Reading through those simple comments was magical for me. I could not stop smiling because it just showed me the essence of why I love the Internet so much. (You can read through yourself here)
If there is one thing that had the biggest impact on my life, it's definitely the Internet. It gave me a career I love, it gave me friends from around the world, and the opportunity to write to you right now, from Hong Kong a city I've never even been.
Even friends I know for the longest in my life I got to know through the Internet. None of my friends from school remained, but those who I met on the Internet did. Isn't that crazy?
Some good friends I know for more than 10 years and never even met in person, even though I talk to them on a daily basis. Have I thought about meeting them in person? Of course, but in some cases I don't even want to. There is something magical about "online only" friend relationships.
It's something people in older generations sometimes only look at and shake their head, which I understand. Not everyone has to understand it, but we all know, it's the future. The world is shrinking.
Of course, this is the introvert speaking in me. For those who're introverted themselves know what I'm talking about. If there is one thing we introverts have been waiting for forever, it's the Internet.
The gatekeepers are gone
Besides the impact the Internet had on my personal life, it also had huge impact on my professional career.
The only reason I have a job today is because I bypassed the gate keepers. When I got declined by a design university to study design, I opened up my own design studio and tried to establish my own studio online so I could get clients.
In fact, one of my first international clients reached out to me on Twitter. I had about 200 followers I believe, half of them probably bots.
With the Internet we're celebrating the death of the traditional gate keeper. It's magical, it's what we've all been waiting for.
Back in the days, if you were a band, you needed a label to promote and publish your music. Today you can do everything yourself with the help of Soundcloud & YouTube.
Back in the days, if you were a book author, you needed a publisher to print and publish your book, often after 1000 rejections. Today you can self publish on your own through email, blogs, eBooks or even Amazon.
Back in the days, if you were a filmmaker, you needed expensive hardware, a team and often someone who would distribute your movie. Today, you can shoot a movie on your iPhone, edit it, and publish it straight from there to YouTube.
The same goes for so many other industries.
What I'm saying is that the gatekeepers are gone. On the positive side that means you and I can do whatever we want. On the negative side it means, you have millions of people in competition. Luckily, most people don't realize that the gatekeepers are gone, so you can still be one step ahead.
Today you don't need the approval from anyone, you can do whatever you want. The question is just, for how long?
New gate keepers are slowly emerging in form of closed ecosystems (Apple AppStore) or heavily controlled social networks that manage the majority of traffic (Facebook).
While you will always have freedom to chose the platform, things will eventually become harder in the future.
So if there is a perfect time to do the thing you always wanted to do, it's today more than ever!
I'm unsure where I'm even going with this article, but essentially it boils down to these two points:
1. The Internet played a huge role in my life. It's yours and my responsibility to keep it that way. Seeing countries (guess which one) or corporations that are trying to manipulate the access to the Internet for a certain group of people is something that makes me absolutely sad. We should never let this happen.
2. If you're lucky to have access to the same Internet as me, use the shit out of it. Do the things you always wanted to do, because now you can, and you can do so completely location independent.