Who would have thought that the idea of an M.I.T. and DARPA scientists (J.C.R. Licklider) to create a “galactic network” would lead our world being connected beyond belief. Today we take the Internet for granted (in more ways than one) because it’s hard to imagine not being able to hop online to chat with friends, do our shopping from the comfort of our home, play games with others half way around the world, launch a business, and oh-so much more.
The Internet, at its core, is merely a tool but business and society has shaped it into a necessity of our everyday activities. Shut off the net and watch as all hell breaks loose. It’s not that we’re addicted; it’s that the Internet has become a staple and a part of our being.
In business we see web technology have a substantial impact:
- VoIP communication
- Video conference
- Web hosting (and websites in general)
- Payment processing
It’s virtually impossible for a business to operate without some form of connection to the web. Even if you’re operating out of a brick & mortar business many of your customers are discovering you from online listings, they’re using GPS to find your location, they’re comparing prices on their phones, and they’re reaching you for customer support, and interacting with your social media.
You may not be on the business end but you can bet that the Internet has fundamentally changed the way you act as a consumer to the point where it would feel backwards without having so much information at the tip of your fingers.
On the personal side of things – it’s quite apparent how an online connection has shaped our lives:
- We now meet our significant others through dating sites
- We build a following and make friends from social networks
- We find, purchase, download, and play online games
- We stream every type of media (movies, tv shows, music, and more)
- We balance our budgets and do online banking
- We make and share plans
- We attend college or learn whatever we desire
- We participate in politics
The Internet has changed just about every aspect of our living.
Entertainment is probably one of the biggest changes. Before we sat in front of a radio to hear the weekly special or a snippet of news. Eventually we would go to the cinema to see motion pictures. Television popped up and we were glued to the tube. Then streaming and online media hit…
Now you’re spending a great deal of time finding entertainment through your social media feeds. Online video (especially in thanks to YouTube) and Netflix has almost completely replaced television for many. Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes now house our music selections.
I’m a prime example of someone that grew up with the web and has defined their lifestyle based on its connection.
I use an online alarm clock to wake me each morning. I proceed to plop down in front of my laptop to mull through emails, news, and any messages I may have missed from friends/family from the night before. I spend a few minutes glossing over social media profiles and then start up my routine of doing online, remote work for a company. Once I’m done for the day I flip over to Netflix to watch a movie or a few shows, I shake it up and hop over to the free slots section of my favorite gambling site to get some excitement going, and then I even it out with an hour or two of language learning through Duolingo. By the end of the night I’m caught up on what’s going on in the world, I’ve done my job, I’ve socialized, and I’ve been thoroughly entertained.
This routine is one shared by many others. At one point it may have been frowned upon but because all of the tools, resources, information, and entertainment is there for the taking, on the web, it’s a game changer on the societal norm.
So let me ask you this…
Look at your daily habits, how you connect and make your way through the world, and notice how the Internet has changed your life. Doesn’t it surprise you?