When I think about how much the internet has become a part of my daily life, it scares me a little bit. Even education wise, most of my classes post assignments on Blackboard and have us turn in things electronically. That’s something that would be unheard of 30 years ago. Living in the United States, it’s easy to take for granted the amount of access to the Internet that we have. According to Newsweek, Internet access varies across the world from 90% in some countries, to almost none in others. I’ve witnessed this statistic first hand, when this 9 year old boy named Kevin came to the United States from Ecuador on a medical mission.
My mom works at a hospital that supports an organization called Blanca’s House. Around 2 years ago, while Blanca’s House was on a mission in Ecuador, Kevin was needed to come back to the United States to get a surgery to remove a malformation on his face. He was here for about 9 months, and a good friend of my mom’s fostered him in her home for the time he was here. Since he came to the U.S. alone, he would Skype with his parents whenever it was possible. It’s easy for us to Skype or FaceTime with someone, it’s basically just the click of a button. But in order for Kevin to video chat with his family, his parents had to walk miles just to get to the town computer center where they would be able to talk to their son. They had to plan their video chat a few days in advance. He was amazed at the ease of having access to the Internet at his fingertips while he stayed here.
It did surprise me learning that the United States is number 7 out of the top 10 economies on the Global Information Technology Report. I feel like in our society, the Internet and technology is such a huge part of our lives and I thought we would have been up a little higher.