If you've been reading my blog for several years, you'd know what my answer is to this question: What's one thing/invention you're most thankful for? To the others who don't, my answer is "The Internet."
I mean, c'mon, who doesn't? Life just got a lot easier with it. You send emails almost real time even halfway across the world; in the era of snail mail, it takes a week or so. So much information can be Googled; I tweeted that we all used to turn to our radios during stormy weathers, but now we check Twitter for updates. I'm sure there are parts of the population who can live without a TV, radio, and newspapers nowadays. Calling overseas had also become more affordable with the emergence of VoIP services, and instant messaging with voice features, a.k.a. Skype.
Technology never runs out of ideas to make our lives more comfortable and within reach. Today I signed up for OpenTable. This website allows you to browse through restaurants (US mainly, but is expanding to other countries as well) by name or by area. The best part of it is having real-time restaurant reservations. You no longer need to call in one by one to check which restaurant can accommodate your party at a specific time. The bestest part, it's free for users!
So why am I so thrilled? For one, I'm in the Philippines, and I have very limited idea on restaurants in, say, Sonoma. Put the area in, date, time, number of party and, voila! It gives you a list of available timeslots, with brief descriptions about the restaurant, a photo, and price category.
Though the Filipinos are not used to making reservations for restaurants in general, we're getting there and I'm sure this feature will soon be available too. After all, we do have MunchPunch, which offers lists of restaurants and includes a menu too (if available). There's also the trusted ClickTheCity.
Yay for Internet!