So I lived before the internet was a thing... well at least before any of us had heard of it, I guess the internet has been a thing since the 1960s or something. Point is I can remember going places (AB) with no cell phone and no internet. But I was injured in 2007 and the internet was definitely a thing by that time.

So since my injury the internet has been extremely helpful (at times in very creepy ways) in helping me navigate the semi-accessible outside world.

What made me think of it today is that my buddy just texted me and told me I should drive a couple hours tomorrow and hang out with him at a brewery I've never been to before, then see some concert at a venue I've never heard of, then crash on his couch at a house he just bought.

I guess in pre-internet days I just would have said "hell yeah" anyway and find out how accessible these locations are in real time, but now that I have the internet, in 20 minutes I can find out for myself.

I started by googling the brewery and concert venue, hoping for photos in the reviews demonstrating wheelchair friendliness.

Then things get super creepy... We all know a private home is the most likely out of these three to be wheelchair-semi-impossible, my homie didn't even send me his new address yet, but I used the local real estate tax lookup to search his name and see which house he bought (and exactly how much he paid and when and the past three owners and when they bought it and how much they paid and when the house was built). Then using that address I used google maps to see how many stairs I have to contend with to get inside... 4 apparently... then I searched his address and since he just bought it recently there are plenty of real estate websites with dozens of photos of his house staged for sale a few months ago. Looks like the bathroom on the first floor is most likely doable in my chair.

Then and only then did I text him back and say "hell yeah".

Pretty much all of these things would have been impossible to do from 100 miles away, even ten or 15 years ago.

Sure, privacy is dead, we all know that (I just looked at the view from my friend's bedroom without ever having been near his house), but sometimes that works in our favor...