The Effect of the Internet on Modern Society
The last 50 years have been largely influential in many aspects of technological innovation. Many devices that were considered fiction half a century ago, such as mobile phones, microwaves, jets and many others are taken for granted nowadays. Each of these modern devices impacts people’s everyday activities. However, among the wide variety of innovations that exist today, the Internet is, perhaps, the most influential of all and it affects almost all spheres of human life.
Since the Internet, or the World Wide Web, has gained acceptance across the globe, it has demonstrated considerable influence on people’s lives, and it has also become central to many of the key changes experienced in today’s society. For example, social networks, such as Facebook, allow individuals to communicate and to link on social levels with people they may have lost touch with. A couple of decades ago, this was much more difficult to achieve, and communication was expensive (fees for international phone calls) and irregular (the slowness of snail mail). Aside from the social impact, social media has also affected business and commerce, by offering multiple options for networking and allowing for widespread dissemination of information across a broad geographic scope (Calvó-Armengol & Zenou, 2005).
Mobility of information, resources and skills has changed dramatically as a result of the World Wide Web growing and gaining popularity. These days, many individuals are able to work from home, with businesses being able to obtain a global reach for their products and services without the substantial investments. This has changed the world of commerce, not only from the point of view of the businesses, but also the consumer. Those looking to purchase products and services can research available providers, regardless of their geographic location, and can purchase items from any location. Competition is therefore substantially increased by offering consumers the opportunity to improve the products and services they receive, as well as being considerably more aware of the options available, due to the ease with which information can be obtained online (Kucuk & Sandeep, 2007).
Education has also changed dramatically due to the Internet. Changes can be observed in two areas. First, there is an increasing network of online educational opportunities such as the Open University, allowing those who could not have attended a traditional learning environment to obtain the qualifications that they need to proceed with their careers. Secondly, the World Wide Web has also offered many opportunities for research and for the collection of information (Chandler, 2002).
Therefore we can see that the Internet contributes significantly to many important spheres of everyday private and business life. Thus, it helps people all over the world keep in touch, and communicate instantaneously and inexpensively. Allowing individuals increased access to information and resources enables people to make informed decisions in a much more efficient manner, and it increases their ability to communicate effectively in all aspects of day-to-day life.
The World Wide Web has also shifted commerce models, as well as it has had an impact on the way people purchase things, which has strengthened competition. Finally, the Internet has facilitated educational opportunities, providing people with the option to study online, and offering them more opportunities for reaching their goals.