The internet is considered by many people to be the single most important development in human history and it has certainly transformed the way we live our lives. When we consider how intrinsic a part of our lives the internet has become, it is amazing to think that just a few decades ago, it didn’t even exist. The internet has changed the way we communicate, consume information, study, do business, shop, and even meet romantic partners. There is no part of human society that was not changed forever by the development of the internet and these changes are far beyond the point of being reversible. In this article, we will explore 4 of the biggest ways the internet changed our lives forever.
One of the biggest ways that the internet changed the world was communication. Before the internet, the most popular forms of communication were telephone, fax, and traditional mail. Whilst the telephone is still a widely used form of communication, many people now communicate with their friends and family solely by text and use web-based video calling for longer conversations. International communication in particular has totally changed. Just a few decades ago calling abroad was very costly and time-consuming and you usually had to book a slot with the operator who would then connect you.
Nowadays, calling abroad is no different from calling someone in your own country, and with web-based communication services, it costs nothing at all. Traditional mail is in danger of becoming totally obsolete and many people use it now only to send birthday cards or other special correspondence. Faxes and telegrams have long become antique technologies as email totally transformed the digital communication world.
Since the development of the internet, we have unbelievable access to every form of entertainment media and content. Before the internet, CDs, DVDs, cassettes, vinyl records, and videotapes provided people with a hard copy of their favorite albums, movies, and tv shows but these days everything is available to stream or download from the internet. Huge content providers like Netflix and Youtube dominate the entertainment industry and record companies and movie studios have been forced to adapt to deal with the reduced revenues that have come as a result of streaming and downloading content for free.
Perhaps the most important web-based entertainment service is Youtube which is a platform that provides video content of every imaginable genre. Over five billion videos are watched every day on YouTube and it has become the number one source of music videos, TV and movie clips, and educational videos. There is now software available which means that it’s possible to download Youtube videos enabling users to watch their favorite videos offline on their mobiles or computers. One way that the entertainment industry has been hugely impacted is the blurred lines of what is a copyright infringement and industry attempts to regulate downloads and streaming and impose penalties on people who do it have been mainly unsuccessful. It is perfectly legal to download Youtube videos for personal use and it is a very safe way to get content because specialized Youtube download software protects your computer from viruses.
The internet has literally changed the face of education and today’s students have opportunities and access to information and resources that older generations could not have even imagined when they were at school. The days of learning from a textbook in a traditional classroom are gradually being replaced with interactive lessons that integrate various multimedia resources and computer-based student interaction. In previous decades students would do their research for school projects using reference books and encyclopedias but these have become essentially obsolete as up to the minute accurate information is now available to students at the click of a button.
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Education and the internet are now intrinsically linked and many industry experts are predicting that in the next few years, more and more schools will opt for virtual classrooms where the students study from home using web conferencing software to interact with their teacher and the other students. During the CoronaVirus Pandemic as schools were forced to shut, many classes were conducted in this way and it seems likely that this will become a growing trend in the near future.
The world was changed forever with the advent of the internet and these days children are becoming web-literate while they are still in diapers. Every facet of our lives and society is now directly connected to the internet and we are coming to rely on it more and more. Online developments come so thick and fast that it is almost impossible to predict what will happen in the future.