A funny flowchart from Fast Company called explain the internet to a 19th century british street urchin by Doogie Horner.
Your time machine lands in 1835 and you end up trying to explain what internet is to a 12 years old match sticks seller, using metaphors as a series of tubes, a road system and a door to the world.
The urchin picks a scab off his elbow and says: “Instead of walking over to someone’s house to say hi to them , you can just talk though the internet?”.
“Yes”, you reply.
“And instead of walking to the store, you can just buy things from the internet?”
“And instead of crouching outside a pub’s window and listening to music, breathing the cold night air and smelling roasting lamb inside, you can just stay in your house and listen to music on the internet?”.
“Yes”, you say delighted.
“Then it doesn’t sound like the internet connects people, it sounds like it isolates them.”
The urchin folds up his rickety table of match sticks, gives you a long hug, then walks away.
You came here to teach the urchin something, but he’s the one who’s taught you an important lesson about the shallowness of modern life. You are simultaneously embarrassed by your hubris and humbled by his simple wisdom.
Suddenly you realize that the waif stole your wallet.