INTERNET – AN ESSENTIAL MATTER TO SURVIVE IN THE DIGITAL ERA
There is no doubt that the internet is a strong foundation of technology, sociology, and connections. Even over the recent period, there have been some dramatic changes to the internet that will influence the websites you visit and therefore probably impact your life and day-to-day interactions. So what is the actual impact of the internet? The impact on people? The impact of life in general?
There are a few popular “Authorities” on the internet which tremendously impact the internet’s content and user interaction. Here’s a breakdown of the 4 big players in the internet game.
- Google – The internet’s number one search engine. During the commencement of Google (one of the first search engines around) people asked the actual use and relevance of a website that finds other websites. But here we are today and Google is the LARGEST, BADDEST website on the internet and NOTABLY influential to the sites we visit. If you have ever created a website, you might have probably involved in a continual battle to impress Google and do everything right to have a hope of showing up in the top listings! (1)
- Facebook – That’s right it’s number 2, I won’t be surprised if it finds its way to the top before too long! More and more websites we visit are influenced by personal recommendations made by friends, or what I like to call ‘Social Search’. Facebook is the number one place that this happens. Whether your friend posts an interesting link to his favourite article of the day (this one) or a funny YouTube video he received in an email, statistics say that you are FAR more likely to check out what the fuss is about from Facebook than you are if it appeared in a Google search. Facebook has introduced its “like” buttons and “Facebook Connect” buttons to the ENTIRE WEB! Anticipating more and more websites are taking benefit of this feature. It allows any old web surfer to click “like” on any article anywhere on the internet which then supports the information back to Facebook saying “Saranya Liked ‘The Impact Of The Internet’ Article”.(2)
- Twitter – is another big contender. It is a miniblog system where you just sign up and follow anyone you want that has an account. By ‘following’ someone you are gaining access to all their ‘Tweets’ (or updates), a major reason it is so successful is because so many high profile celebrities are using it and you are able to keep acquainted with exactly what they are doing or thinking in real-time (some people tweet a LOT). All tweets and links within twitter feedback to Google and can even connect with Facebook so naturally, Twitter has a MASSIVE impact on both the internet and human interaction.(3)
- YouTube – The webs BIGGEST video sharing portal. YouTube is an extremely Viral network, by viral network I mean with so much link and video sharing going on and ever expanding, a video posted on YouTube can go from no views to hundreds of thousands of views in an instant (although this would be an unlikely case), giving any old chap their 15 minutes of fame. YouTube, now owned by Google, integrates nicely with the above-mentioned networks to provide a never-ending source of entertainment, news, comedy, fame, or sheer stupidity to anyone willing to jump on board.(4)
Are you scared yet?
This is just the tip of the iceberg, smaller websites are all trying to adhere to the rules of Google for any chance of success, they also need to integrate Facebook, Twitter, and sometimes YouTube to succeed with viral networking and friends recommendations.
This essentially means that there is so much noise happening on the internet right now. As you are reading this, literally tens of thousands of websites are just being uploaded for the first time, hundreds of thousands of videos are being uploaded to YouTube, Millions of people are tweeting their current mood on Twitter, sharing links with their friends on Facebook, commenting on various articles around the internet, and generally contributing to this incomprehensible energy we call the internet.
Gone are the days of mystery, hope, debates… A quick Google search by a friend on their iPhone quickly puts a stop to any curiosity to any subject ANYWHERE!
Some may say this is a bad thing, but after all, the knowledge has always been there. Whether you used to have to open up the dusty encyclopedias, call a knowledgeable grandfather, it’s always been there. The thing that has changed is the internet and it’s connecting devices (Computers, Laptops, Mobile Phones) which make access to this information absolutely seamless and simple.
Even if it isn’t knowledge you are seeking, just a quick laugh or to join in on a community of friendly people it is extremely quick and easy too. If you don’t already have a Facebook account I highly recommend getting one (visit Facebook.com).
You can find an endless amount of obscure websites and communities out there.
In conclusion, the internet is like a rapidly flowing river, you can jump in at any time and be taken away by the rapid force of technology that awaits. You can understand it as much or as little as you like, either way, it is more useful than we realise and the strongest force of man-made human connection.
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