Today, I am thankful for the internet.
I know. Some people claim that it's evil. They don't want their children on their computers. I understand that and acknowledge that there is danger lurking out there and that it can be used for evil, (as with ALL things). But, there is also amazing good for which it can be used.
I can't begin to tell you the support that we received during our adoption process AND even continuing now, by people known only through the computer. We've prayed together, cried together, shared stories with one another, shared tips and information. The Yahoo group for our agency was one of the single most valuable sources of information to us during the entire process. They were my go-to-girls. Before I'd pick up a book or email our agency, I'd ask those women (and a few men). More often than not, they had answers. Good answers. From people who've been there, done that.
Google is also one of my main go-to's. I seriously sometimes think I should have been a researcher. It can be problematic at times, but it's also incredibly helpful most of the time. Your daughter just spilled oil-based paint on her carpet and you don't know what to do? Google it. Your son has some funky bumps on his arms and you don't know what they are? Google it. Your lab results were just posted online and your doctor hasn't called you to discuss them yet and it's Friday and you are DYING to know what XYZ is? Google it. (BTW, I'm sure that I drive my doctor completely insane because I am ALWAYS saying, "well, I read online that....", but, too bad. I like to think that I'm an informed consumer of medical care and that I keep him on his toes. He probably thinks differently.) I also drive my husband crazy because I frequently Google his ailments and diagnose him with some serious afflications. **think Arnold Schwarzenegger, in whatever movie that was, saying "It's NOT a tumor!".
I can track my kids grades on Edline. I can see what they buy in the school cafeteria. I can do my banking and pay my bills. I can skype with people in other parts of the world or IM with my sister at midnight when everyone else is sleeping. I'm even going to graduate school, primarily online when my kids are sleeping or at preschool!! Come on! It's incredible.
I've nearly forgotten how to use a dictionary, thesaurus, or phone book. And, frankly, with a house as small as ours, I'm so happy not to have to keep those additional books in the house!
I have done intensive, video-based Bible studies online, while my kids were napping or at preschool. I have watched sermons when I couldn't go to church because my kids were sick and my husband plays guitar for the praise team so he has to go.
I've stayed in touch with friends who have moved far away, and gotten back in touch with friends from high school. I've laughed myself silly goofing around on Facebook with old friends and new.
I've also received urgent prayer requests or cried until I was exhausted at receiving the most awful of news.
I have friends who "aren't into computers" and I understand that, but for me, it's a God-send. Truly. Markos is the biggest attention-hound known to man-kind. If I even think I'm going to pick up the phone and have a conversation with someone, I am sooooo mistaken. But, I can sit and email at any time day or night without interruption. OK, not really without interruption, but without the recipient having to endure the interruption with me. :-)
Surely, the internet can be used for evil, but it can also be used for good. And, I am grateful for it!!