Cresting The Wave Of The Future This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Imagine yourself at the beach. However, it isn't like the beach you know. The waves are not of water and the shore is not of sand.

You slowly dip your toes into the frigid ocean. The feeling is strange and unknown. You're not sure if you really want to go further, but something compels you to. Voices from a million TV commercials are saying to you, SURF. Just as you reach your ankles, a huge wave comes tumbling upon you and throws your entire body into the waves. There are safety floats here and there, but they aren't quite within your reach, so you lean back and just drift along, hoping that you will eventually come to a point where you are familiar with your surroundings. You wonder if you will begin to sink, but something seems to be preventing this.

At one point, you find a surfboard. You manage to lay down upon it and slowly get up. The waves throw you off several times, but you eventually manage to stand. You are surfing! Surf what? It's not water. It's not even familiar. What is it? The Internet, of course!

People are absolutely terrified of the Internet. Traveling through cyberspace is a terrifying thing. You never know exactly who or what you will meet. You could meet a crazy sex nut, or a person soliciting some bizarre product. You never know. Then again, you could meet these people face-to-face on the streets and be in a much more danger. So, what's the big problem?

It's been a fact for many years that people are afraid of the unknown. We automatically shy away from anything unfamiliar in


Technology proves no different either. Think about it. How many years did it take your grandmother to buy a microwave oven? How long was it before every single household in America had an answering machine? Sure, these are simple examples, but they prove a point.

The Internet is beyond this, however. It's not just a new technology, it's a new dimension. It is a vast way of retrieving thousands of megabytes of information at the touch of a key. Just to give an idea of the valuable info out there, imagine how a 25-volume encyclopedia can fit on one CD. This encyclopedia includes video clips, sound bytes, and pictures from various events in history as well as a complete timeline. The 25 books worth of text can be searched by a keyword which locates all related events at once. Remember now, this is only one CD.

Imagine huge server computers that can hold the same capacity as several hundred of these CDs.

Millions of these computers are connected together to form one large network which anyone can access. That's a lot of info and a lot of people. You may never leave your house again!

If all this info is so helpful, what's there to be afraid about? Well, as in the real world, you may not be dealing with the best of people. Because this network is so widespread, you cannot really prevent the "bad eggs" from connecting too. When telephones were developed, so were 900 sex lines, harassing phonecalls, and telemarketing scams. When TV and radio were developed, so were tasteless MTV Videos, the Playboy Channel, and gory movies. However, society has learned to deal with these things. I'm sure we will be able to deal with this too in time. But, as is always true, knowledge and education are the kesy. Teaching each other about what really goes on will eventually make for smarter and safer 'net Surfers. It is only then that we will be able to swim enough in the waves of cyberspace so that we will not drown or be eaten by huge sharks. u

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
yesterday at 12:18 pm
i love this so much!
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