In the last half of the 20th century in Canada it was mostly assumed that as an adult you had a driver’s license and that you most likely owned or had access to a car. I know, I didn’t get my license until I was 26 and that made me a very rare specimen indeed. Our cities, and especially our rural areas, are still primarily designed for motor vehicles. Malls continue to be built without designated pedestrian paths or bicycle lanes. Meanwhile, many older malls are abandoned and crumbling. Around here, it’s still assumed that everyone moves around by automobile.We are now well into the second decade of the 21st century and the Web is over 25 years old and e-mail is much older than that. However, many of my generation (the boomers) are living their lives as if the Internet is an interesting thing to have around or ‘surf’ but not really essential, like a car is. But things are changing. Most younger people own a mobile device and manage several networks on the Web – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. For them, a car may be optional but a mobile Web device is essential.
Accessing the Web today is like driving a car 25 years ago. You need it to get around, work, and be social.
The web is critical for businesses and citizens to connect. For organizations, connecting on the Web cannot be left to a few specialists. We all need to get involved in the network era and learn by doing. You can’t become a driver without practice, and the same goes for the Web. I would suggest that anyone who doesn’t have a learner’s Web permit had better get one soon. That’s especially true for my fellow baby boomers.