Effects of Computers and the Internet on Society
(First published date: 2006/2007)
Before we know it, technology is going to pass us by. The possibilities are endless with the invention of the computer and the Internet. Society is changing by leaps and bounds, with no chance of a stopping point soon. All this change is dealing with computers and the effects that they will have on the way we live tomorrow. The Internet affects us in every way, notably our social lives, jobs, and entertainment.
Similar to how the electrical engine was the main driver of technical advancement during the Industrial Age, the Internet was the key technology of the Information Age. This vast worldwide network of computer networks, currently mostly built on wireless communication platforms, offers the omnipresent capability of multimodal, interactive communication in selected time, transcending place. The Arpanet, the Internet’s forerunner, was introduced in 1969. Thus it’s not a pretty new invention (Abbate 1999).
However, it wasn’t until the 1990s, when it was privatised and freed from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s oversight, that it spread quickly throughout the world: in 1996, the first survey of Internet users counted about 40 million; in 2013, there were over 2.5 billion, with China having the highest percentage. Additionally, for a while, developing land-based telecommunications infrastructure in emerging nations was a barrier to the proliferation of the Internet. This has altered with the explosion of wireless communication at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Although there were around 16 million wireless device customers worldwide in 1991, there are now close to 7 billion (on a globe with 7.7 billion people). Humanity has become almost wholly connected today, despite significant bandwidth, efficiency and cost disparities. This is based on the use of mobile phones by families and villages, considering the limited use of these devices by children under five.
Our social lives are not just communicating with telephones and mail anymore. Going “online” is the new way we like to communicate with people. Chat rooms on the Internet are open for people to talk and explore with people who may live on the other side of the world or the other side of the street. E-Mail is also another popular way to correspond with others. Users can electronically send mail to another person with an online mailbox simply by typing in their message and sending it with a button. Two seconds to send an e-mail to someone on the other side of the world is much quicker than a week or more through ordinary mail. The Internet can also affect our jobs.
Computers can calculate and figure out things much quicker than the average person. This process can save not only time but money too. Stock trading, banking, and any other business you could imagine are now on the Internet. The world wants things to be quick and easy. The best answer is to have a computer do it for you. In the future, hundreds of millions of jobs will be taken away from honest, hard-working employees and given to computers. These outcomes will become real no matter what choices we make or what plans we change. Why would a business pay someone to take phone orders when a computer can do it in less time and make it cheaper and more accessible for the company and the buyer?
Computers and the Internet affect how we entertain ourselves. The most basic example is card games. If the computer can deal out cards on a screen with the click of a button, why would anyone want to deal out a deck of cards manually and have to clean them up afterwards? On the Internet, you can gamble with online casinos, place bets on a horse race, or even watch movies. People can do all of these activities in the comfort of their own homes.
No gas money is wasted or time spent driving around to find entertainment, so people are happy. The inevitable outcome of this magnificent invention is going to change the world. Society is pleased with the way things are changing. Cheaper is better; less time-consuming is better. With the choice of having a computer and being online, there is almost nothing you cannot do. This remarkable idea of the Internet will revolutionise how we live in the future.