When the internet first started, or first came into the general consciousness of most people in America it was not much of anything. I can remember playing some very rudimentary games based on the Nickelodeon television show The Secret World of Alex Mack. I remember reading some really terrible articles about some of my favorite bands. But mostly, I remember being nonplussed about the whole thing find out more. What was this thing going to do for me other than have me hunched over a desk reading low quality junk?
Well obviously the jury is no longer out on the internet and we all now and seemingly will forever live on the web. It has made communication easier but also fundamentally different. The same could be said about shopping and researching topics of interest. It has made a wealth and variety of entertainment completely free. This last one is likely the biggest shift for me personally and for a number of people I know as well. This is because things like the movie theater start to lose their luster when you discover that you can watch free full movies online. It becomes difficult to rationalize the $12 price tag most theaters are charging these days when you can get new free movies online. Not that the largeness of the theater doesn’t have its charms. If I can watch documentaries online, like those made by PBS, why would I bother having a television let alone paying ever rising cable costs?
The web is a vast wonderland of entertainment available whenever you want it with little to know cost at all. There is a bad element to all of this of course, mostly that it has become increasingly difficult for artists and entertainers to get paid for the work that they are doing. Still there is an upside as well. With the ease it takes to put funny videos online or your weird short films online nearly anyone can release their work and have it seen by a wide variety of people. As a result people are willing to check out things they might never have seen back when they were seriously considering how to best utilize their precious entertainment money.