How internet has changed life
THE ALARM buzzed shrilly and woke me up from my sweet dreams of fame and glory. I sat up in bed, and then got out reluctantly. Half asleep, I went to my computer, which was on all night, downloading the latest U2 album. I double-clicked on the MP3 files and turned on my speakers. Instantly, the sounds of "Vertigo" filled the room, as I showered and got dressed.
I had a couple of minutes to spare so I decided to check the news. I opened IE, typed in yahoo.com and got a gist of what was happening around the world. I also checked my email, only to find a reminder for my friends birthday in my inbox. "I should remember to buy her a gift on the way back," I thought and left for work.
What you just read was a typical day in the life of an internet-savvy person, which largely means almost everyone out there. The internet has changed our lives in more ways than one, but here are the 10 most important ones:
1. Enhancing relationships
Many people say the internet has turned people into "islands," attributing the demise of many relationships to it. That isnt true. The internet has brought people far closer than ever before. A decade ago, if a friend left the country, it would usually mean a decline in the level of friendship, if not the end of it.
Now, its quite easy to stay in touch. In fact, anyone can interact with friends and family all over the world via email, chat software like mIRC, websites like Orkut, instant messengers like MSN or Yahoo! Messenger, Voice Over IP (VoIP) applications and video conferencing kits.
From keeping in touch with old friends to meeting new people, the internet is responsible for a revolution of sorts. It has even become a matchmaker, thanks to websites like shaadi.com, naseeb.com and matchmaker.com.
Our concept of entertainment has changed a great deal. Every form of entertainment now has presence on the web and new forms are also coming up, because of the internet. There are online radio stations that we can listen to (freevirginradio.com, live365.com, muziq.net and shoutcast.com), online movies and videos that we can watch on real.com and msn.com, e-books which we can read, games that we can play and compete internationally, on sites like Yahoo! Games. Now its possible to go through millions of websites, offering every possible kind of entertainment without getting bored.
The internet has sparked off revolutionary business models. Who would have thought that one day, small businesses would be able to compete against transnational companies? Who would have thought that you could have goods delivered to you, from anywhere in the world, by entering just a credit card number on a website?
In US, we have an online package delivery company, offering tracking services, online ordering, delivery reports and other related services. Because of this, we have come to expect these services from other companies as well and these have become our minimum standards of customer service. Thus, all package delivery companies are now trying to meet this minimum standard, greatly benefiting the customer.
The information available on the web is simply mind-boggling. From a doctors advice on probably every disease under the sun, on sites like webmd.com, to the latest research in meta-physics or genetics, the amount of information now available on the internet surpasses everything that man may have created in the past.
Specialty portals like www.webopedia.com for IT, www.dictionary.com for journalists and writers, www.ivillage.com for women, askmen.com for men, www.cnet.com for electronics have sprung up, which provide information on a previously unimaginable scale.
Search engines have also played a big role in bringing the internet to its current position of importance. In fact, Google raised the standards for every search engine out there and still continues to be innovative. With services like Gmail, Orkut, AdSense and Froogle, Google has been breaking fresh ground.
A decade or so ago, meetings with international clients or customers were rare and usually involved traveling. Now your client or partner is a Video Conference away and that too, if instant messaging is not enough. The internet has enabled companies across the world to keep in touch via email or chat and they can now collaborate easily.
Gone are the days when a teacher would refer to a certain book or article in a magazine which students were expected to read and discuss. Now, with the power of the internet and the search ability of Google, students can update information from around the world.
Not only that, but learning programs and training by the finest teachers in the world are now available online for those willing to pay.
The internet has changed the way we talk, speak, and write. Google is now officially a verb in the English language. Similarly, the "smiley", :-), is one of the most recognized symbols in the world which is even used in normal writings to denote happiness. And "becuz of the gr8 way w3 cht, z entire eng. lang. has been hard hit, esp. in scoolz."
The net has also changed perceptions. For instance, being a "techno-geek" is now thought to be cool, when previously a "geek" used to be the kid who was avoided by all. Also, words like "Uber-cool" and "hack" have come from the net lexicon.
The world of publication has never seen so much personal writing than it now has because of the internet, especially the blogs. Websites like www.blogger.com and www.20six.co.uk/ have made publishing fast and easy. Now you have the choice of reading about something as mundane as somebodys personal life, to as out of the ordinary as discussions on philosophy and human behaviour.
In fact, the amount of influence certain blogs now command has altered politics, society and even business. No longer will the individual be forced to accept the hegemony of dictatorships and misguided multinationals because there will always be a blog willing to take the risk of criticizing such "evil" trends. The power of these blogs is so great that Microsoft has resorted to hiring a "Web Evangelist" whose job is to answer blogs that criticize the company and its products.
From buying tickets online to finding about the best travel destinations, resorts, vacation packages and tourist spots, just about everything is now available online. Even countries have taken to this medium to attract tourists, since more and more travelers now want information about everything that a country offers before buying a ticket.
Now people can stay at home and still run entire companies or businesses. More than that, the internet has truly allowed businesses to go global.
As for new students and IT professional who keep on updating them-self for latest certification like MCITP Training and MCTS Training and have not much time for training to enhance the leave of expertise in the IT field thanks to Teskingdom.com, they have real life scenarios which provide the students the exact knowledge for the exam day.
The outsource movement that has become such a boon for India, and now for US, would not have been possible without the internet. Companies now literally work at 100 per cent capacity, with businesses operating 24 hours a day, increasing productivity and improving living standards across the board.