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General Ways to Use the InternetThe Internet has literally caused a rapid globalization explosion. We used to be concerned with what our neighbors were doing- with what we could see from the swing on our front porch. My grandparents spent most evenings, after dinner sitting on the front porch discussing the happenings of the neighborhood.
Now everyone jumps on the computer to see what is happening on the other side of the world. War news, cultural interests, shopping, chatting, gaming with partners in different parts of the world, you name it... the Internet provides it or can tell you about it.
Kids spent numerous hours on the computer. Parents need special software to limit the number of hours spent on websites for entertainment and chatting. Some software even tracks every keystroke that a kid makes. Fortunately, parents do have options to limit what their children are exposed to on the Internet. Children are often required to research on the Internet for school projects, so having control of their children's exposure is important.
Shopping has taken on a new magnitude. We are no longer limited to what we can find at the corner Wal-Mart or shopping mall. Clothes, furniture, groceries and even pizzas can be purchased on the Internet. Many have a passion for shopping online. Credit cards have been maxed out in plenty households.
Another form of shopping online is creating one more passion. Internet auctions are an intriguing past time for many who spend their Internet time on auction sites like Ebay bidding on items they may or may not need. Even classified ads from all over the United States and in some cases all over the world are accessible to everyone.
There is no better tool for research than the Internet. Various search engines search in different manners. Some sites give feedback from several search engines, other sites give only feedback from their search. Searches and research have an endless number of possibilities. There is nothing one can't find with a little creativity. Even information about yourself!
Genealogy has become a past time and passion for some people in search of their roots. Many people have purchased computers and become Internet savvy just to search their histories. Rather than settle for the family Bible's short three or four generation history, families are tracing their roots back fifteen to twenty generations. Amazing discoveries have happened, even recently with people digging into old family trees. We recently found out that one of our former presidents had a child out of wedlock and outside of his race! Such scandal!
More than just research and shopping, the Internet is used to connect people to the world. Chatting, instant messaging, message boards, etc... are allowing people to share a small piece of the world regardless of their physical location. We are getting to know people so removed from our worlds that we have no concept of how they live their lives. Children are hooking up with email pen pals from other continents to help them understand that children are children no matter what part of the world they live in.
Gaming has become an important part of the Internet as well. Many chess, poker and checkers games are going on worldwide right now- with partners on each corner of the globe.
No matter how we look at it, the Internet is an incredibly useful tool, not only in our day to day lives, but nationally, politically, even globally.