To begin with this post I ask you (the reader) to take a second, and try to imagine the world without the Internet. At nearly 27 years old, today’s modern internet is continually evolving. As the Internet is quickly growing and developing, it has completely reformed the way we live today. The internet is made an remarkable amounts of information available instantly in every homes around the world. Entire libraries has been replaced with Google books. Large encyclopaedias are loaded onto websites. Dictionaries became available online. News began popping up online, and others. Indeed the internet has become an information highway.
About a decade ago, the phrase Information Superhighway began to slip away from the front and centre drawing in all the attention. It’s not because there was less information available online then there had been in the past. In fact, online information was and is still continuing to grow at a staggeringly fast pace. Yet somehow information has been replaced as the conspicuous feature of the online world.
The Internet, for better or worse, has changed almost every single aspect of our lives. The world where we live is now different because of the World Wide Web.
The Down side is that the Internet is taking every part of our working and personal lives, our minds are struggling to keep up to the development. We have grown adapted to staying online 24/7 that we feel at loss when we unplug.
It is impossible to live without our mobile device. We need to have constant access to our messengers, social networks and apps of all kinds to feel part of the connected world.
From social networking sites to online banking services, the Internet is indeed permeating into our lives like never before. Today, on top of desktops and laptops, we are also connecting to the Internet on smartphones, Watches, tablets and most other portable devices.
It is no surprise that our growing dependence on this revolutionary technology is changing the way we think also.
Below are some major ways which the Internet has changed our world behind the scene.
Back in the stone ages a phone call, letter, or knock on the door was required to communicate with someone. Then you would have to wait for a reply to your letter or leave a message on their answering machine if they weren’t home when you called. It was a very difficult time. Thankfully, we now have more instant communication options like text, email, video chat, and various social media apps.
Since the beginning, the Web has always been about communication, making it easier for people on different sides of the country, or planet, to connect with each other.
First it was e-mail that killed the written letter. Then tablets allowed us to get all of our magazines electronically. The post office has been losing so much money that it has routinely been playing with ending many services they offer and starting to incorporate online services.
Pulling out an atlas before a road trip (and having several direction arguments while on route) or waiting in line at an airline ticket office to book a flight is a basically extinct. Thanks to Google Maps, GPS devices and online travel agencies, planning a trip or getting to your destination is just a few clicks or touches away.
We will never get lost again! Do you love Google Maps? I really do.
The best thing that the Internet has done, in my opinion, is make booking travel so much easier simply by cutting out the middle man. It’s hard to even imagine a world where you had to go and talk to someone who would then book your travel for you. What a waste of time!
Encompassing airlines, hotel chains, and online travel agencies, online travel is now a multi-trillion dollar industry.
Can I be honest, though? I feel like the world is missing out on something if nobody ever gets lost again. I don’t mean stranded in the forest going to die kind of lost. I mean, the kind of lost where you find something, or meet someone, that you never would have otherwise.
Visiting the physical location of a store to make a purchase is no longer a must when shopping for a specific item. Now you can search for the product online, compare prices between various supplies, and then make your purchase all while sitting on your couch, watching your favourite show, and eating ice cream in your PJ’s after normal business hours.
I highly doubt that printed money will ever go away for good, but it’s easy to picture a time when very few people will use it.
Not only do you have payments systems, like those from Square and PayPal, which make it that much easier to pay electronically, but you have new currencies, like Bitcoin, which have no physical presence at all.
Don’t forget, though, people do like the security of being able to actually hold their money, and they can breathe a sigh of relief when they see that sea of green.
The biggest impact on our daily lives, though, has been how easy it is now to get anything we want, at almost any time. We get amazing convenience without ever having to put on our pants!
This has taken a huge toll on brick and mortar store across the world, where you see physical stores closing every day.
Getting your college degree is more accessible than it was twenty years ago. Working adults who aren’t able to travel to a traditional campus can now get a degree at home, while cooking dinner, washing five loads of laundry, and doing a 3rd grade science project.
The opening of education with the Internet, as we all know, one of the biggest problems in the west is student loan debt. The cost of higher learning has skyrocketed over the past few decades and its crushing people.
The solution? Online education, with companies like Lynda, Khan Academy, Coursera, Code.org and Smart Sparrow making it possible to get an education that is both cheaper and does not require a full time commitment.
The space has come a long way. If you asked me a decade ago if I would ever even consider taking a class on the Internet, I can’t imagine what my reaction would be. In that time, though, so many people that I know have taken advantage of the opportunity to get a degree without ever having to leave the house.
When you’re looking for answers there’s Google, Wikipedia, and billions of websites. From researching the Paleo diet and DIY tips, to checking symptoms associated with an ailment, online searches have made us our own doctors, nutritionists, and home improvement gurus. In a matter of minutes, with just the click of a button, you can go from knowing nothing about a topic to being the subject matter expert.
For better or worse, we have become our own doctors
News and Weather
Gone are the days of waiting for the morning paper to hit your front porch to get your daily dose of news and weather. Now you can grab your tablet and scroll through the headlines of various media outlets and check the local radar all before you have washed your teeth.
Believe it or not, there was a time when you actually had to visit or call a bank in order to check your account balance. Now you never have to wait in a long line on Friday afternoon to get cash or deposit your pay check. You just sign in to your account online (or tap on the app on your smartphone or watch) and you have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips.
Remember when you had to set your VCR to record TV shows to watch it later? Or visit the video store to rent a movie? Now you can watch your favourite shows and movies whenever you want thanks to streaming content.
Gone are the days when people are obligated to the whims of the network scheduler. Does it matter if two shows that air back to back make any sense being together? It barely does now, and in a few years it will matter even less because we can watch it at our own convenience, online, whenever we want.
Finding a job used to require going through the classifieds in the Sunday paper or, even worse, visiting a business in person and dropping of your resume. Now you can post your profile on job networking sites or search and apply online through employment websites.
Advertising is nothing new. It’s what television and newspapers have relied on for decades. But the Internet has changed the nature of what exactly is being advertised and sold. Namely, it’s you and all of your information.
We have all freely given away things about ourselves to the Internet, and especially Facebook, and now that knowledge is being sold and used to target us for advertisers. With mobile, they can not only know what to give us, but where and when based on our location.
This has given people the notion that we have sold a part of ourselves, and the truth is we have. But now we can get a coupon for that pizza place we are walking past sent directly to our phones, so isn’t that worth it?
In this article we have briefly touch on a few things that the Internet changes in just a few years and also our addiction to it, which is ruining us – and why there exists an urgent need to disconnect from the Web to reconnect with humanity.
There might be a lot of interesting things going on in this world and they’re ought to keep the crowd occupied, but we have to keep our eyes fixed on what concerns us the most.
The information entering our brains and hearts in the form of words, images, videos and audios occur through a prime medium: the internet. Therefore, this usage of internet needs to be controlled to keep our minds and hearts clean and focused.
We have instead gained a habit of multitasking, which permanently reduces our performances and quality of accomplishments. It’s worth noting, instead we should be focusing on uni-tasking, which improves focus and performance.
Internet has taken up so much space in our daily lives (home, work, hobbies, knowledge, games, etc.) that it’s important to assess the effects it has, not only on our future but also on the future generations that are going to come.
As the internet continues to evolve, how are you adapting to overcome the challenges that it creates? How are you reaching out to your peers to create new and exciting relationships? Or are you even reaching out at all?