The internet has only really been around for most people for less than 20 years, yet its impact on the world has been immense. What follows are five ways the internet has changed the world.
Remember the days when you had to pick up a piece of paper and a pen in order to write to someone? And then you would have to go through the process of putting the letter in an envelope, stamping it and taking it to a post office to send. All this, and the card you sent for Christmas would invariably arrive sometime around Easter…
But that was before the arrival of the internet. With the internet came e-mail, and then a bit later VoIP, Instant messaging and video calls. Now you can send a letter to someone halfway across the world, confident that it will arrive almost instantly. You can have telephone conversations online, and even video chats, so granny in South Africa can see her grandchildren in Australia and talk to them like they were in the same room.
This doesn’t even include social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, which allow people to communicate with a large number of friends at a time, as well as to post pictures and comments.
In the days before the internet, it we wanted to watch TV, we had to watch whatever was being shown by the networks. If you missed an episode, and weren’t able to record it, that was it unless you managed to see a rerun. Now, with the rise of the internet, you can not only download whatever episode of whatever series whenever you want, you can also download movies, music, games and more.
It used to be that to be discovered as a musician or actor, you had to go to auditions and be “discovered by agents and directors or music company executives. Today, all you need to do is post a video of yourself on YouTube or MySpace, like Justin Bieber or Lily Allen.
With the internet, you no longer have to wait for a friend to visit if you want to play multiplayer games. There are now numerous games that you can play online against people all over the world. There are even games like Second Life, where people are able to log on to a virtual world and interact with other people. They are able to buy property, create works of art and have relationships.
With the internet came a different form of news. You used to have to rely on the mainstream media for your daily dose of news. You know how it went, every night at 7 the kids would have to be dead quiet because dad had to watch the evening news, and the stories of butlers having to iron the morning newspapers for their wealthy masters. The news was basically fed to you, you weren’t able to go out and find different opinions.
Nowadays, you are able to go out and find the news. You can read an article on the gulf oil spill on the Time Magazine site, and then read one from a different point of view from CNN. The news is also no longer just being reported by journalists and mainstream media. There have been many times where the larger news companies have been scooped by smaller sites, or even blogs, as in the case of Michael Jackson’s death where TMZ.com was the first to report that he had been taken to the hospital.
One of the biggest advantages the internet has had to our daily lives is that now we can find a piece of information anywhere in the world where there is internet access. Need info on the Mount St. Helen’s eruption? The release date of the latest Artemis Fowl book? Or even instructions on how to tie certain boy scout knots? In just a few seconds, you can find millions of sites that give you just what you are looking for. No more spending hours searching through the library for me…
Just about every type of business, from large news corporations, to small clothing stores have websites to promote themselves and their products. New methods of business have even started due to the web, such as people making money from blogs and websites they have started, web design companies, and on-line shops that have thrived with many people choosing on-line shopping over going to regular shops.