The way my mind recalls, is that I was fortunate enough to be granted access to the glorious Internet as soon as it was sweeping into the realms of the lower classes.
I was age 12 and given my first real taste of the W-Waves at a schoolfriends’ one Friday evening. That night my dad picked me up and I told him I’d been on the internet and it was amazing- the next day we went and bought a modem and he manually put it inside our second hand machine (Windows 95).
I think I recall it was a 56kb, decent for the time, when we still dealt with the screechy dial up ring tone. After about a minute you’d be connected to the world wide web (whilst sacrificing the luxury of your telephone land line, of course). And only after 6pm, because that’s when it was free, otherwise it was charged by the minute.
So I was fortunate enough to be provided with the beginning of a world of knowledge (and experience) at my finger tips. And I didn’t even have to leave the house- perfect for a shy, inconfident, youth.
But with the lack of confidence also came inquisitiveness and opinionatedness. Now I’m the first to admit a lot of my early online days were spent on game websites and chat rooms. But a lot was also spent creating personal pages and news/stories/videos (attempting) to upload, and eventually creating my own Web pages (maybe shockingly, basic HTML is the only other language I know).
And then suddenly in the next couple of years the Web exploded, and I’d gone from the only poor kid with Internet to most of the poor kids I knew having Internet too.
I pause as I write now.. write, type, tap. Whatever the motion is called now.. but my thumbs hover above the touch pad on my phone, with lingering thoughts of grey clouds rolling over the waves of the Web. Pondering on where the whole ‘Net Neutrality’ move is going to take us, tasting history happening before me.
If history happening makes sense, then stay with me. As we consider what access to specific websites based on who is able to pay the most tokens (£money).
Where is this new ruling going to leave the websites unable to fund their own running, or control high volumes of traffic, for example?
I don’t know. The whole thing seems a little whispery at the moment, like there isn’t an awful lot of information, but it also feels what is being distributed is going somewhat unnoticed?
Like I say, I’m not sure. All I know is, I feel at the end of the trickling of resources and funds, the ones going to be left thirsty and lagging are those without the funds. So it’s likely we’ll see a decrease in open information and the free sharing and access to such information. Which will coincidentally work well for the mega corporations, who’ll be able to afford to force on us even more influxes of shiny merchandise and things us sucker consumers may want to swap our hard earned tokens for. I withold the urge to ponder on the advantages for the Government with regards to this.
I’m of course still staying as positive and optimistic as possible.. so optimistic I’m putting some of my hopes on some revolutionary minded millionaire to fund the running of websites for opinions – come – uprisings.
Once again, unsure of the full implications that are yet to come of this, but the whole thing is certainly shadowy (shudder).