I have lived most of my life on Vancouver Island and have seen many changes with the landscape. When I was very little I can remember going to the West Coast and camping on Long Beach. Nobody thought anything of preservation or how the landscape was being changed by our actions. We camped directly on the beach and if firewood was needed logs were hauled from where they could be found. I remember cousins collecting starfish and sand dollars from the beaches as well when they came to visit so they could take them home.
As I grew older it became more apparent to those that be that the beaches couldn’t handle the onslaught. Beaches that, when I was little were covered so thickly in sand dollars that you couldn’t walk without stepping on them now have very few. When I took campers to the beaches we talked about leaving everything where they found it and in better condition than what they found. We encouraged them to take memory souvenirs and photos to remember the beach.
I kind of see the internet as this a new landscape that more and more are truly discovering and starting to take an interest in. Where when I I was little going to the west coast of Vancouver Island was all on dirt logging roads and took a better part of a day now can be reached in a few hours. It is covered in resorts and although it is located in a rainforest actually experienced a water shortage a couple of years ago due to usage (and a lack of rain).
The internet is a more accessible space than space to explore and it is easier and easier for all to use. Where when I first used the internet one had to learn HTML to post anything on it now a person simply has to fill out a template and voila… it is posted.
The result though is the same in some respects to the physical landscape that we exist in. As more and more people find the appeal in the landscape the more and more ‘stuff’ begins to exist on the internet. The more stuff on the internet the harder it can sometimes be to find the things that make the original landscape so appealing.
With the amount of traffic this new frontier is attracting the other inevitable of more and more taking up residency is the growth of litter that is now surfacing on the internet. I think about the number of accounts, pages, documents, photos, etc that are now floating (and I don’t mean literallyJ) online from my use of sites for this course alone is staggering to me. Before this course if I googled myself I might get five results if I was lucky… now… well… let’s just say I have created a bunch of garbage in my quest to get somewhere.
Right now we talk about the internet being limitless and I sometimes wonder how limitless is it?