How The Internet Changed My Life

The phrase “life changing” is used an awful lot when talking about technology and the Internet in particular seems to get this more than any single item of modern technology.

I for one totally believe technology can change lives.

When using the the phrase “life changing” in this context though it’s usually meant in the collective/global scale.

It’s not something you can dispute. Children growing up now will have no concept of what an encyclopaedia is. If there is something they want to know everyone’s first instinct now is to look it up online.

Media and entertainment as we know it is totally different to where it was ten years ago in that it’s not limited to radio, television or the cinema. We now consume media on a multitude of devices and screen sizes whenever and wherever we want. 

So how did the Internet change my life specifically?

While it may sound a bit extreme everything that’s good in my life at the moment I have the Internet to thank for.


Family shot

My family.

So how do I have the Internet to thank for this?

I’m writing this post to mark a bit of an anniversary. It’s 10 years since I met my significant other, Bryony.

A big milestone generally, but when we met there was about 200 miles between us.

That’s because we met online.

What’s really interesting about that is that anyone reading this will probably think,  “so what?” as it’s not really that big a deal anymore.

It happens all the time and people get married and have children after meeting on the Internet so often now it’s just one of those things. But remember i said this was 10 years ago. There was no Facebook or Twitter and actually just chatting to someone on the Internet was still quite a big deal for the average computer user back then. There was a real taboo about it and for some time afterwards we didn’t tell the entire truth about where we met when we were asked.

But we finally met in person and found out neither of us was a crazy lunatic (well she wasn’t anywaySmile )  and the rest is history! We got married, bought a house and had a couple of children just like any other couple who may have met through more conventional means.

I’m very thankful to the Internet for that!

I’ve also met lots of other great people virtually and in person via the Internet. Considering there is a stereotype of people who spend a lot of time behind a computer not being all that sociable I’ve met a lot of people entirely because of the Internet.

My involvement with AMITPRO and the SBSC community came through this blog. This still has a massive influence on my professional life and I’ve met some amazing people who I’m lucky enough to call friends as well as business acquaintances.

It’s hard to believe that this picture – the very first time I met anyone from the SBSC community – was taken in August 2007! SBSC First Meet












I’ve also had some really great times all in the cause one of my favourite pastimes – gaming!

I was in Cambridge for the first ever UGVM meet. I was pleased to get an invite even though I’m more of a UGVM lurker!

ugvm meet 

I was in Blackpool again recently for Replay Expo.

blackpool 2011

and at the Retro Computer Museum


All this as well as trips to Bletchley Park which in turn led to my recent involvement in Pecha Kucha.

Every single one of these things came about because of contacts and communities I’ve been involved with online and it’s difficult to picture what my life would look like if it wasn’t for Tim Berners Lee!

So I have the Internet to thank for having a huge impact on my family, friends and career.

Life changing enough?

I wouldn’t change a thing!

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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