Not Drowning but Waving

By Jones, Avril | The Independent (London, England), February 4, 1996 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Not Drowning but Waving

Jones, Avril, The Independent (London, England)

THE INTERNET, aka the Information Superhighway, is a subject we should all know lots about. It has, after all, been the subject of as many media inches as Charles and Diana. Unfortunately, though, the whole subject is still obscured by nerdy jargon and salacious natter about cybersex.

Any novice might be forgiven for thinking the whole thing is only for anoraky types who want to head for the virtual pub to meet some passing Panamanian fish farmers and compare notes about newt breeding. In fact there's far more to be gained from being on-line than just "net surfing".

To begin with, "The Internet" is a much over used generic term for being on-line. Take me, for example. I have access to the Internet but I don't need to use it. This is because I subscribe to things called conferencing systems that provide all the information and communication possibilities I could wish for.

A conferencing system is just a tiny corner of the on-line world, though it is huge in its own right. It gives me an e-mail address for private correspondence, a vast choice of "conferences" or "forums" for discussion of every imaginable subject, or for buying and selling, and the means to search through most of the world's collected knowledge, all without stepping outdoors.

Commercial conferencing systems such as CiX and CompuServe provide so much that few people need venture further.

All this, according to some, is certain to turn me into a PC-bound zombie who never actually meets other people. This is rubbish; I've made many new friends and business contacts. The Net is not a substitute for real life; it complements it - much as the telephone always has, but with the added advantage that it can put you in touch with many people simultaneously.

I started to realise this about two years ago when a good friend tried to explain how a conferencing system account would enable me to socialise on those solitary evenings at home. He showed me how it works and eventually enlisted help from the Bikers' conference on UK service provider, CiX, to persuade me to join the on-line community.

My (then) learner motorcyclist status prompted immediate conscription. My protests of technical incompetence were cheerfully demolished and a widespread search of their sheds and skips enabled the construction of a primitive computer and modem. And so it began.

I was advised to acquire Off-Line Reader software.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Not Drowning but Waving


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?