That the internet has changed the world is obvious – it has become such an integral part of all our daily lives that it’s almost invisible! Most of the time, we do not even realize when we are using the internet since it is just so readily available at all times in the modern, digital world we now live in.
Although it is has been more than 36 years since the net was first used by the government back in 1983, the difference between what it was then and what it is now can be overwhelmingly profound. If we were to go through every step of the net’s evolutionary process, the changes would be astonishing. For now, though, let’s take a brief look at how the World Wide Web has and continues to change the world around us forever.
Impact on Education
As we discuss change and improvement, it would be inappropriate to start the list without mentioning education. After all, education is what has truly changed the world, and a large part of why the net exists is, of course, for providing information and education of all kinds.
Twenty years ago, if someone told you thatfrom an online university are a real thing, you would probably laugh. Today, however, that is exactly what Spring Arbor University Online brings to its students from all around the globe.
Spring Arbor University’s deep Christian roots have been merged with the latest MBA education to create accredited Christian MBA programs. They are delivered to student professionals everywhere via the internet.
It’s not just about MBAs either, because many professional and academic courses are now being offered via the internet, which is just as valuable as regular courses in terms of accreditations. If anything, online courses enjoy several advantages over traditional courses, which can be summarized as follows:
- Internet courses make education available for everybody, irrespective of their geographical boundaries.
- They are ideal for professionals who cannot afford to give up on the experience or the money from their current job.
- Online programs come with a flexible schedule to accommodate even the busiest people in the world.
- Differentially abled individuals find it a lot easier to learn in a comfortable environment, such as their own home.
- Even on the move, just having a smartphone is often enough to go through the lessons, video lectures, and more.
- The cost of education is vastly reduced when students don’t have to pay for rent, food, commute, or even give up their current job.
- Time saved by being able to skip the regular commuting can be used for anything from an extra course to more time for the family.
- The speed of the modern internet makes the classes and the entire experience seamless.
When a particular technology has essentially changed the medium of education itself, improved it in many ways, and made it more widely available than would ever be possible otherwise, the impact of that technology on changing and improving the world is self-explanatory.
Impact on Business
The total eCommerce sales figures grew by 15% last year in the US compared to 2017. The data comes from the United States Commerce Department, confirming something that we knew already; eCommerce will eventually become the main source of revenue generation for the entire retail industry.
That is not to say that brick-and-mortar stores will perish or that offline businesses will not be useful anymore because that will never likely happen. Nevertheless, the impact of the internet on retail, in particular, has been such that it will inevitably change the dimensions of the retail industry even more as we head further into the future.
A time is not far away when the competition between offline and online business will end in retail, and both are going to merge as a singular business, with two mediums of sale. This has already happened with big retail chains such as Best Buy and Walmart. Still, smaller traditional stores are also actively adopting eCommerce and the vast opportunities the internet offers.
Understand that we have till now only discussed retail, which is just one of the numerous industries that the internet has changed beyond anything that could have previously been imagined. Take Software as a Service or SaaS, for example, where a whole new, multibillion-dollar industry was created by cloud technology.
It is mind-boggling to think that the impact of the net on business, in general, is so huge that there is possibly no field where the invisible web is not currently affecting it, directly or indirectly. On the flip side of things, there is hardly any net sector that businesses aren’t monetizing, either.
Impact on Entertainment
Finally, we come to entertainment, but let’s clarify that online entertainment is just one of the multiple online industries mentioned previously. However, it deserves special mention because the industry’s impact has been one of the most profound, responsible for creating the modern, digital world we are all so used to now.
- Online streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have redefined and recreated the need for TV sets in 2019
- Online gaming and social interactions have been turned into one seamless activity.
- Online gambling, where legal, is now a business worth billions of dollars
- Social media sites have become a way for us to share and feel connected to the whole world.
- Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality have merged the lines between what is virtual and what is real.
Of the industries still massively affected by the net, there is still healthcare, security, banking, cryptocurrencies, and so much more that deserves special mention. At least for now, though, these examples should be enough to provide an idea of how much and in what magnitude everything has been changed by the World Wide Web, as well as providing a glimpse into the future it holds for us.