Research Paper: Internet Changes Lives

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Internet Changes Lives

How the Internet Changes People's Lives:

A Fantastic Story of a Once-in-a-Lifetime Discovery

How Internet Changes Lifestyles

The Internet technology revolution has been the single greatest story for the success of capitalism and innovation in the post-Cold War world. Beginning in the 1990s and until today, the Internet has affected nearly every human being on Earth, whether through his or her own direct interaction with it, or through the effect of globalization, which was expanded dramatically as a result of instant communication. Remote villages and islands that had previously been inaccessible by telephone lines are now patched into satellite television and Internet communications.

While there are many advantages to having an open communication channel to all the world's citizens, there are many downsides as well. Terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda now have an easy propaganda channel accessible around the world. Wicked governments are now able to cut off their citizens' voices at will, and spend millions of dollars each year providing misinformation to the outside world, covering up their intentions even while reporting encouraging statistics to the West.

There are domestic problems with the use of the Internet as well, as it has dramatically changed how most Americans live their lives by creating distractions and disorder. Obesity is on the rise, and although smartphones may allow one to move around while using the Internet, the restrictions placed on data usage actually promotes the use of one's cell phone on a Wi-Fi network, which discourages treks outside populated areas. The Internet has worsened the lives of an entire generation of Americans, by extending unwanted relationships, by inviting an inactive lifestyle, and by replacing face-to-face communication with electronic communication. Though it has been an important advancement in humankind, the Internet has forever altered the way in which humanity 'connects.' The paper below will explore this concept further, and provide scholarly justifications for its descriptions, as well as its opinions.

History:

The 1990s to the Present

The World Wide Web first came into being in 1990, as a system used to link files together. In order to display text and alter the appearance of these files, a hypertext markup language was adopted. The Web used an idea called the DNS, or Domain Name Service, in order to find the exact address for the website in question. All together, this system created the first inklings of what we now know as the modern Internet. Connection speeds were incredibly slow, at 14.4 Kbps (compared to today's norm of 1 Mbps), and computers were using old Operating Systems such as Windows 3.1.

This period of time was revolutionary for the early tech community, and retains a mythos of immaturity on the Internet, as people were just discovering the most influential commercial tool ever invented. Rapid changes in the computer industry occurred during this time, and the value of computers and technology firms skyrocketed.

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, became the richest man alive, and America embraced its role as leader of the Web revolution.

The environment on the web was a very different place in the early 1990s from that we find today. This decade has been called the 'Wild West' period of the Web, because there was simply no understanding of safety measures, and hacking was extremely prevalent and easy to perform. Security firms had not even been established, and most people were warned not to given any sensitive information away on the Internet. This was a very different time than today, when most people's cell phones have full capability of a mobile bank, with account information, deposits, and all.

By the late 1990s, most Americans and other wealthy citizens of the developed world had used the Internet, email services, and became accustomed to the newly computerized work environment that overtook American workplaces. Personal Computers operating Windows 95 or 98 were the hottest gadgets, and every household and cubicle had to have one in the cutting edge Internet-enabled world. Intrepid individuals had found a forum for their creativity, and entire industries of web design and programming emerged, creating jobs for tens of thousands of people across the world.

Another benefit of the Internet led existing business to see great returns in productivity, due to the fact that communication between business partners could be made immediately, and even the facsimile machine became obsolete as scanning machines became vital to offices. All was not utopia, however, as many workers who were not able to adapt to the new tech environment were forced to retire, causing a generational gap to emerge in the workforce. Also, a tech bubble emerged in 2000 as a result of the incredible optimism present in the market at this time, and many companies crashed and burned because they were not able to follow through with their instant startup ideas and turn them into reliable businesses.

The state of e-commerce was also in question at this time as hacking became increasingly threatening to corporations, governments, and individuals. The Internet that had been the 'Wild West' just a few years prior was now struggling to adjust to millions of daily adopters, and changes had to be made in the web itself in order to better create content for users. Thus, the Web 2.0 movement took hold, and the adoption of IPv6, a new type of DNS system that expanded the number of IP addresses available for use in the world, as well as the creation of HTML 5, which greatly enhanced the look, safety, and quality of websites across the web.

With new internet capabilities came new, creative, internet-based inventions. In the year 2005, for instance, Facebook was unleashed on America's college campuses, and the era of social networking arose. This unique website accomplished something that many other social-based websites had failed to do, and it quickly reached near monstrous proportions in both its subscriber base and repeated daily use. Facebook was so successful, in fact, that it quickly became one of the most important websites for politicians, businesses, and other organized interests.

Prior competitors of this movement, such as MySpace, concentrated on maximizing an individual's personal space. Facebook differed by simplifying its layout, and focusing on the exchange of communication between people, thus creating the vital links between people, their profiles, their groups, and their friends, a process that has morphed Facebook into a durable business. Alongside the fast expansion of Facebook came a rapid adoption of smartphone technology, which allowed for the Internet, email, and data sharing to be accessed at any time of the day, so long as the smartphone was on hand.

Argumentation of Previously Explored Concepts

The Internet has changed people's ability to be up-to-date on the status of distant friends and relatives. The desire to be constantly 'updated' has backfired for many of us who value our privacy, however. The return of friends from youth is indeed a great benefit of social networks, but one must note that with the return of old friends comes the return of difficult relationships, and unlikable people.

The 'Facebook effect,' as it is called is not just an American phenomenon; it has reached worldwide proportions. The internet and with it social networking has made the world incredibly small, as moving across the globe does not even mean one has to be out of touch for more than a few seconds any more. Video chat has even removed the need to see family members face-to-face, as smartphones have completely changed how this technology is disseminated.

The Internet has reduced the desire for individuals to leave their homes in search of companionship or excitement. Teenagers, the traditional pack roamers of urban and suburban America, are just as likely to sit at home and communicate through twitter or text messages as they are to go interact with their friends in person. In some instances, technological linkages completely replace face-to-face interactions. Society, in its quest to become more closely linked, is also becoming quieter and quieter, at least in its physicality. Whereas once youth would be found in parks, in cafes and dive bars, now many places are empty or are going out of business due to the fact that many choose to interact inside, watch films, or surf the internet. This particular facet has rendered the internet's influence quite negative on today's physical interactions.

For instance, listening to music and buying the latest record was once a hobby in which every child partook. In fact, this was almost like a ritual. One could go to the record store and browse for several hours, as well as talk to other people of one's age and finally buy a record. This would be an event someone could look forward to and for which one would plan. Yet today music has been digitized and the gratification received by buying a new song is far less impactful than it had been even in the days of CDs.

Another negative aspect of the internet is its tendency to keep individuals sedentary. Statistics show that Americans keep gaining… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Internet Changes Lives.  (2012, April 24).  Retrieved June 16, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/internet-changes-lives/9555623

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