Photo: “Internet City” by Sunny Ripert. License CC.
It is ultimately clear that society has changed massively through the course of time; we’ve gone through the discovery of fire, the spiritual awakening of the Renaissance, and the process of Industrialization. Currently, we are living in the technological era where something as simple as sending a message to someone else requires the ultimate internet technology. In this brief exposition, we are going to view the pros and cons about the impact the internet has had on society.
From its beginning in 1957, when the Soviet Union launched the first satellite causing the U.S. to create the ARPA agency to have the lead on the arms race, all the way to 1983, the official birth of the internet, to what we know now a days, the internet has evolved greatly yet it is something very new to the face of the Earth. The great debate across the globe, though, is if this new technology is an advance or a negative input on our society. Since this blog is about film, let’s mention the film “Her” as a reference; in this film the advances and evolution of the internet is clearly present and we can see all the negative and positive aspects of it. We can clearly state, that the internet has revolutionized the planet, in the film and in real life, despite of the negative outcomes.
In terms of the work environment, the internet has had a huge impact. Now, sending messages to peers, conducting meetings, and even marketing is made easier thanks to today’s technological advances. Before, you had to wait days for a business letter to get from the U.S. to Europe, but now all it takes is some typing, a click of some buttons and voila! Your letter is sent and replied in probably, less than 15 minutes. In a conducted study, 9 out of 10 people who were born on the digital age believe that the internet can even make it easier to find jobs. Of course, even becoming an entrepreneur is accessible because we have the tools to create our own business right at our fingertips. Marketing something or someone is very simple thanks to social media; the reason why social media was created is to stay in contact with friends, family, and peers through the internet on a convenient and efficient platform. On the other hand, those who are not as familiar with the internet and its advances believe that their jobs could be jeopardized due to their lack of technological knowledge.
Hand in hand with the work place, is the education. Education has changed and improved so much since the internet arose. Knowledge is now at the tip of your fingers. Thanks to the search engines in the internet, you can just type something you’d like to research about and the internet narrows down your search and displays everything related to that topic. It’s that simple! This is great for learning about new things and even teachers use internet apps and sites to compliment their teaching lessons so that children are more interested and involved. The barrier of distance is also broken thanks to new improvements; there are life situations in which going to school isn’t an option or something easy but now there’s distance learning. It provides you with a good education, in the comfort of your home, and at the pace that you want. On the other hand, sometimes, information can be false but, since copying and pasting it is so simple, it spreads like wildfire and people may end up with the wrong information in their hands. That’s why it’s very important to read through the text, find hints in the page (like an author, copyright, published date, etc.) to verify the validity.
Even relationships and dating have changed! In the olden days, forming a relationship was a long term process due to the fact that you had to wait to see each other and you could only talk through landlines, that is if your folks weren’t eyeing you day and night. Now a days, both can stay connected through text messages and their smartphones. Even meeting someone new is way easier! Before, you had to wait till destiny and fate were in a good mood to put you in the right place at the right time to meet someone new. Now, you just download an app and surf online until you find someone that looks appealing. Then you start talking, meet in person, and the story goes on. Not to mention, thanks to video chatting apps, people can see each other even if they’re on the other side of the globe; this isn’t only good for long distance relationships but also in terms of going on vacations or business trips and staying connected with people back home. Although this can be risky due to the many people who try to catfish others. Still, as expressed in the online page Connected Earth, “However, a survey commissioned by Microsoft suggested that around two in every three online ‘daters’ form at least one long-term relationship and that three per cent eventually marry someone they met online.” Meaning, this is good progress!
Something as simple as shopping has been revolutionized thanks to the internet. Most people don’t even go to the stores anymore. They just open their laptops, tablets, or smartphones, search what they want in store websites, order it and wait for it to be mailed. People believe that it’s more convenient since you order exactly what you want in the size, color, and style you need it. Although, there are some old fashioned who love to go to the store and experience the full shopping extravaganza and don’t like to wait for the package to arrive, online shopping has been very prominent in the past couple of years.
To conclude, I believe that the positive effects the internet has had on society outweigh the bad in many ways. Realistically speaking, everything in life has a bad aspect, including the internet. Like everything else, we have to learn how to protect ourselves and manage our accounts and online life successfully in order to fully appreciate the good aspects of it. Communication has improved so much that its ridiculous; a lot of people claim that everyone is now on their phones surfing online but that also depends on how they are raised back home. If you raise your kids to have limits and keep a balance between the phone and active real life mingling, everything should be fine. We have to think about all the good things we could do and achieve thanks to this remarkable discovery. Right now, the internet is a toddler, it’s new to the world and think about all the wonderful discoveries and achievements we have made thanks to it. To think that, if we learn how to use this tool properly for the benefit of us and society, imagine all the things we could do in a few more years…
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