Our reporters found out that more and more young people today are
using the Internet on a daily basis. But what do Net users say about it?
Manuel is a 16-year-old exchange student from Portugal, and this
is what he told our magazine:
‘I’ve been studying in Ireland for three months. I’m over here on
an exchange programme and will be staying until the end of June. I
use the Internet a lot to keep in touch with my friends back home. I
miss them a lot and we e-mail each other nearly every day. It stops
me from feeling too homesick, and ordinary post is too slow; we call
it ‘snail mail’. In the evening, I also use the Internet to chat. My
friends and I arrange a time and meet up. I also chat with my mother
in Lisbon and my father, who lives in the Algarve. Last week it
was my youngest brother’s birthday. He’s my father’s son from his
second marriage. I sent him a beautiful card I picked from a set of
cards online. I also wanted to get him something from the Web, but
I haven’t got a credit card so I couldn’t buy anything.’
Rachel, 17, is a language student who is studying Russian and
German at university. She says she is on the Net for hours every day.
As foreign language books are very expensive, she often downloads
texts for her course. She also reads online newspapers and carries out research.
Jessica is 20 years old and works as a trainee Web
designer. She left school last year and did a course in
computing. As part of the course she had 2 months’
work experience in an Internet consultancy. When she
finished the course, she was offered a full-time job at
the consultancy. She is very excited about it. This is
what she said:
‘The job is very creative and challenging.
First, I talk to clients to find out what they want
from their Website and see if they understand the full
potential of the Internet. I work with graphic artists
who design the site and choose the texts.’
Gregory, who is 71, shows a lot of enthusiasm when he talks
about the Net.
‘I started to mess around with computers when
I retired,’ he told our reporter. ‘I was a lorry driver and had a very
busy life. As I was feeling depressed with so much free time on my
hands, my daughter bought me a computer. It was a fantastic idea.
We have access to the world without going out of our front door.
Now our dream, I mean the dream my wife and I have, is to have
a robot to do the housework and have enough money to equip our
home with the latest technology. We already go shopping on the
Internet. Some people think we’ll be controlled by intelligent computers
in the future, but they’re wrong. Men will always control the
machine because it will only do what it’s told. Computers have
opened the door to the information age and it’s impossible to
imagine the world today without them or the Internet. I’ve joined
the Greenpeace Cyberactivist Community and I receive regular
e-mail updates, take part in on-line discussions and help out with
Greenpeace campaigns. I’m what you call a cyberactivist.’