Before the day of computers and the Internet, in school we used to have pen-pals! We had no idea who we were writing to, except for a name and where they lived. Our teachers encouraged us to write to these 'unknown' friends in other countries and told us it was good to make friends around the world. But if you changed schools, you lost your pen-pal forever...
When Myspace made it's big debut, everyone was free to add anyone and everyone they stumbled on, (whether they approved you or not was in their hands) whether you found them because you had things in common with them, mutual friends or because they liked a band; we were free to chat with celebrities and musicians or at least leave a little message letting them know how we admire their work.
We started opening up communication between people around the globe, becoming friends with some people we would have never met otherwise; but found out through it all, we may have really found a 'friend' we could admire and trust. I have a good friend that met her now husband on Myspace and they are madly in love, years later. They now have their first child and are in pure bliss.
Then came facebook, where the information was limited and so are your 'add' options. Sure, you can request someone to become your friend, but if they deny you facebook wants to know why... God forbid they happen to click that they don't know you because then your account gets suspended from being able to add friends because 'they' heard you've been going around sending random requests to people you don't know! Heaven forbid you should make a new friend!!! In spite of their demanding 'we' don't add people we don't personally know, many have continued to accept friend requests based solely on gut instincts, mutual friendships or what have you.
In the meantime, here comes twitter... as impersonal as a message can get in 140 characters or less! The hype is big on twitter however because 'we' are free to say what we want, whether anyone is listening or not! We're free to 'follow' whomever we choose and low and behold, celebs actually reply back sometimes! A barrier broken!! In the past, you'd search high and low in teen mags to try and find the 'fan' mail address to your favorite band just to say 'hey I really like your music' and know deep down that they'd never see your message... and maybe never know how their music impacted your life.
In spite of it all, 'we' have found our way to another level of communicating with people all around world. The old fashioned 'pen-pal' has evolved to a whole other level, much to my delight. Through Google+, youtube, facebook, Myspace, twitter, and amongst countless blogs and websites that 'allow' us to comment on articles and news reports; our voices are now being heard, our opinions are making the news and now, WE are the news!
Let's not forget about the infamous dating sites... some have brought many couples together that chances are would have never found each other without the Internet. I can only imagine how many happily married couples would still be single if it were not for our beloved Internet. Christian Mingle has many couples featured on their facebook page, showing that their site works in bringing the singles together and helping create marriages based on a mutual love for Christ, mutual interests and more. Other dating sites claim the same, however I have not seen near as many couples brought together as on Christian Mingle. Maybe their numbers are there, but it's not as widely known if you ask me. Maybe it's because some sites are for people just looking for a date, whereas most on Chrisitan Mingle are looking for their soul mate, to marry.
Now I've heard that the good ol' government is trying to limit our Internet use, stop us from communicating and stop the new friendships we have so lovingly formed. I have friends in Russia, India, Australia, China, Singapore, Bhutan and many more countries and countless states across the US thanks to the Internet. Of course I could live without those friends, but why in the world would I ever want to? Friends are priceless! A good friend, is someone you can be yourself with, open up to and share your desires and fears with... someone who will encourage you, comfort you, brighten your day and sometimes may even save your life. I have friends all around the world that share in the message of peace, love, unity and a love for God. I have a friend / acquaintance that I made online playing a video game, he's about 15 years old and lives in Iraq... he told me that when he goes to school he has to be very careful because explosions are going off all around and one time they hit his school causing him to have severe burns on his arms. He's praying that he'll live long enough to move to the US so that he doesn't have to live like that anymore. I prayed for him too...
Then there's the advertising that small businesses were never able to afford until they were afforded the option of placing pay per click ads on Google and other sites. Had it not been for the online business, some may have never made it past their first year! Online ads are easy, affordable and help a business to be seen by their target audience, no matter where in the world it may be.
I have a good friend that I feel I was meant to be friends with and he feels the same. He's a Buddhist Monk who lives in Bhutan! I love to meditate, pray and do yoga and have often considered heading to some far off place to study and train to become more enlightened... thanks to our finding each other online, I don't have to venture alone. He's building a new temple and I'm planning a visit soon, so that I too can pray and meditate in some of the oldest temples in the world. I'm also very proud and honored that I'm contributing to the financial costs involved in the building of the temple. Our dollar may be considered weak here, but there $100 is equivalent to about $7,000 in the US! How many times in our lives can we say we helped build a Buddhist monastery temple that will help thousands of people? Or that we helped feed hundreds of people by donating a mere $20 a month?
