I admit that I was initially stumped for ideas when thinking about my ‘I’ post for the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge, but then it hit me …
I is for … INTERNET
How did I not think of it before? I know why … it’s because the internet is now something that we take for granted. We get up, turn the computer on (that is if we actually bothered to turn it off), and log on. Then check emails, Facebook, Twitter, blog posts and maybe a few websites while we’re at it … well, that’s me anyway.
But seriously, can any of us imagine what life would be like without the internet? I’m sure having difficulty doing so.
I’m not a person that needs the latest tech-toys – I don’t have a iPhone or Smartphone even, but as I’m addicted to the internet (yes, I admit it), not having one gives me at a forced break away from the net. But I admit, that when I went on the 1st Unlock the Past History & Genealogy Cruise back in March 2011, it was a tough 8 days, having limited internet access.
I’m sure a number of the older generation would say that life without the internet would (or could) be a good thing. And no doubt in some respects they’re right. But to be able to correspond with people quickly, to send photos and videos, to check the latest world happenings … it wouldn’t happen without the internet.
And without the internet I wouldn’t hear the common quote of ‘I’ll just look that up’ which Mr Lonetester is famous for. This could be anything from checking an email address, to who was in that movie we saw last week, to some programming query – or any of the
numerous never-ending other things we look at.
Now when it comes to genealogy and the internet, there is no doubt that the interest in genealogy has grown as a result of it – together with the records that are online. And I can imagine that ‘doing it the old fashioned way’ would be offputting for many. If you had to contact a genealogy society in Germany or France, and write them a letter asking if they had any records relating to your great great grandpa – would you know how to go about it? I’m guessing many of us wouldn’t.
Instead we have the internet, and we use Google and Cyndi’s List to find places online, to then send off an email, or check indexes that are online. If we’re lucky enough there might even be some original images of documents online. [Note to self – need to check FamilySearch again!]
While the internet has its good sides, it also means that there is a bad side. And that is the amount of ‘false data’, or unverified data that is online, that then gets copied and replicated, as well as the amount of copying without request (which really amounts to stealing). But I won’t go into this further here – as it really requires a whole post.
But who doesn’t love having a day or weekend off, and being able to sit at home in your trakkies and research online? While it doesn’t replace going to the archives, it sure does make a lot of the researching a whole lot easier.
And the internet has allowed me to gain so many wonderful online friends through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ (though I’m still a newbie there), and the geneablogger scene. So for me … I … is for the INTERNET, and as well, I must say that I find my genie friends to be such a source of INSPIRATION.