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We Owe a Debt of Gratitude to the Net and Its Tycoons


“…I thank the net for what it made possible. I thank the people who had the vision to see what it could do and made it work for us in a time of crisis. I am eager to see what we can do next.”

This from veteran blogger and journalism professor, Jeff Jarvis, this morning on just how much the Internet did for us during the pandemic.

As Jarvis points out, we’re all quick to jump on the evils of Facebook and Zuckerberg, Bezos and Amazon, Google and Apple, for any number of reasons. Lawyers included.

We have a lot of otherwise sane people not using Internet services claiming that they’re to evil and are not respecting our rights..

But man, where would we have been, personally, as a country and a world without the Internet the last year?

Here’s just some of the things I pulled from Jarvis.

  • Millions of people kept their jobs who would have gone unemployed – including tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of legal professionals.
  • Parents worked from home and cared for their kids at the same time.
  • Students went to school – from home – grade school, high school, college and law school students.
  • Families and friends connected – and “saw”each other.
  • Doctors and scientists collaborating, worldwide, moved cures, treatment and vaccines forward.
  • Vaccination campaigns could be coordinated by websites, Twitter and Facebook. I got my vaccine at two in the morning following a notice on Twitter.
  • Food supply, largely uninterrupted. With grocers stocked and restaurants ready for pickup and delivery though the net.
  • A boat load of streaming entertainment, the likes of which we’d have never seen.
  • Support groups for grieving people who could not have connected otherwise.
  • Counseling and medical appointments through Internet.

Sure, the net is new and is going to have problems – read Jarvis’ post as he eloquently discusses the point – but the Internet is evolving and maturing in ways that benefit you and I.

Instead of being critical of the Internet tycoons, following the pandemic we really owe them a debt of gratitude.