Creating a Sense of Community Throughout The Appalachian Highlands

She Says …

The Internet has changed everything. I know that is a huge news flash so I’ll allow you a few seconds to let what I just said sink in.

Who knew on August 6, 1991, when the WWW (World Wide Web) debuted as a publicly available service on the Internet, that our entire culture would undergo a transformation unlike any other we have ever seen?

It did not happen instantaneously; rather, it has been a gradual, consistent and unwavering, “baby steps” process. Slowly, we transitioned from a society that communicated with handwritten letters delivered to our homes and landline telephone conversations from the phone in the kitchen; to texting “instant messages” and sending instant e-mails from the smart phones and watches that never leave our side. The explosion of the Internet has changed our habits, shaped our expectations, and influenced our reality.

In large part we are now a society that wants everything…NOW…because we have told ourselves we are too busy for and deserve nothing less than instant gratification. This behavior strikingly resembles that of a spoiled child. Thank you Internet for training us to be brats.

The music industry, the postal service, car shopping, retail shopping, complaining, communicating, meeting new people, taking pictures, applying for jobs, banking, looking at houses, asking for directions, using a map, exercising, note taking, checking the weather, reading books, couponing, going to the doctor, paying bills, sending bills, ordering pizza, sharing exciting news or just plain getting the news… all have forever changed because of the Internet. Some of the changes are for the better and some for the worse.

This issue highlights downtown businesses and all of our other local advertisers who still believe in tradition. The rise of the Internet has not made it easy for today’s entrepreneurs. They risk a lot, if not all, providing a service that you need or want: all while trying to employ others who need work for a living. Sadly, many of us haven’t looked up from our smartphones long enough to even notice that these entrepreneurs are there.

Here is an old quote and for some of us, a new challenge… “Take time to smell the roses”. Explore our communities and visit our advertisers. They are spending hard earned dollars to advertise to you and invite you into their businesses! Appreciate the effort and thought that goes into a small business. Do business with a human instead of an app or website online. This Mother’s Day, consider shopping for your mother with all the love and effort she has put forth shopping for you.

Angela Baker

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