Tuesday, October 15, 2013

How Reliable Is The Internet?

There are some people who think technology and the Internet are the best inventions since Swiss Cheese; which is a good comparison if you like Swiss Cheese, but then again Swiss Cheese is full of holes. I'm all for progress and improvement but sometimes I wonder how far is too far. Technology is a growing concept with a lot of great things going for it; research, inventions, progress, and sometimes making life easier. Then again ... sometimes it makes me want to beat my head against the wall (or at least my computer screen).

I've known some people who have taken the Internet way too seriously and believed in absolutely everything it says. I've heard of people not going to the doctor because they self-diagnosed themselves through Web MD (often times incorrectly because while they did have certain similar symptoms their cause turned out to be something entirely different). Although I once got a 2nd degree steam burn on my wrist on Christmas Eve and was able to give myself some immediate attention because of the Internet.

Just about any time I use Map Quest it either gives me incorrect directions to my destination or takes me in such a roundabout way I may as well add an extra 30 minutes to my travel time. Just ask my family about the time we drove 4 hours to meet some friends at a brand new Cheesecake Factory in Dayton, Ohio and ended up in downtown Dayton at a field. We were definitely on the right street, but definitely no Cheesecake Factory. It finally took a mailman who knew the area to give us reliable directions to the new outdoor mall a few exits further down the freeway. Fortunately our friends were still waiting for us.

There's a certain State Farm Insurance commercial that I've seen on TV where the young lady insists the scraggly looking guy with the polo shirt and fanny pack is a French model only because 'she saw it on the Internet so it must be true'. It's a funny commercial but also makes a great point. That perhaps people should learn to better use the tools the Internet has to offer, rather than become dependent on them. And certainly to realize that behind every computer screen there was a real live human being entering in the initial information. Guess what? Last time I checked humans still make mistakes and that's o.k., but for some reason there's a part of us that still expects a man made machine to somehow be perfect and flawless. Imagine that.

So ... how reliable do you think the Internet is?

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