My son and I use the Internet on a daily basis. We live in the country so to have it helps us to stay connected. It would be a whole different world without it. I can’t imagine having to go to the library every time I need to take care of some work for school. Miles, my son, uses it mostly for entertainment and social interaction at this point in his life. I do encourage using it as a learning tool but, it is really all about fun these days. As for me, I didn’t start using a computer until about two years ago. I know….Crazy!! I use the Internet for learning in school, communicating, and some social interaction. Also to learn about: astrology, cooking, nature, gardening, photography, and whatever else I can think of. I was first exposed to the Internet while job hunting. It was through friends and family. I guess the first step was creating an e-mail account and that gave me reason to keep going back to it. Now I mainly use it for school and I sure am learning a lot.
I called upon my Mom, who is 67, for this comparison and wasn’t really surprised to hear that she still uses the Internet for certain things like e-mail, communicating with friends, Facebook, and for further exploration of things that she has seen on T.V. She did say that is not a part of her everyday life at least not since her retirement last year. Right now she might get on about three days a week for maybe 5-6 hours at a time and do everything she needs to in that period. She was introduced to the Internet about 20 years ago through her work in a Columbus law firm and found it easy to learn and explore. She did mention she loves Netflix.
Between the three of us there are more similarities than there are differences. I feel there is a divide, in general, to be found but as time goes by that divide will become smaller as the Internet finds more and more users each day. The generation gap is shrinking and eventually, I’m guessing, everyone will become Internet users in one way or another. The social effects when multiplied across the large scale of society are hard to predict. As with everything there is good and bad, I feel people still need to get out and enjoy the things that are right in front of them. Therefore, I am not a fan of people hiding away in their caves addicted to the Internet. On a positive note, it is a great learning tool and if used correctly can be very socially beneficial.
In conclusion, my prediction is that in less than twenty years there will be no divide and no noticeable differences from generation to generation as far as Internet use is concerned.