24 Reasons We’re Thankful for the Internet in 2016

As Thanksgiving approaches, many of us start focusing on the good things in life. For some people, it’s family. For others, it’s a good job. And for the Bluehost team, well, we’re thankful for the internet. Here are 24 reasons why we’re hooked on the web.

1. Phone Home

Video chat and Voice over Internet Protocol technology, which allows you to make calls using an Internet connection rather than a regular telephone line. Not everyone can get home for the holidays, but VoIP technology makes it possible for families to share a virtual meal this Thanksgiving.

2. Digital Docs

Technology in the health industry such as online patient portals that allow us to chat with our doctors online rather than have to shell out the co-pay for an office visit, get test results almost immediately, and have continuous access to our own medical records.

3. Feel-Good Social Media

Although social media has its drawbacks, it’s a wonderful tool to instantly share photos, celebratory moments, creative endeavors, challenges, and victories. When New Zealand runner Nikki Hamblin fell in the 5,000-meter race at the Rio Games, she accidentally took American Abbey D’Agostino down with her. As they helped each other up, the heartwarming moment was instantly captured and shared on Twitter.

Thankful for the Internet

4. Voice of Reason

Without Siri, who would answer our most pressing questions, from “What is the meaning of life?” to “Should I try that new Chinese restaurant?” And Siri can answer you in more than 30 languages.

Thankful for the Internet

5. Travel Hacks

Finding your way around foreign airports is a lot easier these days, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). For instance, Google can automatically pull up a layout map of the airport you’ve landed in on your phone, and Air New Zealand installed “13 biometric-enabled self-service bag drop units” for Auckland Airport customers.

6. Online Smarts

Education is only a click away. There are K-12 programs, secondary degree programs, and advanced learning options for people who need or want a non-traditional education platform.

7. Election Funnies

With 2016 being an election year, live-streaming video has allowed all the candidates to get their campaigns seen by more people, And thanks to YouTube and SNL, we watched endless spoofs of the presidential race.

Thankful for the Internet

8. Road Warriors

Roadside assistance apps, like Urgent.ly, mean that you don’t have to change a flat in the rain or walk five miles to the nearest gas station. At just under $100, it is kind of pricey, but if you’re a frequent or long-distance driver, it’s definitely worth the spend to avoid being stranded.

9. Boss Budgets

The IoT gives business owners more opportunities to gain tighter control over their finances and proprietary data with modern devices that enable remote access scheduling, purchase order approval, and video conferencing from anywhere with a connection. It’s a win for consumers and business managers.

10. Dumb Roundups

The Internet doesn’t make people dumb, of course, but it certainly does spotlight stupidity like never before — like the Classic “Siphon Gas From a Cop Car and Share It on Facebook” Maneuver that earned this thief some jail time.

11. After-Hours Rx

Digital prescriptions reduce medication errors in the hospital and at the pharmacy and also make it easier to get refills after-hours.

12. Wearables Worth Wearing

Wearable technologies that are finally fashionable. As technology improves, we’ll see more things like Levi’s ‘Smart’ Jacket that gives the bikers access to maps, music, and even phone calls via interactive yarn woven into the fabric.

Thankful for the Internet

13. Uber Good Deals

Not only has the Internet given us useful apps like Uber, but in some markets, Uber now offers scheduled pickups.

14. Working From Home

More people are taking control of their careers by opting into the remote job force. Forbes published a list of the Top 100 Companies For Remote Jobs, but there are literally hundreds of legitimate companies that didn’t make the list. If you want to work from home, there has never been a better time.

15. Making Money on the Web

And for those who have always dreamed of being their own boss, the internet has made it possible to start a web-based business. Flexibility, low startup costs, independence, earning potential, and self-fulfillment are some of the primary benefits.

16. WordPress Hosting

Speaking of running an Internet-based business, even a non-techie person can set up a WordPress website in less than 30 minutes without needing to invest thousands in marketing and design fees. At Bluehost we offer a WordPress managed hosting service package specifically for people who have limited time and resources.

17. Cars With Brains

Connected Cars are on the verge of interacting with each other, coordinating with city infrastructures like traffic lights, and sending real-time messages to your dealership service center. And Nokia introduced an application that improves device management for Smart Home owners, which combines Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and ZigBee functionality to simplify your life from a single access point.

Thankful for the Internet

18. Hands-Free Help

Everyone needs a little help once in while managing their day-to-day activities. PC Magazine published a list of the best productivity apps that includes things like Dragon’s NaturallySpeaking (voice-to-text software) and FreshBooks that lets you manage your small business invoices, income, and expenses more efficiently.

19. Backseat Drivers

Google Maps and GPS navigation have made local and foreign travel so much less stressful. If you’ve ever gotten lost on the road and tried to maneuver your paper map while driving, you know how advantageous an interactive online map is. Follow voice directions, avoid traffic jams, send texts to people awaiting your arrival, and find the cheapest gas along your route.

Thankful for the Internet

20. Empty Wallets

Never get left with the bar tab again because your pals didn’t bring cash! Venmo, a PayPal subsidiary, makes it easy to split restaurant tabs, share a cab ride, and pay your half of the rent. You can also receive a loan from a friend and easily transfer it to your bank account.

21. Giving Back Online

You can support the arts, donate to a favorite cause, or contribute to a friend’s medical bill on sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe.

22. Growing Your Business

What would we do without Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat? Social media can help you keep in touch with your friends, advertise your business, and interact with your favorite celebrities.

23. Learn Anything

YouTube is about more than just watching the most popular music videos. From moonwalking to swaddling a baby to changing the speed of a GIF, you can learn how to do anything with YouTube videos.

24. Funny Animal Videos

And of course, since laughter is the best medicine, there’s no better place to get your daily dose of laughter than by watching funny animal videos. What did we ever do before the Internet?!

Thankful for the Internet