Net Is a Waste

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In the essay “The Net Is a Waste of Time” by William Gibson, he talks about how he is an “avid browser of the World Wide Web.” While people find this to be odd and his wife finds it positively perverse, Gibson thinks differently saying “I, however, scent big changes afoot, possibilities that were never quite as manifest in earlier incarnations of the Net” (Gibson 691). While some people think he is wasting his time with the web, he believes it will be the tool of the future. Even though the internet has greatly changed since Gibson wrote this essay, I believe that the internet will continue to grow, and will become a bigger part of our everyday lives. When Gibson wrote this essay in 1996 the web was new, and there is about a TV in every home now. Where he grew up down south, leisure activities included sitting on screened porches, smoking cigarettes, drinking iced tea, engaging in conversation, just staring into space, and fishing. What has leisure time become into now? Gibson has a conversation with his wife trying to convince her how great the web is but she isn’t moved at all. Sometimes the web does remind me of fishing. It never reminds me of conversation, although it can feel a lot like staring into space. “Surfing the web” (as dubious as “the information highway”) is, as a friend of mine has it, “like reading magazines with the pages stuck together.” My wife shakes her head in dismay as I patiently await the downloading of some Japanese Beatles fan’s personal catalogue of bootlegs. “But it’s from Japan!” She isn’t moved. She goes out to enjoy the flowers in her garden. (Gibson 692) Some things don’t change while people today still download bootlegged music and movies, but today’s internet reminds me of conversation. You can now chat online with friends using Skype, Facebook, and Windows Live. Even business men use the internet to join in business meetings that take place half way across the world. Gibson is just doing mindless surfing and exploring on...
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