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The ways technology has made the world smaller

There was a day when high tech communication was a guy on a pony galloping to the next town to deliver a letter. Then there were the days of switchboard operators and party lines, now we have nearly instant communication with anybody in the world right at our fingertips. Communication technology has always served to make the world a smaller place. The recent surge in high tech communications has hastened the process.

Maybe the biggest way that technology has made the world smaller is through the internet. The internet or World Wide Web is almost scary when you think about how accessible it has made the places that were once the farthest away. With things like Google earth, you can actually look at just about any place on the globe. Just type in an address or a name of a town and you can instantly see a satellite image of that place, zooming in and you can start to make out the streets and houses. No, the technology doesn't actually transport you there but by looking at it with your own eyes, you feel like you are there.


It's not just Google earth that help the internet make the world small. It's the internet in general. The World Wide Web is just that, it is a web that connects every computer in the world. No computers are more than a few links away and you can use the computer to do amazing thing, like see your baby take his first steps, even though you are in a different state. Programs like youtube guarantee that anything captured on camera can be viewed by millions and millions of people, often within seconds or minutes of the event.

Web cams also serve to make the world smaller. You can check out webcams anywhere and get up to the minute information about what is going on there. I spent a summer hiking the Appalachian trail and called my mom from the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire. I asked her if she wanted to see how skinny I had gotten (I had been hiking about 4 months by that tine), she went to her computer and I went to stand in front of the web cam. I think that was the first time that I really understood that the world was becoming smaller.

Smart phones are another instance of technology making the world small. The new business phones are so efficient and so high tech that you can now do face to face international business from thousands of miles away. If you want to talk with a whole roomful of people in France from the comfort of your bedroom while wearing your pajamas, you can use your smart phone to do just that.

If you want another example of how technology has made the world small consider the phenomenon of online dating. There was a time that a person had to put on nice clothes and go out into the real world to meet a love interest. Today, you can be "out there" without ever having to go out. You can meet hundreds of interested singles, see what they look like, find out about their interests, backgrounds, and values while locked in your room. You can even engage in a virtual relationship by using email or instant messaging. It is possible to get to know a person on a relatively deep level without ever meeting at all. This is a part of the beauty and the freakiness of the internet.


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