Where did they go?

Has anyone else noticed that you don’t have to type in “www” before entering a website address anymore?  You don’t have to type in “.com” either.  In fact, you don’t even have to type in the website’s name accurately.  I’m serious.  Check it out.  Go (preferably after having finished reading this post) up to the top of your screen in the web address window thingy (or whatever it’s called), type in the first couple letters approximately representing the site you want to go to, and BAM, there you are, your internet browser provides the rest.  Yeah, it’s kind of freaking me out.

Not long ago were the days where, to get to a certain link, you had to painstakingly punch in each of like eighty-seven letters, numerals, and obscure symbols to get anywhere on the internet.  And it had to be perfectly accurate.  Leave out a letter or confuse one forward slash for a back slash and you received an error message or were sent to some random site full of pop-up adds (or worse).

When did this happen?  I know search engines like Google have been kind of working this way for some time, which is why I rarely ever type in an actual web address, opting instead to go to Google, type in the first couple letters of the site I want to go to, and let Google bring up a link.  Do other people do this?  I am not very techno-savvy, somewhat scared of tech actually, and you combine that with my fear of change, this “www” thing is really throwing me for a loop.

Technology and the internet and computer stuff have come a long way.  Personal computers only became a household thing at all during my lifetime, and I continue to be amazed at the changes within the industry.  And how impatient we have become.

When my parents got our first computer, it was back in the day when there was only AOL and you had to do that crazy, noisy dial-up thing.  Yeah, it would take like 20 minutes just to get on the internet.  And if you wanted to download a picture or a sound file, forget about it.  If you were downloading songs, you would pick the couple you wanted, click on them, and then go do something else for a couple of hours or go to bed and get up and check them out in the morning.  That’s how long it took.

And there used to be a lot of bugs in the system.  The worst, for me, was when I was in college.  Not having my own computer, I was reliant on the computer lab.  And that was okay.  Except for one thing.  For some reason, the email system would just disconnect or log out after 30 minutes or so.  It wouldn’t give you a warning, either.  In fact, it wouldn’t even let you know it had logged out.  On the surface, everything would appear normal.  You would be typing away on your e-mail, thinking everything was dandy, then you would hit send, and the screen would go blank, and that would be it.  As some of you may know, I can be prolific and verbose in my written correspondence.  To this day, I am convinced that some of those lengthy letters and e-mails greedily gobbled up by cyberspace were some of my best and most romantic efforts, sadly never to be enjoyed by another living soul (in reality, having read some of my other works from the period, they probably weren’t as good as I thought they were at the time.  But I digress…).

I noticed about the “www” thing a few weeks ago.  Yet I still keep typing it in.  I don’t know if that’s habit, or me being stubborn, or me just trying to hold on when so many things are changing.  And others are not changing.  Some people say “change is good” like a mantra.  I don’t know about that.  Change is constant, and some change is good, certainly, but different isn’t always better.  This “www” thing specifically, sure, it’s convenient, and better, no matter how you look at it.  But I think I resist it as symbolic of other changes that I am less excited about, less anxious to give up without a fight.

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