.
Well that’s me screwed then.
What else has it given me? I first started using the internet sometime around the mid 90’s. I was running the business with Bill and we hooked up a 28.8 modem in the office and set up an AOL account. The idea being that we would look more professional with a website and email address. The only problem being that I became rapidly addicted to chatrooms and spent most of my time in The Best Lil Chathouse chatting to folks in America called Errol Flynn, DJ Devil, TexaSassy and such like. I also discovered online poker for the first time.
However, out of all of that came an interest in computers, the internet and website design. I knocked up a couple of sites for the business and started to learn how to use HTML. This learning process was to prove invaluable when the business went belly up (probably as a result of me playing online poker all the time) as I was then able to blag myself a job at a large company in their web development team. Out of that came my own freelance work and I’ve managed to make a reasonable living from web design work ever since.
The world wide web has earned me money indirectly too. Some of the acting work I’ve done over the last few years has been for web based projects. Without the ease of online publication, these projects might never have happened. The web has revolutionised the way that film makers and musicians do business. Without MySpace the likes of The Arctic Monkeys or Lily Allen would not be around.
Hmmm…maybe it’s not such a good thing after all.
Putting making money online to one side for a moment, the internet has unquestionably changed my life in other ways. I love reading books and have a fair collection including numerous reference books for my various projects but I now use the internet almost exclusively as my reference tool. It’s quick. It’s immediate. It’s always in the last place you left it. Sure some of the information out there is duff and out of date but once you find sites that you can trust the authenticity of information, why bother leafing through a dusty old book when within a couple of clicks you have the information in front of you?
What else have the Romans done for us? The internet has given us fantastic communication tools. Email. IM. Blogging. Let’s not forget about Skype
So apart from the RSI, caffeine addition and ruining my first business, the internet has had a positive effect on my life. I can’t imagine the world without it. Take away my email and you might as well take away my testicles.