Table of contents
- Introduction: The Inevitability of Change and the Role of the Internet
- The Pre-Internet Era: Simplicity and Inefficiency
- Understanding the Internet: A Brief History
- The Internet's Impact on Various Sectors
- The Dark Side of the Internet: Ethical and Factual Concerns
- Conclusion: The Internet's Dual Nature
Introduction: The Inevitability of Change and the Role of the Internet
Going down memory lane, from our past to our present, from the day we were born up till this very moment, from the Stone ages down to our present day, there is one major affiliation associated with all humans, which is change. Change is the only constant thing in life and among all the attributes involved with the word change, knowledge is the most important. The human brain as small and fragile as can be can store information totaling about 254 EB of data, which is approximately 1 billion GB. That is equivalent to stacking CD-ROMs from earth to the moon, thus indicating a very large volume of data storage. With this size of information available for storage in our brain, it is safe to say that there may be a difficulty in storing the right kind of knowledge thus leading to the creation of computers during the industrial revolution. The first computer, called the Analytical Engine, was designed by British mathematician Charles Babbage between 1833 and 1871. In the past, a ‘computer’ was a person, whose duty it was to add and subtract numbers as well as entering the results into different tables. The tables were then transferred into books for different purposes, in order for people to use them to complete various tasks. Tasks such as launching artillery shells accurately or calculating taxes and a whole lot more were completed using those calculations by humans.
The Pre-Internet Era: Simplicity and Inefficiency
Before the creation of the Internet, what did people do? How was life affected? Was it a positive or negative influence? These are some of the questions asked before the existence of the Internet. In response to that, people still moved on with their lives, carrying out various tasks as scheduled, in a way as suitable as possible, but this turned out to be a less efficient way with the advent of the Internet.
Before the Internet, people read books at leisure times, made artistic drawings or just took a stroll down the street. In the event of an argument, people rarely agreed to take each other’s sides except for the side of an elderly person who was consulted on the subject matter. This was only acceptable because they feel the older person has enough experience by virtue of his/her age. These were trying times for accurate information, as there was little or no way to verify claims. Newspapers and magazines were quite popular, with people reading them out of the desire to kill boredom, get information or pass time and not because they enjoyed reading them. People had to walk or drive for miles to get accurate information. Businesses spent more financially to reach the right audience/market in order to sell goods and services and make profits. Ideas were only documented personally and tutorials were only given physically. This resulted in inefficient use of time and adults became unaware of the potentials, they had in them to succeed at a particular task, before the invention of the Internet.
This is not to say that everything was hardly accurate or very inefficient before the arrival of the Internet. No. Ironically life was pretty simple before the advent of the Internet. People actually had a lot more sleep than they do now. If I said I was going to bed, sincerely I was because there was no distraction. Before the Internet, people still planned their schedule with perfection and hardly miss or cancel appointments. That is the perfect way of handling businesses. This shows life would still be simple, even if the Internet had not been created.
It would seem that reading this article from the perspective of a beginner can seem confusing, especially if the word ‘Internet’ has no meaning for the reader. Some people do not understand the meaning of the Internet, which brings us to the question, what does the Internet stand for?
Understanding the Internet: A Brief History
The Internet, sometimes called ‘the Net’, is a worldwide system of computer networks – a network of networks in which users at any one computer can, if they have permission, get information from any other computer (and sometimes talk directly to users at other computers). In basic terms, the Internet is a global interconnected collection of networks that communicate using Internet protocols. It was conceived by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the U.S. government in 1969 and was first known as the ARPANET. The original aim was to create a network that would allow users of a research computer at one university to ‘talk to’ research computers at other universities. A side benefit of ARPANET’s design was that, because messages could be routed or rerouted in more than one direction, the network could continue to function even if parts of it were destroyed in the event of a military attack or any other disaster.
Was there a need for the creation of the Internet? Of course, there’s a need for everything. The government did create the Internet out of a necessity for carrying out government functions and obligations, but they never envisaged the success of the Internet commercially with respect to the future. Regardless, gratitude should be shown to the government for its creation.
The creation of the Internet marked another era in technology advancement. With it, the percentage of knowledgeable beings on the planet has drastically increased, with accurate information available at the click of a button. Not just information, businesses have also been given a platform to grow, by targeting the right audiences and also spending fewer resources (or rather, high volume of resources in some cases).
The Internet’s Impact on Various Sectors
The Internet has really become a necessity since its creation as so many businesses, existence, etc. are tied to it, it has become a means in which a person or persons communicate globally without breaking a sweat. Imagine a world where persons can hold a conference meeting all in the comfort of their homes, where classified information can be sent from one person to the other safely without the archaic mailing system via the post office, imagine a world where a ten-year-old child is able to gather limitless information on his ancestors and their heritage, this and many more have been made possible through the use of the Internet.
The educational system has benefited a great deal from the Internet, thus making education easily reached, with research. The Internet has helped many be able to get educated with quality education, such as getting admitted in prestigious international universities like UNICAF University. Individuals interested in getting a degree in a specific field can use this medium to attend his/her desired educational institution. This has made education easily accessible for Africans, most especially and everyone else across the globe. Furthermore, the Internet has helped education grow and reach many a people across the globe, easily and quickly. You can now get your desired degrees in the comfort of your home, or while you’re working, you do not necessarily need to attend physical classes or tutorials. You can learn basically everything you want using the Internet.
