Wayne Adult Community Center
Feature article from the December 2002 Newsletter


Should You Go Online?

These days, we hear a lot about what’s available and what’s dangerous on the Internet.  It can seem both intriguing and scary, particularly to people who grew up before computers came to play such an important role in our economy and our culture.  However, I’m  happy to tell you that the risks are less, and the rewards greater, than you probably think.

Below is a list showing just some of the things I've accomplished online during the past month:

Renewed my automobile registration;
Looked up the answer to a question about insured savings accounts;
Found the best interest rate being offered nationally on 30-month CDs;
Corresponded by Email with a friend in China;
Looked up the meanings of automobile tire codes;
Checked for the latest development in a news story of particular interest to me;
Periodically obtained weather reports for my local area;
Read the descriptive brochure (with pictures) for an item I'm considering buying, and obtained a list of nearby stores that carry it;
Found the best price and ordered an item that is not available in local stores;
Looked up the schedule of the #197 bus to New York City;
Obtained and printed driving directions (including a map) to an address several states away;
Checked my credit card account to see if I had been reimbursed for a returned item;
Listened to several radio programs that are not broadcast in our area;
Checked my bank records to see if a particular direct deposit had arrived;
Looked up information about a new medication prescribed for a friend.

If you're unimpressed by the above list, then the Internet is not for you.  However, if you would value the speed, convenience and reliability that the Internet provided to those tasks, then you should give serious consideration to going online.

What might deter you?

Many people who were not brought up with computers are intimidated by them.
Remedy: Our PC courses can cure that.

Some people who already use computers, are afraid to connect to the Internet because they've read horror stories about computer viruses and hacker attacks.
Remedy: Infection and intrusion are easily prevented by a few common-sense precautions.

W. A. Shapiro

11/1/02 1815