The invention of the Internet has arguably removed the barriers to knowledge. Nowadays, there is little to no excuse for not knowing. Once you have the desire to improve your current situation or simply learn about a particular subject, in your right frame of mind, and not physically impaired to the point where you can’t move, there is literally no real excuse.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why:
Bringing the world closer together
The internet has annihilated time and distance. People can easily connect and communicate with other humans nearby and in remote parts of the world instantly through various internet-based technologies. Social media platforms allow people to interact in a global online community and learn about way of life in other parts of the world. In addition, business-minded people can learn about other cultures and can market different products and services that are relevant to individual segments of society.
The ability to learn new skills
YouTube alone has free tutorials on a vast number of subject areas, from simple stuff such as how to write a letter to more technical matters like learning to code. There are also plenty of e-learning platforms, some offering free courses, which can teach you to do anything you might be interested in learning about. Whether you want to start a career in electronics, home improvement, or auto repair, or want to improve your knowledge in a field you are already in, the internet has made it easier than ever. What’s more, learning material is available in various languages and created by people from all ends of the globe, so it doesn’t matter what language you speak.
Concerned about an aspect of your health? It’s always advisable to seek professional help. However, the internet also has numerous online resources such as WebMD, which can be useful in providing health-improvement and prevention guidelines. You can learn other helpful ways of self-improvement, including how to improve your memory, fashion advice, personal style and grooming, relationship advice, exercises to lose weight and get fit, and even finer skills such as social etiquette.
Personally, I use the internet all the time for a variety of things. YouTube is among my favorite sites where I have learned how to assemble different items for which the instructions seem too complicated. The list is endless.
Leveling the playing field
Of course, internet access is not the same everywhere. Recent statistics show that over 4.1 billion people, or more than half the world’s population, have access to the internet. And access is rapidly improving, plus the infrastructure keeps getting better, particularly in the area of mobile devices. Today, communication among people keeps increasing through the proliferation of smartphones. These devices contain technology that is far more powerful than computers that used to take up an entire room a few decades ago, but can now be carried around in one’s pocket.
With this increasing access, the playing field is being leveled, so, for the majority, there is less and less excuse for not knowing.
People who live in the United States of America and other industrialized countries are among the most advantaged. Data from Statista shows that Americans accounted for over 312 million internet users in 2018, making it one of the largest online markets in the world. In addition, the U.S. ranks pretty highly on the Internet Freedom index. With all that said, Americans, for the most part, have little to no excuse for lacking in knowledge that could help them become successful. The only real excuses, in my opinion, are where issues of mental health and physical ailments are concerned. I say this because I have benefitted tremendously from information provided online. I can personally attest to the fact that almost any public library you can think of in America provides access to countless numbers of books and computers.
How I used the internet to improve myself
I am excited about and highly appreciative of the invention of the internet due to the fact that I like to learn about new and interesting things. When I wanted to improve my math skills during college, I was able to watch free algebra tutorials on YouTube. Currently, I am learning another language through Skype which, while not for free, is quite affordable.
Some time ago, I came across an article online about memory training, which featured a man by the name of Ron White. I learned that Ron White is one of the top memory champions in the world and he is also a two-time national champion, having won the USA Memory Championships in 2009 and 2010. Long story short, I watched his videos and ordered his course. I used a fraction of what was taught and was amazed by the results. At the time, I didn’t even know that things like memory training existed before coming across it online.
The power of the internet
Like many people, I am super grateful for the internet. But I have come to believe that it is a powerful tool that has to be used responsibly, in a similar fashion to technologies such as electricity or nuclear power. What one does with these types of technologies is the crux of the matter. For instance, electricity can be used for a variety of purposes, such as cooking, heating your home, and running your electronics. However, electricity can be extremely harmful if used irresponsibly. Similarly, nuclear power can be used to power an entire city but can also be used for bombing and killing many people with a single delivery.
In the case of the internet, people can use it to learn almost anything but many choose to use it for counter-productive activities such as trolling, spreading misinformation, and excessive entertainment. Finding entertainment on the internet is great, by the way, but many people only use it for that aspect, even becoming addicted to some content, which is unhealthy.
The online world is available to most people in an instant. What excites me the most is that a lot of the information is freely available. Some of the content is so good, I often wonder why it is free. At the same time, I will hasten to add that there is also useless and misleading content available online, so one has to be vigilant and fact-check when there are doubts. However, the useful content far outweighs the bad and there are many ways to cross check and verify the information you come across. In light of all this, I believe there should be less excuses where knowledge is concerned. I rarely watch the news but I often hear people complaining about their circumstances, leaving me to think to myself that many of them are not making use of the internet’s power. As far as I am concerned, a lot of people can change their current situations by simply changing their thinking and attitude to learning. If more people commit to learning a skill online and indulge in tutorials on how to create things, life will change positively for many of them. Quit making excuses. The whole world is available to you online.