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A Short Essay

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Will developments in the Internet and the mass media (especially television) radically change our lives in the next millennium?

(this article was written for an essay-writing class, which may explain the overall style)

Human history is full of changes, full of evolution, full of development. Technological advances have altered our lives since the very beginning of mankind, with progress itself also the pace of progression has progressed.

One of the new media that has arrived in the 20th century is television; a source of entertainment and information that most people in the industrial countries have access to, a medium that has been providing us with new ideas and perspectives for about half a century now. A medium of reception that - like any other medium - can lead both to mindless consumption and to the reflection on new ideas and concepts like science fiction.

Another new medium, which has very recently just arrived, is the Internet, a global connection of computer networks that provides information and entertainment as well as the opportunity to create one's own homepage and to communicate very easily with others - no longer just a passive medium, but a much more active one than television, also requiring that an Internet surfer would be able to read and write - a medium that requires and supports literacy.

Evolution is a funny thing - new advances and opportunities always demand further progress; evolution is self-sustaining, creating anticipation and necessity. As well as serving the needs it creates new interests, new demands. Evolution is inevitable for there is nothing like a static world. Everything changes, that's the nature of things - delaying progress is an act of violence.

Television and Internet are just the beginning, the first steps towards a future unknown, unimaginable - a future of instantaneous access to knowledge, a future of cyberspace. But progress just provides us with technology - our task is to maintain the ethics of humanity, to stay productive - it is us, not progress, who is to be judged.

July 1st, 1998 / August 24th, 1998

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