Friday, January 18, 2008

Information in an Instant

Does anyone remember how we shopped for things before the internet?

Oh, right, stores.

But how did we learn about the things we wanted to buy? How did we research before we could have reviews and wiki articles at the press of a few buttons?

Oh, right, we talked to people.


If I slow down and think about it, I am amazed that within moments I can have information about books I might want to buy, recipes, parts for a car, stereo systems, cell phones, patch panels, sporting goods, airline tickets, movie reviews and a gazillion more things! I can do research and make informed decisions - or I can make a purchase without even thinking about it, have it sent to my home without ever seeing it and it could be in my living room tomorrow without me ever stepping foot out of my house. I guess all this consumer knowledge has increased our expectations. I wonder if it has made for more critical consumers. I doubt that it has created more quality products, because there will always be a full spectrum of quality. Still.....isn't the amount of info available in mere moments astounding?

(This is a drift beyond consumerism, but still related to the topic:)
I don't recall feeling deprived of information when I used to have to look things up in encyclopedias ( I LOVED my encyclopedias) and other books, but WOW, what a whole new world my kids are growing up in, and what a whole new world I've seen develop in my lifetime.

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