Surviving the Future With a Superhighway AND Trees!

Dear Mother Nature,

Just a note of thanks for the recent break in snow and icy rain.  The mounds of frozen slush have had a chance to melt and it appears the sanitation department was finally able to tend to the trash. Best of all, the wait is over—I have internet again. So if you must, go ahead, bring on the wintery mix. 

Yours Truly

Yes, if I could actually mail her a letter, it would read something like that. I’ve been living in my new apartment for a month-and-a half-now and only last week did I get online. Time Warner came three times in total, unsuccessful the first two, due once to the accumulation of snow, and the other, to the main line being frozen over.

Have you tried living without the internet for more than a long weekend? Take it from me, it is no pleasure. This, coming from one who as a young child, was afraid of ‘the future’. I know, it sounds crazy. Let me explain…

At seven, one of the first glimpses I had at what life might be like in the future was The Jetsons. Sure, they are a fun, space-age family with a robot and a flying car; in my memory my sisters loved it. I on the other hand, hated it. What I mentioned earlier as fear (for the future) was more like depression. Hands down, I just could not accept that the future meant we would be living in a world without trees!

Well as time went on and I began to understand more about life and the world we live in, thankfully I grew to like the idea of the future—the progress we had made and the progress that was still to come. Like, for example the internet.

I was a sophomore in high school when I first caught wind of the it—what we once referred to as ‘The Information Superhighway’. It was one day during lunch, at a time when my friends and I were would eat and then spend the rest of the break in the library to gossip or read until the bell would ring for class to begin again. (I remember this like it was yesterday.) I was sitting on an oversized ottoman near the magazines when I saw something odd, sort of futuristic looking on the cover of TIME. The title of this feature article was something about this never-heard-of-before Information Superhighway’. Two paragraphs in and my eyes were wide, my jaw was hanging to the floor. Whatever this ‘worldwide web’ was supposed to be, it was going to be awesome. Never did I think we’d find a way out of having to sift through encyclopedias and magazine articles by way of the old faithful Readers Guide to Periodical Literature to get a report done.  

Cut to present day when I am without the web for a month and I feel like Tom Hanks’ character in Cast Away. The internet has become a basic need. It is modern life. When I was sixteen, it was the future. And today, it’s still the future. 

Thinking back on the President’s State of the Union Address a few weeks ago when he talked about ‘connecting every part of American to the digital age, about rural farmers being able to sell their goods across the world, and firefighters being able to download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device and a patient having face to face video chats with their doctor’ I was again wide-eyed. This time it was without the awe I had at sixteen when I first learned of the great superhighway. I know now of the possibilites. And instead of being afraid of the future like I was watching the Jetsons, I’m thrilled.

Just as long as we always have the trees.

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