When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
It was just 10 years ago that the world started to see the network as a really new thing, even though it had been building momentum for years. Email began to replace faxes as a major mode of business and legal communication. Personal mobile phones started to really take off (until then, they typically were reserved for key executives as a perk and status symbol). Music was something you still went to the store to buy and listened to on a CD player. News was delivered to your doorstep. When you needed directions, you pulled out a map. When you wanted to see what was going on at your house or the street you lived on, you had to be there.
Today, it seems that everyone goes online to do everything.
Email addresses are as common as phone numbers. Cell phones are more important than landline telephones. You can hear a song in your favorite coffee shop, use your iPhone to identify it, buy it, and then listen to it on your way home. You can look up directions from so many different devices that sometimes you have to pause to decide which technology to use. You can see your street from your desktop at work and monitor your house from halfway across the world. You can turn on the lights, move the Nannycam, and schedule your TV to record ...