In addition to communication, the Internet has made it easier to pass information and data across to every individual seamlessly through our Internet devices, such as phones and computers. Information can be shared using e-mails or instant messengers. It has also helped radio and television corporations transmit their shows easily to more people, the Internet has enabled them to have more coverage and audiences.
The Internet has also helped business promote their business and brands to heterogeneous number of people who have access to the Internet by running ads on platforms such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and so on. This means has eased physical marketing where employees walk on the street to promote their brand or company, this medium is called ‘digital marketing’. Instead of using Radio and TV or physical marketing by walking around, the Internet has made it easier to reach a large number of targeted audiences around the world or region the organization wants to sell its brand or products.
The Internet has also made it very easy to connect with friends and family who are far away from you, whether in another country or another state. We can now reach our friends and family with instant messengers such as Messenger, WhatsApp, IMO, WE Chat, Palm Play, or e-mails, or with social media like Facebook, Myspace, Snapchat and so on.
The Internet has greatly improved the health sector in the sense that individuals can easily get home remedy/ treatment to common ailment, such as the common cold, cough, insect bites, flu, and so on. A person who got bitten by a venomous snake in the wild can get access to first aid through the Internet and this can save one’s life before the arrival of paramedics.
The Internet has also made a great deal in helping organizations, or local businessmen to sell their products online, without necessarily going out to the market. One can now advertise and sell their product to an interested buyer on the Internet using online or e-commerce stores like E-bay, Amazon, Jumia, Ali-Express, and so on. The Internet has also made it easier for exchange, online transactions, like when one buys a product online, you can also pay money online using payments. The Internet has also helped with banking, transferring and saving electronic assets like cryptocurrencies, and also making it easy to send fiat currencies send fiat currencies to anyone across the globe.
The Internet has helped many get employed by searching for jobs online using job search platforms like Jobberman, where employers and business owners and organizations post vacancies for positions to be filled. The Internet has also helped many individuals make money online, the Internet has helped many become bloggers, and writers, by passing information to people seamlessly and freely.
The Dark Side of the Internet: Ethical and Factual Concerns
However, it must interest you to know that even with the help of the Internet in making life easier for everyone, there are quite a number of disadvantages and problems affecting the Internet. To start, let us take a deep look at the information we gather from the net, the things we read about and pictures we see, an individual or organization is responsible for the contents, also the same individual or organization may decide to take down the contents or worse, edit it to suit their personal, political, cultural, and religious views. Needless to say, that the Internet can, therefore, be polluted by people of interest in such a way that true facts from historical records can be easily edited or deleted by those power, i.e the government, so much so that only their own views will stand which in my own point of view is against human interest as everyone is entitled to factual truth.
That said, we shall move to discuss the Internet. Before the Internet, what do people do? People still moved on with their lives, carrying out various tasks as scheduled, but less efficiently. They read books at leisure times, made artistic drawings or just took a stroll down the street. In the event of an argument, people rarely agreed to take sides except for the side of an elderly person who was consulted on the subject matter because there was no way to verify claims. Newspapers and magazines were quite popular, with people reading them out of the desire to kill boredom and pass time and not because they enjoyed reading them. Ideas were only documented personally and tutorials were only given physically. This resulted in limited use of time and as adults became unaware of the potentials, they had in them to succeed at a particular task, before the invention of the Internet.
As you might expect for a technology so expansive and ever-changing, it is impossible to credit the invention of the Internet to a single person. The Internet has been credited to the work of dozens of pioneering scientists, programmers, and engineers who each developed new features and technologies that eventually merged to become the ‘information superhighway’ we know today.
As earlier stated, change is the only constant thing in life with knowledge being one of the most important things that come with it, brought about the creation of the internet which leads to the expansion of knowledge and information. Today, we use the Internet for almost everything; for many people, it would be impossible to imagine life without it. Can you even imagine a world without the Internet? This is not a chance. The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices. The world today has been taken over by the Internet.
There is no doubt that the Internet is one of the biggest discoveries of this century. The world has drastically changed since the invention of the internet. With the Internet, now it is possible to do lots of things that were not possible earlier. The uses of the Internet in our daily lives depends on individual goals and desires. In most cases, activities of our daily lives are influenced or decided by the use of the Internet. We spend more time on the net for most it is a habit that cannot be stopped not even to be reduced to the nearest minimum. The positive use of the Internet brings ease and simplicity into our lives. It is evident that the Internet provides us with useful data, information, and knowledge for the personal, social and economic development. It is left to us to utilize our time on the Internet in a productive manner. The Internet has turned our existence upside down. It has revolutionized communications. Obviously, the Internet has and will continue to change how people live. Also, it has made a greater influence on almost all aspects of our daily lives, the society and even the world at large.
Conclusion: The Internet’s Dual Nature
Therefore, I believe the Internet is ultimately more beneficial than detrimental to people. The Internet has been inculcated into our educational system as said earlier (learning is much easier and faster and even factual than before) and our businesses (we can now expand our reach of goods and services to heterogeneous people across the globe). Let us make a differentiation concerning the usage, you can use the Internet at home for personal use or at work for professional usage. To spend a part of our day or our time or our time on the Internet is quite normal for many people. They use this kind of medium to get information about all kinds of things varying, from educational to social information. Some individuals are interested in chatting, probably they are members of a community, but whatever it is you are looking for, you will find it. Even if you want to have very specific information, you will find it in a short time all thanks to the Internet, which has brought more positive impact to our everyday lives than negatives.