Internet: A bless or a curse?! [Archives:2007/1067/Community]

July 12 2007

By: Maged Thabet Al-Kholidy
[email protected]

With the electronic upheaval that has invaded the globe, Internet service became an essential demand in the people's life just like electricity, and telephone. The spread of shops (coffees) that offer this service reflect the need of this service. This, to a certain extent, reflects the spread of education and culture among the nation. Some people, however, turn this bless into a curse. They spend long hours, not for browsing advantageous topics but for 'useless and worthless matters'.

An astonishing situation, or situations, makes one asks a number of questions. Suppose you get in an internet shop to check email, or search for a topic. Clicking on the internet icon on the computer desktop and typing the website URL result in a notice that “the page can not be displayed”. You may think that you misspelled the site name. But again you get the same result though you get sure of the site name. No need to do more attempts. Checking the internet connection would show you whether the line is connected or not.

If this happens, do not be surprised since it would not be the first time to know this, of course, if you read this article. There remains something else to do. Click on any folder on the desk top like “video clips”, “movies”, “fun”, and do not expect to find 'that special folder' easily unless you are a regular customer and know how to access it. Also, do not wait for the line connection because there might be no internet connection at all.

Most of the cabins are full, and there might be others waiting. If you have no idea about that you may think that they are waiting for the connection line that sometimes disconnects due to 'technical faults', as they usually excuse. And since you know about such situations, it is better for you to go home after paying for the minutes in which you used the internet; 'exactly 'the computer'.

All of us, I think, have heard about something called “monitoring committees” appointed by the offices of culture in the governorates, to observe whether the internet shops follow the instructions or not, i.e. the computer screens must be visible to all, no 'immoral things' are computed, etc. The question that everyone should ask is that “what do those people do in the cabinets? And what for the others wait? And it seems curious to ask what the 'monitoring committees' do?

Regarding the committees, one may suggests that they may not have any knowledge about the computer and how to use it so that they can reach what they search for- 'the cultural movies'. Or they may go to such internet shops in the morning time ( when going to buy Qat”, when most of the internet shops are empty, or even full by “school children” who leave the classes to play games in such shops. Or, as somebody (not me) suggests, that members of the committees come to these shops at night after showing Qat so that they want to 'culture themselves' for being 'representatives of the cultural office'.

Such committees observe only the internet shops, while the real blame is to be for the customers who must have their own observation over themselves. That is to say, everyone should observe, control, and subsequently, blame oneself when thinking about immoral or any bad behaviors. What I mean is 'a forbidden apple is always desirable'.

Personal observation must be, not only for the internet use, but in all the aspects of life. And since internet is a “bless”, it is really a shame to be turned into a “curse”. This must be everyone's belief if it is seriously looked at through the mind's eye.

Majed Thabet Al-kholidy is a writer from Taiz, currently doing his M.A. at English Dep, Taiz Uni. He is an ex-editor of English Journal of the University.