You have no doubt noticed that we live in chaotic, yet amazingly potent times. Our style and manner of thinking, acting and responding are undergoing a revolution.

At no time in history has mankind experienced so many fundamental changes. A shift is underway as we try to function in a climate where everything is increasing – from the amount of available data we must digest, to the hours we must stay awake to understand and keep up with the changes and flood of information. 

The beginning of this social revolution was research in 1960 which resulted in creation of the Internet, a global system of interconnected computer networks that consists of millions of networks carrying an extensive range of information resources and reaching into every aspect of modern life. 

Today’s younger generation has grown up with the Internet, but for most seniors, it is a daunting and often frustrating task.

From my experience, it comes down to analyzing meaningful and manageable choices approached with an open mind, curiosity and perseverance.

The key word is CHOICES which are selected from the thousands of available offerings. For those still contemplating the value of the Internet, let me attempt to simplify its being. My list below is still growing, as I’m always reminding myself: Is it of value for me? Can I handle it timewise?

A BROWSER connects to the Internet. There are several from which to select.

EMAIL AND TEXTS to communicate effectively and quickly.

GOOGLE to find answers to any conceivable question.

YOUTUBE for research – on everything and more.

SOCIAL MEDIA to keep in touch with friends and for business. At this time, my sites are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I simply cannot handle more.

For business a WEBSITE is elementary.

For continuing education and information, I go to the following:

The KHAN ACADEMY offers an extensive range of academic subjects.

CURIOSITY STREAM is a growing selection of the world’s most amazing documentaries.

PANDORA offers the widest range of background music.

I use iTunes for my music collections, TED for lectures, NPR and The Wall Street Journal at www.wsj.com for news.

It was revealing to read that Harvard research has discovered social media can be addictive, as it taps into the hardwired human instinct to tell other people about ourselves, our own thoughts and experiences. The term is neuro-chemical reward, which helps to explain why people use social media websites so often. In excess, it is a manifestation of narcissism.

Too much information is like too much eating. It cannot be effectively digested – even less retained.

The Internet gives us powerful choices. It is up to us to select wisely.

George can be reached at ugadolph@live.com.

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