'Twas a night during the holidays, when all through the house
Everyone was connecting and using their mouse.
The screens were alight and holding their stares,
While holiday music from iTunes loudly blared.
The children were chatting and texting their friends,
Searching for YouTube clips they just had to send;
And Daddy with his iPhone and I with my RIM
Were synching our calendars to meet at the gym.
When a box popped on the screen that inspired much chatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
A notice from a vendor that our data had been compromised
By some kind of worm was an unwelcome surprise.
We had picked it up when we downloaded a file from a link
That we thought was our bank, because that's what the hackers hoped we'd think.
We now know to stay away from dubious sites and take more care,
And installed stronger security measures to guard against malware.
With hackers motivated by hubris, political or financial gain,
We all need to be more vigilent or suffer the pain.
For the benefits of the network are so vast and so great
That we must cherish and protect it to control our own fate.
"Now, Kiva! Now, Twitter! Now, Google and Bing!
On, Amazon! On, Yahoo! We can do almost anything!"
To finding a job! To posting on a friend's wall!
Now connect away! Connect away! Connect away all!
We can reach out to family and friends, find new resources and ideas
Rally support, uncover wrongs, and solve problems far and near.
Whether using our laptop or making a call
The network is there and can connect us all.
It wasn't that long ago when we relied on snail mail and fax.
Learning how to use the Dewey Decimal system, spending hours searching the stacks.
But once exposed to the network, there was no turning around
To all corners of the world it came with a bound.
It is expanding its reach, and increasingly mobile,
Bringing information and opportunities to all as it goes global.
Over the past 40 years, since DARPA's conceptualization,
The nework has been growing in relevance and adulation.
It's social networks create communities! It's microfinancing sites create hope!
It's automation creates efficiencies; with its collaborative tools innovation is stoked!
As more information and services are digitized throughout the land,
It's exciting to know you hold all you need in the palm of your hand.
But while it's connecting more and more people, as access and devices get cheaper,
We still have a way to go to stop the digital divide from getting steeper.
Expanding access creates opportunity for everyone.
Investment in broadband, we can't stop until we're done.
Unfettered access is critical to much growth and much learning
Uncensored speech a key component to keeping ideas churning
The network is a great tool that we must keep in our sights
As we fight for personal freedoms and help others in their plights
Collectively we can use the network to create sustainable change,
Lessening environmental impacts in efforts to reduce weather that's strange,
Changing business models, creating economic growth,
Engaging with our governments, providing transparency to both.
So connect with your family and friends, reach out to those you hold dear,
Use the network for good and to eliminate fear.
Share the love of the season, keep hope of peace alive.
Here's wishing you happy holidays and many joyful days and nights!