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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Narnian Wardrobes

A link is "a single element in a chain". A hyperlink is "a reference in an electronic document that lets a user display or activate another document or program". Hyperlinks are fascinating. The word itself is so beautifully coined; hyperlink, a link on steroids. The wikipedia definition does not even begin to cover it. A hyperlink is a portal, one magical click and you are transported to another world.

 Hyperlinks can be confusing as well. Personally, I prefer to complete reading whatever I happen to be reading, before returning to explore the links in the text. I find that if I click on that first interesting link, I often forget to return to my point of origin. In entering the other world, I tend to lose sight of my jumping off point. Still, I find links to be the stuff of magic. I am reminded of the wardrobe in one of my favourite childhood books, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 

One of my chachas (uncles) told me about the internet when I was a young girl. I remember that moment vividly. I could not wrap my head around the idea of so many books, documents, magazines being available to anyone with an internet access. I came from a place where library books were kept under lock and key. ( Ahem, reminds of all the websites that I am too cheap to pay for but like to read.) I love words. I collect words, the way other people collect objects. To me, the internet allows access to an entire universe of words and all at my fingertips. It is still a source of great wonder to me.

The internet is also a shared consciousness; people from all over the planet posting tweets, selfies, other pictures, thoughts, and stories. Since it is a reflection of who we are, it is both wondrous and ugly.  Cyber bullying, porn and stalkers make me feel afraid for children growing into this world. At the same time, I also feel that the internet is a part of the world today and therefore ridiculous to attempt to keep it at bay. Akin to discussing how to best avoid puberty when your child is already past the stage. Some things can not be avoided. Best to teach our kids that Narnian Wardrobes  have to be treated with caution; they can lead to lands of wonder or terror.

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