I think one thing the internet does amazingly well is provide a sense of scale.
The Earth has ~7 billion people living on it, which is a number that is relatively meaningless, since most people (all people) have a terrible time finding a frame of reference for it.
But once you give these people, or even a percentage of these people, a means to connect, create, and share, you can start putting things into perspective.
Just poking around YouTube one encounters an overwhelming amount of video. Much more than anyone could possibly expect to watch in several lifetimes. (According to YouTube’s Stats page, one hour of video is uploaded every second.)
The Cheezburger Network has hundreds of sites devoted to single themes, and are updated multiple times a day, by user submitted photos. Even if you only follow one or two of their feeds, it’s almost a full time job to keep up with them.
The social network sites love to give us stats and numbers. But the number of tweets per minute, the number of visitors per day, the amount of content uploaded tends to be meaningless without reference. Fortunately, the content is visible, and the visible representation is something we can relate to.
Once we can explore the numbers. See the live tweets as they come in. Watch video for hours and realize that there are days of content left to see. Look through a friend’s photos and realize that long lengths of time have passed. Go down the wikipedia rathole only to forget why we originally surfed there. Then we start to get an idea of how big the world really is.
Talking numbers is vastly unhelpful. Experiencing them can be insightful.