What is the Internet?

What is the Internet? Are there more than one Internets? I saw the following brief description on my church’s website:

The Internet can be a wonderful tool and resource for information, but caution must be exercised in order to protect families and individuals from the potential dangers that are present online. Church leaders repeatedly counsel members to avoid Internet pornography, gambling, and other evils that are available on the Web. The Church also provides links to many resources to help individuals and families use the Internet safely and wisely.

Source: “Internet”, LDS.org Gospel Library (emphasis mine)

Yesterday, I saw the following article on About.com, which made an observation I had never considered before:

The headlines and statistics about Internet predators can be unnerving. It’s difficult enough being a parent without worrying about Internet safety as well. Luckily, parenting a child online is not so different from parenting a child in the “real world.” The key is to remember that the Internet is a lot more like the real world than like television, to which it is so often compared.

Source: “Parent’s Guide to Internet Safety: Going Beyond Filter Software to Remain Safe Online”, About.com Family Computing (emphasis mine)

What is the Internet for you? For me, the Internet is many things:

  • Source of periodical news
  • Essential tool for my career
  • Educational authority for many topics
  • Means to communicate with family and friends
  • A platform for creativity, much like an easel or drawing pad

I hope that we can all learn to use the Internet wisely, avoiding the dark corners and staying in the light.

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