The world has been witness to a lot of revolutions in the past. The Industrial Revolution changed the way we work. The Green Revolution changed the way we eat. And now, we have ushered in a Digital Revolution that has transformed the way we live. Its gigantic effect can be gauged by the fact that the number of Internet users has reportedly increased from 738 million in 2000 to 3.2 billion in 2015 and 3.77 bn in 2017. That’s a seven-fold increase that brought Internet penetration up from 7% to 43% of the global population.
Internet has bestowed the world with a plethora of opportunities to lead better lives.On Internet’s 48th birthday today, let us discuss the ten ways Internet has brought about a monumental change in the way we live.
1. Facilitating communication
When was the last time you received a letter from a distant relative? In fact, people have started preserving postcards and telegrams as souvenirs. Forget these, even the not so old SMS (Short Messaging Service ) has become redundant now. We are living in an era where almost every person in your circle is just a Whatsapp message away. Feeling lonely? There are an umpteen social media platforms to help you connect with like-minded buddies. Being virtual is the new reality now.
More than half the world now uses a smartphone;
Almost two-thirds of the world’s population now has a mobile phone;
More than half of the world’s web traffic now comes from mobile phones;
More than half of all mobile connections around the world are now ‘broadband’;
More than one in five of the world’s population shopped online in the past 30 days.
2. To Seek Education
Thanks to Internet, Google is what many rely on for any sort of knowledge acquisition. A recent surge in online libraries is testimony to the fact that education, in a large way, has been democratized in an effort to make it accessible to everyone. Facing difficulty in a subject? There are online lessons for you to refer.
There are universities that have started offering online courses. Webinars and Skype have replaced traditional ways of imparting education. According to a report, parents have started reconsidering their choice of sending kids to schools. Homeschooling, under the aegis of internet, is becoming the popular norm these days.
3. Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment
Youtube, in many ways, has become the one stop destination for your dose of entertainment. From old songs to quirky videos, from how-to tutorials to motivational lectures, everything is up there for you to watch and feel happy. In India alone, Youtube gets more than 60 million unique users a month and the watch time has been increasing by 80 percent every year.
4. Altered the way we travel
Who needs a travel agency when your phone apps are there at your service? Google Maps, websites with planned itineraries and discounts, virtual reality for a 3D immersion are all making travelling so easy. This actually means that you can know about a place even before reaching there.
5. Make money
Gone are the days when people spent a major portion of their day commuting to work?The internet era gives a lot of employees the flexibility to work from home using Internet. It is also a boon for mothers who want to look after their children without compromising on their skills and financial independence. Just think about it! No office politics, no traffic jams! Internet nullifies almost all the impediments thwarting you from enjoying your work to the hilt.
6. Easing Financial Transactions
The whole banking structure of the world has undergone a drastic change in the recent decades. Backed by flawless internet connectivity, the whole world is moving forward in the direction of building a cashless world economy. Net banking and E-wallets are altering the way cash flows into the economy.
7. For Personal Safety
Entrepreneurs are devising some wearable safety objects that make use of Internet to keep your near and dear ones updated about your whereabouts. If something goes wrong, they will be informed in a nick of time.
8. Shop anything and everything you want.
I am not able to recall a single item that cannot be purchased online. From cutlery to vegetables, from clothes to books – everything is showcased for you to choose from. You find your desirable item expensive? Move on to the other website. Compare today’s scenario with the days when people would stand in long queues to buy everyday stuff.
The present is bright. The future will be brighter. Internet has the power to become the symbol of peace, equality and liberty. Let us hope for the time when it will become powerful enough to help combat some of the most serious humanitarian issues the world is facing.
CHARMING AND NOSTALGIC?
- Those blue inland letters we always folded imperfectly and that yuck sticky that we had to lick and then post it.
- That white envelope which said Air Mail with the red/blue edges. ‘Foreign ki letter’
- Those parcels wrapped in muslin and stamped with thick lacquer. Only Indian post officers could do that.
Image credits: Digital Unite
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