Defining reality through the Web

24 04 2009

We get our news online, watch movie trailers — and entire movies for that matter, shop, download music, send and receive e-mails, do research, find that recipe for chicken castellina — virtually every aspect of or lives can be found on the Web. This brings up and interesting question: what about the things that aren’t online?

According to Tim Berners-Lee in his book, “Weaving the Web,” he states that “If it isn’t on the Web, it doesn’t exist.”

Is that really true? Well first of all, I had to try to think of something that can’t be found online — even my dad was appalled to find that he had a virtual footprint. And then it hit me: I can’t.

Now I’m not being completely naive by making that statement. I know that if I sat here long enough, I could probably think of a bunch of things that aren’t online — but who has time for that? However, having said that, almost everything in my sphere of being, everything that I need and usually want to access, is online. And yes, it would be nice if I could find those pesky family history records dating earlier that 1803, but I can’t really blame the Web for the fire that cleaned out all the records, can I?

The Internet is a wonderful tool for making even the most obscure information accessible, whether you’re stumbling upon random Web sites or looking for an inspirational essay from the Spanish American War. Sometimes it is not covered in great depth, but it is usually there none the less.

But when it is not available, for small town, insanely busy college students like myself, if it can’t be found on Google, it isn’t that important.

So I guess that makes Tim Berners-Lee right; If it’s not online it doesn’t exist — for me anyway.

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