As someone living on a relatively remote Croatian island, with a MA in Communications under my belt, these are my top 4 reasons why I love the Internet.
Work opportunities & Job empowerment
Personally, Internet has empowered me to play by a different set of rules. I had the advantage of being educated enough and at the right time to be able to choose the jobs that were not the usual, everyday tourism-related jobs like receptionist, waiter, tourist guide, and similar. I wanted to stay within the media landscape. As a half introvert, I wanted to minimize the direct exposure to a large number of guests.
Upon graduating and returning back home, I did one of the first PR and social media community manager jobs in Korcula town for Korcula Town’s project ‘Marco Polo Challenge Triathlon Race’. Later on, I did the same for one of the biggest local nightclubs. I was able to freelance, write articles and work as a booking manager helping seniors in my community rent their holiday homes and apartments. At the same time, I started two blogs, The Zagreb Times and Time Spent in Korcula. These blogs never truly hit it off but the whole process helped me learn to design WordPress websites through premade templates and their customization. The sky seems to be the limit as long as one wants to learn, further one’s skills, make an impact, and live from one of the jobs that didn’t exist before the age of the Internet.
Access to information and information dissemination
I still remember how left out and disadvantaged I felt as an 18-year-old islander having no access to the Internet compared to someone of my age living on the mainland with an Internet connection. Today, in the year 2022, that is no longer the case. Like so many of my peers around the world, I too have access to a vast amount of information on topics ranging from medicine to science and technology. I can tap into exhaustive material on the arts, as well as different research material for students and coverage of recreation, entertainment, sports, shopping, and employment opportunities.
Internet as an agent of positive social change
A few strong forces exist today that can bring about a change like World Wide Web can. It enables me to share information from my small part of the world and make it relevant, part of the global community of thinkers and doers. I can do so by engaging in different discussions on relevant platforms, and contributing my two cents worth on topics of both local and global significance. The Internet is a promise of much more democratized political processes and activities with active and informed local and global citizenship.
At the heart of human activities, needs and desires lie a need for a connection. The Internet made it possible to connect with like-minded people from across the globe. We are able to not only share information and learn from one another regardless of the physical distance but we also find colleagues to collaborate with on different projects or get a referral to someone else who might be a good fit or a helping hand on a project we are working on.
Remembering life on a Croatian island before the Internet and after, speaking from a personal experience, I can say that it empowered me and provided me with a much-needed insight into the world at large. It helped me connect with people from all around and from various walks of life. I can stay up to date with the latest news and research; learn how people live and solve problems in other parts of the world. What are the struggles and issues people and society at large face and what is being done to alleviate these problems. I found some solutions that can be used in my own locale, and some solutions were readily available in my locale.
The human need for connection is what made the Internet so successful. I will also add – one of the most promising aspects of the World Wide Web lies in the human need for freedom. The freedom to have a job that is not dependent on the seasonality of tourism-related jobs and is location-independent.