The Age of the Web Hermit

Written by Phil Hartup

July 17, 2006 | 12:47

Tags: #age #banking #internet #web #wow

Stayin' alive

Prioritising your online existence above your physical one is all well and good until you starve, die of exposure, or run out of money at the Internet Cafe. If the Web Hermit is to exist at all he needs to be able to take care of the essentials of life.

While our ancestors needed food, shelter, clean water and a pointy stick to keep the barbarians at bay, our thoroughly modern Web Hermit knows that all these things can easily be acquired over the internet. All he needs is a bank account and a supply of money to pour into it.

Online banks such as First Direct represent some of the first forays by major, established corporations into the ethereal world of the Internet. Internet banks are strange entities, lacking branches, tellers or even any actual cash if you so wish.

Using electronic transactions and a credit card it’s possible to never have to deal with that vulgar paper money stuff at all. Online banking has never been so easy to set up and use and provides many advantages over its physical world equivalent.

The Age of the Web Hermit Stayin' Alive The Age of the Web Hermit Stayin' Alive
First Direct allows you to manage all your cash on the net, whilst Starbucks allows you to get on the web at the majority of its coffee shops.

So our web hermit now has an overdraft and he has credit cards, but if he wants to move out of his mothers cellar before he hits thirty he needs an income. With a lot of office jobs these days requiring little more than a computer which can send and receive emails and a telephone, it is not hard to set yourself up almost anywhere. A WiFi capable laptop and a mobile phone mean that the office can pretty much travel anywhere. This is where we see one of the more enticing advantages to the life of the Web Hermit - when so much of your life is online you can get to it anywhere there’s a connection, which could mean a coffee shop of a resort on the Spanish Riviera.

Having an ordinary job and working via the web is one thing, but of course the alternative is to simply make money out of the web itself, and there are many ways to do this. The explosion in the popularity of internet gambling has brought together millions of rubes in easily accessible shoals and the web is full of the exploits of those who harvest the online Poker rooms after the pubs have emptied on a Friday or Saturday night. If you prefer a more predictable type of gambling there’s always playing the markets, with share and currency dealing on the web easier than its ever been. If you want something a little more stable than gambling in its various forms then there are other alternatives. Ebay allows for the easy sale and distribution of goods or outside of this there are innumerable websites selling everything from t-shirts to miniature pet pigs.

The Age of the Web Hermit Stayin' Alive The Age of the Web Hermit Stayin' Alive
Online poker can be lucrative, as can Ebay.

Businesses that before would have been high street shops with a tiny customer base can now reach hundreds of millions of potential customers. Where before to open a small business such as a clothing shop you’d need stock to display, premises and staff, now all you need is a website to get the ball rolling. Making money through the internet isn’t just an option any more, for an increasing number of businesses it’s a necessary move.

So you’ve got your bank account, you’ve got your income, and you’ve still not had to put your trousers on today. Not bad. But naturally, man does not live by bread alone.
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