Compared to most things that move in the real world, light is really fast. But compared to other things, like computers and networks, it’s not so one sided. For example: most people these days run gigabit LANs. A gigabit is a billion bits per second. The speed of light is 300000000 meters/second. That means that that a “bit” as it travels down your Ethernet patch cord is a voltage pulse about one foot long. Or if you have a ten foot patch cord connecting your computer to the wall outlet, at any point in time there can be ten bits racing through that cable from your computer to who-knows-where.
As networks move to 10 Gb/sec (the Internet is already there), the same ten foot patch cord would hold about one hundred bits. All at the same time. All moving rapidly to their destination.
I just think that is interesting!
The same physics applies to wireless, like WIFI or cellular. The new 802.11ac WIFI standard supports transfer rates over one gigabit per second (although you have to be really good to get that in the real world). By the same mathematics, when you send an email the bits that comprise that email are racing through space from your laptop or phone to the WIFI or cellular tower as pulses of radio waves one foot apart. This would mean that a hundred word (500 character) message would be about a mile long sequence of pulses as it flies through the air. (OK, I know the complex modulation schemes needed to achieve those data rates on narrow (80 MHz) channels isn’t really as simple as I’ve made it out to be. But then if you know that, you already get the point of this post.)