The internet has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, and with 57 percent of the entire world’s population with internet access, and 4.33 billion active internet users, it’s safe to say that this change is significant. Just as the cliché, the changes brought by the internet have been both positive and negative, and we have curated a list of these changes and how they have affected us
I remember when the network news at nine was the most important television broadcast in many homes, fathers never joked with it and would often compel their children to watch in a bid to “know what is happening in the country”. Fast Forward to today and every information you need is at the tip of your fingers and just a website away. More so, microblogging apps like twitter have made information even more accessible and at a swift pace.
The truth is television as we have known it is changing, the introduction of streaming services such as Netflix, Showmax etc, have kind of made traditional television obsolete. Many people rarely watch television these days because those programs that you could only watch once every week before, can be found on the internet at any time. The ever presence of YouTube and the increasing quality of content uploaded has also enabled the downfall of traditional entertainment.
3. How we make friends
The internet, particularly social media, is filled with billions of people from different places and backgrounds. Social media has made it possible for people to meet and make good friendships with others irrespective of their race or tribe. Some relationships started on social media have gone on to become bigger things, some even leading to marriage.
With readily available information, learning has been made much more easy. One can easily access millions of materials such as books, articles on several topics. Formal learning has also been made easy with remote learning, schools now offer options for distance learning, making available every material needed for the process to run smoothly.
Communication has changed drastically with the internet and social media. This change has divided opinions because there are some who believe in communicating through speech, either face to face or on the telephone. These days conversations are held with texts, emojis and stickers.
6. How we spend time
People spend more and more time on social media than they do on any other activity. This is because, with the bombardment of information, gists, viral content it becomes easy for one to get sucked into it, ignoring real life.
7. How we advertise
The internet has changed advertising, solely because of how quick and easy it is to reach your desired audience or customer. Both small and large businesses have turned to social media for their marketing needs, and per reports, social media platforms bring over $8 billion dollars in advertising revenue. Politicians and governments have also capitalized on this reach and influence and taken their campaigns from crowded stadiums to the smart phones of their potential voters.
8. How we protest
The internet has given everyone a voice, and social media has provided a platform to lend those voices against disadvantageous policies by governments as well as general displeasures. Hashtags have become a tool and over time, this has proven to be an effective lobbying tool.
9. How we see ourselves
It would seem like the purpose of social media is to keep us connected, but in reality, the reverse is the case. More and more people feel disconnected and isolated as a result of the unrealistic and unattainable standards often portrayed. Users try desperately to live up to these said standards at the detriment of their real life, and when they fail, they become socially isolated rather than connected. Likes and retweets have become the main goal for several people and failure to achieve that often lead to depression, anxiety and disconnect.