Also online, I found a non-profit organization that can purchase an acre of the rain forest for a mere donation of $15 per acre! And not only do they purchase it, they protect it FOREVER. I've signed petitions against our rain forests being demolished and entire villages being deemed homeless because of a big corporation building a solar panel factory... Does that make any sense at all? We have thousands upon thousands of acres of wide open space in the DESERT, with sunshine beaming all day long... why on earth would you want to hurt mother nature and destroy the forest to create energy? Maybe to some people it makes sense, but to me it's senseless destruction of the very resources that are helping our planet live. Thanks to the Internet however, I was able to do my part and 'sign' the petition to help the villagers and the rain forest.
So, in essence, I guess the main point of my highlighting so many things that the Internet has managed to do 'for us' is to bring attention to just a few of the joys and delight that the Internet has achieved. Thanks to the Internet people have found their soul mates, their wives, husbands, adopted pets, made donations to help feed the hungry and homeless, make friends around the world and have someone to visit when we go on vacation to a foreign land.
I mean, can you imagine trying to go on vacation to a remote land where almost no one speaks English? I've seen the movies, the 'digital translators' and books don't help much! I also have great new friends in Australia that I plan on visiting, to enjoy the beautiful beaches, go hiking in a forest filled with trees and purple flowers for ground cover... (see pic above!) without making those friends, I'd probably never make it to Australia or Bhutan! Let alone would I even have the desire to go? Without the personal information that only a native can relay, how would I have ever known it was soooo beautiful or worth the trip? Sure, some may say 'go to a travel agent' or Google it, but in this case, I'd rather go straight to someone who KNOWS! Besides, the last travel agent I had, booked me a trip to Kauai and then she moved... when it came time to take my trip, my flight had been cancelled and I had to re-book everything on my own anyway! Nothing against travel agents, but honestly, had I known that was going to happen, I would've just booked it on my own to begin with!
Those who want to adopt are able to research the criteria needed, find countless resources and support groups as well as browse children available for adoption! They're able to read a little bit about them and see if the child might be a fit for their growing family.
With the Internet, our ability to locate the truth of what's going on in the world has greatly expanded. The idea of writing some random pen-pal stranger in China or Egypt is no longer a guessing game! We can see their pictures, see who their friends are and their likes and dislikes... and with the power of IM or email, we're able to chat instantly, no waiting for weeks upon weeks with no idea if they even got our letter.
I know there are those that are saying 'yeah but... you don't know if that's really them or if they're lying to you' to those people I say, you need to get your instincts in check and do some praying and meditating! IF you pray and meditate (check some of my other blogs, please!) you actually can have the ability to 'see' your friend, in real time. IF you do it often enough and enhance your abilities you could actually see what someone is doing at almost any given moment and even ask them 'are you wearing a blue shirt?' or 'is your desk a mess, a bunch of books and papers all over it' only to have them reply 'yes, how did you know?' It works, believe me... I've done it many times! It's a gift we all have, it's just a matter of using it. Also, for those that say they believe in God, then you should know that God would not put you in any situation that you aren't meant to be in... 'yeah but' NO buts! If you believe, then you should not doubt! One ounce of doubt can land you right in the hands of your biggest nightmare. Have faith and trust in God and He won't steer you wrong.
For those unaware of what I'm referring to when I say the gov is trying to take away our Internet, do some research and get involved... unless you don't like having all this information at your fingertips? :) The media is controlled by those we call the 'elite' and their biggest desire is to keep us in the dark, keep us in fear of the 'unknown' and in fear of those in other countries... to keep us separated and keep us from knowing that deep down, most of us all want the same thing, to be loved, to have peace in the world and share in the knowing-ness that we are all the same...
Love & Light,
*If you are able to make any donations, large or small, the Monastery in Bhutan is in great need! Please visit: Lhodrak Kharchu Monastery for details and information about how your help is appreciated and greatly needed!!!
Link to donations page: Donation Methods - Lhodrak Kharchu Monastery
Thank you & God Bless!!!