Ten Ways the Internet Has Changed the World It is hard to believe how young the Internet still is. It has only been around for merely twenty-five to thirty years and started out as an insignificant tool in its infancy. Few people had access to the Internet, yet it now plays such an integral role in our dally lives. Some people are unable to function without It. From computers and smart phones to watches and even eyewear, almost anything can now be connected to what is one large constantly evolving network.
In this article we will take a look at the ten greatest impacts, both positive and negative, the Internet has had on society. Antliff, 2013) Before I dive into the history and the hard facts of the Internet, I would like to share my view and knowledge of growing up with the web. I am still amazed at the fact that I was born into this technological phenomena and two years before the Internet surfaced for public use. I remember when my family purchased our first desktop computer around 1995: I was only four years old and just simply amazed.
I will never forget the nostalgic sounds of the start-up and shut-down of Windows 95 and of course that wonderful dial-up sound, when it worked. I cannot believe we went as far back as using AOL 3. , two years before IM (Instant Messaging) was developed. We used AOL as our dial-up provider until version 9. 0. We would make the transfer to wireless Internet (WI-FI) shortly thereafter. We currently own our third desktop PC. along with multiple laptops and portable devices. Each of them are running on Windows 7 (We used 95, 98, millennium, XP, & Vista previously).
I cannot believe how much the Internet has dramatically changed since I was in high school let alone a child. The Internet has been defined by a national panel as “a diverse set of independent networks, interlinked to provide its users with the appearance of a ingle, uniform network. ” (Hanson, 2014). Historically there are not many people who know that the Internet actually came Into Its existence way back In the 1 96CYs. To be exact It was developed In 1964 by a man named Paul Baran.
He developed a concept of a decentralized packet-switching computer network, which is when a long message is broken down into pieces and sent over to another computer network. Once received by its destination it can be read in its original form. This led to Paul’s introduction of ARPAnet, the original component of the Internet and first nationwide computer network. It operated with a four-node network of university hosts. At flrst It was only Intended for use wlthln the military and College unlversltles. sers were able to send messages back and forth interpersonally thanks to ARPAnet’s Ray Tomlinson who would invent a system (e-mail in its earliest form) that sent messages to other computers while using his newly trademarked “@” symbol. (Hanson, 2014) The Internet finally evolved into how we know it today around 1991 thanks to computer genius Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web with intentions of easily accessing multitudes of Information. Since then It has become a nterpersonal, group, and mass communications.
At this time commercial Internet was approved by the government and by 1993 Mosaic, the first point and click graphical Web browser was released to the public. Berners-Lee and many other early developers still find it quiet astonishing that people all over the world collaborated together in a non-profit venture during the Web’s development. (Hanson, 2014) Now I will begin to analyze some of the top ten topics that have positively and negatively impacted the Internet. To start we look at anonymity and privacy, which continue to be crucial subjects of debate. It can be potentially dangerous if in the wrong hands.
Prime examples of this are hackers, none better than the world-wide group “Anonymous”. They are self-proclaimed ‘hacktivists’ whose actions have had significant impacts on corporations around the globe. They protect their identity by hiding behind Guy Fawkes masks from V for Vendetta and were ranked amongst the most powerful entities in the world by Time magazine in 2012. They would not exist if it were not for the Internet. Using a pseudonym to avoid detection can lead to acts of hostility towards other individuals without repercussions, such as illegal activities as n hate group memberships.
Anonymity can ultimately be very dangerous, especially to governments. (Antliff, 2013). Our privacy is also put to the test when companies track down our online habits such as where we spend our money and on what items, what hobbies we enjoy to partake in, what sports teams we follow, news sites we rely, along with many other ways via “cookies. ” These are tiny files that Websites create which enables them to do the tracking (Hanson, 2014). I understand it is a marketing scheme that helps companies relate to their target demographics but in my opinion it is Just another way of stalking our privacy.
It is impossible to implement the “perfect” amount of security around the net because it has been around for so long and has an overwhelming amount of users. Despite whatever security setting we use on our computers, browsers, and social media pages, we have already made ourselves openly public to the world. This I feel is one of the greatest pitfalls of the Internet that we unfortunately have to deal with. On the other hand an area where the Internet is primarily growing positively is via social media. A phenomenon that began during the start Web 3. 0 and continues to change the way we live and ommunicate online dramatically.
Blog sites kick-started this means of connecting and interacting with others world-wide in the mid nineties and despite current social media sites, blogs/blog spots are still poplar to this day. Sharing is all the rage nowadays, as we saw during the origins of social media through “Myspace” ten years ago and how it affected society. It led to the birth of other social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. These sites allow people across the globe to broadcast every detail of their lives with the rest of the world through the mediums f text, audio, photo and video.
The Internet has revolutionized communication and networking so greatly that few people in the world cannot be reached within seconds with a click of a button. (Antliff, 2013) It has made the world more efficient on paper; however one can really become distracted and get in to the habit of procrastinating. A person may find themselves take a longer break from work than they had intended to read everyday posts of their friends, acquaintances, and co-workers, or browsing news feeds of their favorite sports teams, TV shows, etc.
Despite some of their pitfalls reate a two-way relationship with their customers. (Hanson, 2014). Gaming also has a large impact on society. What started out as a personal in home entertainment device back in the 80’s and 90’s, with basic first-person shooters, 2-D scrolling fghters, and sports games, eventually evolved into the consoles we know of today. Single player games were once all the rage and continue to sell reasonably well, but are fewer in number as first-person shooters (Call of Duty in particular) and sports games such as FIFA have grown rapidly and now dominate the market.
Their rowth can almost solely be attributed to the Internet; as such games now focus on giving players the greatest online experience by playing their friends and other individuals from across the world instead of Just playing against computer-controlled A1. MMORPG’s (Massively multiplayer online role playing game), such as World of Warcraft attract thousands to millions of players daily (Antliff, 2013). Todays consoles such as the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 serve as great mass communicators (Hanson, 2014).
Not only do they play games, DVD’s, and BLU-RAYS, they also allow for ompanies advertisements’ to reach a larger audience, since TV commercial ratings are down. They can do so through the games themselves, and I have noticed when playing EA Sports NHL 14, there are different advertisement on the boards and ice weekly as there would be in real life. Companies are even sharing their social media sites/hasthtags through these ads. I think it is a very cool and clever means of marketing. In conclusion it was not easy to decide which of the ten topics were most significant, however here is a rundown of what was not highlighted in depth.
Other ubjects that have greatly impacted society via the Internet is how we conduct research and can acquire multitudes of information, marketing techniques, crime (heavily debated piracy phenomena), opinions and criticism (our freedom of speech, for better or worse), retail and service commerce (eBay, Amazon, Stub Hub, etc). The Internet continues to grow rapidly with the introduction of multiple Web based platforms and mobile devices. Companies can reach out to millions of people through social media across tons of wireless devices, allowing for greater public awareness via advertising and a more hands on experience among customers.