The internet is such a normal part of our lives nowadays that most people can’t even seem to remember what life was like pre-internet. A lot has definitely changed between then now, with most of the changes being primarily centred on human behaviour and perceptions. Here are some of the ways in which the internet has managed to completely change us.
The Information Paradox
The internet has managed to make information easily accessible to anyone from anywhere. You can find anything from details of a preschool in Hong Kong to dates for the next Adele concert in the US, with a simple click of a button. The internet has therefore made information one of the most important resources today. It has, however, also managed to make it completelyvalueless by making it so freely available for anyone. While information could be charged a large price two decades ago, this is no longer the case, regardless of the increase in its importance.
The internet has managed to completely change the face of social interaction as well. Communication has become instantaneous and liberated from geographical boundary, thus making it easier to make friends from around the world. While our parents may have had one pen pal growing up, our kids will end up with thousands of friends from across borders. While the internet has managed to increase the number of friends we make, it has also caused our ability to interact with people face-to-face go down drastically.
Exposure to Cultures
The internet has made it easier for people to be exposed to various cultures from around the world. Before the internet most people only knew about their own culture and maybe a few others, such as American and European cultures. However today people have a wider understanding on how different societies work as well as a glimpse in to their traditions, art and especially music. Using the internet people can now watch a video of a Japanese coming of age ceremony or even stream a Kpop concert live from their rooms, check this out.
Level of Consumerism
The internet has managed to increase the level of consumerism in people by converting a lot of them into online shopaholics. While this is looked at positively by companies, especially the online retailers, it may be a cause for problems in the future with the creation of a consumerism driven, materialistic society.
Loss of Memory Power
This is linked to the availability of information. When information is so easily available, and when technology will easily solve any problem, people no longer consider it necessary to over exert their brains. Most people no longer remember contact details, birthdays or sometimes even names of their acquaintances since all of it is easily available online.