An Open Letter to the Worldwide Web

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Dear Worldwide Web

Or if I maybe familiar www, I am writing to express my amazement and appreciation of the contribution you have made since you emerged in our world nearly 25 years ago.

My sons are oblivious of the world before it had a worldwide web but as a child of the 60s I am constantly amazed at how we managed without you.  I am befuddled as to how you do what you do but I am grateful that I can search your resources for cultivation information on some obscure plant, I can order a last-minute present for my niece without traipsing around the town looking for  inspiration, my mother can email her brothers on the other side of the world, my son can set out his wares in the job market in an innovative way and I can find a recipe for dinner tonight – all from the comfort of our sofas.  Through you the world has become smaller, we can meet people from nearly anywhere in the world, and most importantly nearly everyone can access information.

Information is power, through knowledge and education we can shape our world and make informed choices.  But sometimes the information is too much, it appears too quickly, we are overwhelmed by images of tragic and difficult events, we no longer have the buffer zone of distance and editorship.  We can react to images without always considering the broader context, and our views can be influenced by clever manipulation of what we see. There are some that abuse your resources, to prey on the vulnerable and who use it to cause unhappiness and hate amongst us.

I think you are one of most significant inventions of the last two centuries. Your creation has revolutionised the world as much or more than the combustion energy and discovery of nuclear power. But, the human race needs to learn how to manage your power and capabilities.  Like a child with a new toy we are obsessed and seek to find answers to everything in you.  We need to remember that most of the things we use you for we could do just as well, albeit it maybe slower, before you arrived and I am sure you will forgive me if I would still rather pick up and read a printed book or have a chat on the telephone with a friend.

Thank you for opening my eyes to things and people I knew nothing about but this evening I will be ignoring you and reading my book.


This was written as an assignment on Writing 101 – the brief was to write an open letter to so


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Diana Studer says:

    We are the between generation, who can remember before.
    I don’t think I’ll ever be happy to read for pleasure online – I do prefer almost everything about a dead tree book. But then the internet lures me back to look something up …

  2. Yep, fellow child of the Sixties and dead-tree fanatic here. On the other hand, until I looked online, the only other people I knew who embroidered were all related to me… !

  3. Nice take on the prompt! Great last line.

  4. Anna says:

    Hear, hear Helen!

  5. It is truly a gift to have seen so many major changes over time. I now have a better appreciation of what my grandfather was thinking when he spoke of watching flight become a reality and then watching a man walk on the moon.

  6. Loree says:

    Wouldn’t know of you if not for the http://WWW…while I think it a huge positive I also am of the age to remember the before. We managed, somehow.

  7. Cathy says:

    A far cry from our first experience of the strange concept that was an email….and the internet speed of a snail that also tied up the phone line for ages…. 🙂 As well as emails, I love the immediacy of getting information almost immediately instead of having to search all my reference books – but I would like to think I will never get rid of them. And as for reading – definitely the paper version for me too!

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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