Oh, it feels good to get it out of my system. But expect Christmas to be pretty fair game around here after this weekend, ok?
Anyway, I am still feeling grateful over here. I haven't been posting every day, but this whole Giving Thanks has really helped me to be constantly mindful of the things I am grateful for. Even when I haven't posted, I have still found the time at the end of each day to ask myself what I am grateful for today.
November 21st: I am thankful for the internet.
No, really. I am! The internet has been a completely life-changing phenomenon for me in the last decade. When I first moved out here to Utah, I had to buy phone cards to call my family at home in Norway. We would talk for about 20 minutes or so every other week, and I'd pay as much for a phone card then as we pay for our entire phone service now. We had email of course, but it was no easier in early 2000 to find the time to sit down and write an email than it is in 2011. Internet connections were often slow, and websites had very limited content compared to today.
I love how I sound like I'm talking about The Olden Days (Erin :) ) and this was only 11 years ago!
Anyway, so much has changed! It used to feel like my home and my family were so far away from me, but now it's almost like having a foot at home in Norway. Thanks to the internet, I read Norwegian newspapers daily, we watch our favorite Norwegian shows on the day they air, I stay in touch with family and friends via Facebook and blogs, I can look up Norwegian recipes when I'm feeling homesick, I can share photos and videos instantly with my family, I can talk to them on the phone as much as I want to for a tiny fee, and holy-freaking-crap, I can see them whenever I want to!
A very young Espen Skypes with Granny.
Skype has been a fantastic thing for our family. We talked my parents into giving it a try when I was pregnant, and Espen had his first Skypedate with Granny and Granddad on the day he was born. Now we Skype a couple of times a week. Espen will often ask to "Skype Granny?" and he completely has a relationship with his grandparents even though they're almost 5,000 miles away. They can watch Espen play, and I can see my mum's latest shopping treasures and knitting projects. It has been a great comfort to be able to actually see my dad since his cancer diagnosis too. Just being able to see how he is doing with my own eyes has given me a lot of peace of mind.
I could go on and on. There's online bill pay, Google, Netflix, Pinterest, blogs, amazon, and all kinds of conveniences and entertainment to be had. Of course this isn't a very nuanced point of view, seeing as I am only focusing on the parts I like. There are plenty of downsides to the internet too, from fraud to causing problems for people with a variety of addictions. But of course there is going to be a downside to essentially allowing the entire world into your home. Today, though, I am grateful for all of the wonderful benefits to be being able to do exactly that.
Are you grateful for the internet? Why? Why not?