The internet recently turned 50 years old. If you listen in on conversations, you’ll find those that express delight over such a transformational innovation and those that bemoan its influence. One thing is for sure, the internet has enabled human beings to communicate with an ease that few thought possible.
When you eliminate the varied opinions about how the internet has changed the world, you’re forced to look at the facts of the matter. In no uncertain terms, the internet enables seamless communication around the world. You have opportunities to connect with people from all walks of life. A common thread of innovations for centuries has been improved means for connecting with other human beings. At it’s core, the internet allows us to communicate without limitations of space and time.
When you consider the ways in which humans are dependent upon the internet today, it’s hard to believe there was ever a time when it didn’t exist. Imagine a scenario where you couldn’t hop online to conduct a quick Google search to either locate a business or buy a product. Imagine a world where the internet never existed. It’s unfathomable. This exercise doesn’t mean you have to ignore the challenges presented and experienced by such an expansive amount of social connectedness. It simply requires you to consider the pervasive way in which this technology has enriched the world.
To consider what the internet has given us is too overwhelming a task. It touches just about every aspect of our personal and professional lives in some way or another. It has changed the way we live, love, work, play and everything in between. You can find a job, buy a car, get an education, perform banking functions, buy groceries, stream movies, meet your significant other, run a business and so much more.
It would be unbalanced to not mention the fact that a person’s reputation and livelihood can be destroyed online. The internet is also where hackers lurk, searching for weaknesses in data security. There are all kinds of exploitation and corruption, more than you can ever imagine. The dark side of the internet is pervasive and frightening. When you consider the good, the bad and the ugly, there are still few people who want to live without the internet. It will be interesting to see what the next 50 years will bring.