One thing the internet has brought back into many of our lives is a sense of community. It may be a shame that this huge impersonal technological beast was the catalyst for this rediscovery but that would be a petty quibble – it is nice to have it back.
Newsgroups, discussion forums, message boards, support sites, chat rooms, blogs, MySpace, social networking, there are a myriad of sites that invite our involvement. We are communicating with large groups of individuals on a daily basis and, on the whole, our lives are being enriched as a result.
On Amazon, other readers will tell you what they thought of the books they bought and you can see what other titles they like to read. On social networking sites people are brought together based on their interests, the music they like, the places they visit etc. Support forums can be saviours. I recently had a problem with my laptop, posted a question on a computer support forum and 6 people quickly responded with suggestions and advice. Two of them kept helping out, offering detailed step-by-step instructions, until the issue was resolved. I have never met these people, I don’t even know their real names. They had nothing to gain from helping out, it was just a nice thing to do.