The modern Great Wall

I’ve written before about how interesting it is to see where the page views for this blog are coming from. WordPress began breaking down page views by country of origin last February, and since that time, something that I created has found its way into 150 different nations around the world.

The majority of these page views have come from the United States, but most of  the other nations on earth have also shown me at least some love. And a page view counts as “love” in my mind.

The idea that someone in Greenland, Guam, or Ghana has ever come across anything from this site is very humbling. I’ll never travel to most of these places, but I’ve already been there on some metaphysical level, and that’s just fantastic to consider.

But there’s always been a gaping hole, when it comes to countries that have never seen the blue-tinged light. And it’s not Cuba, or Iran, or Ethiopia, but the largest nation, population-wise, on the entire planet. China consists of well over 1 billion people, or about 20% of all the people living on this planet of ours. And yet, until earlier this week, not a single one of them had ever accessed anything on this website. Amazing.

This speaks volumes about that nation’s access to the internet (or lack thereof). It either doesn’t exist (which I can’t believe is possible), or is so thoroughly restricted that the tiny nation of Nauru–which has fewer residents than my Chicago neighborhood–has discovered this blog more often than all of China has.

It’s difficult to imagine that such a sizable chunk of the world’s population lives in such conditions. Not that this insignificant little blog could do anything much for the people of China, but think of all the possibilities that access to the web in general opens up. The internet today is like electricity, in that you can probably get by without it, but you can’t fully realize everything that’s possible when you do have it.

Thanks to the brave soul who found a way of breaking through this modern-day Great Wall, and had himself or herself registered as my first (and so far, my only) Chinese visitor. I’m hoping to see much more traffic from China one day–even if my language is different from theirs–because the internet has too much potential to be lost on so many people.

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