The web as we know it has only been around for the past 10 years or so. In fact I can remember when I was 13, and got my first computer that had dialup internet access – I was ecstatic, as I was connected to the world at large, could send emails to people on the other side of the world, buy things at a reduced price and watch videos of cat’s playing the piano.
A few years later my mothers computer was connected to broadband, and we received (what was then) super-fast internet connection of under 300 kb/s. It was truly amazing, websites that took minutes to load then took seconds, and with the speedy Internet came music sites like Napster. When you think about it, most if you tried to load any site now on 300 kb/s you would give up as most broadband speeds are now in the range of 2-10 mb/s, with some lucky people even getting ten times that amount through fibre optic lines.
Even when on the go we are connected on our mobiles, which can access the Internet at either 3g or 4g speeds meaning that we not only have the world in our pockets, but can access the world at incredible speeds.
Thanks to the speed of the Internet getting faster and faster, we depend on it more. Either at home or in the office, when the Internet goes down, everything grinds to a halt. We depend on it for virtually everything from paying our gas bill, to booking a table for dinner at a local restaurant. As previously blogged about, Internet access is no longer a luxury, but a necessity, and its true.
Maybe I’m more technology focused than most, and require to have mobile Internet access from the moment I land in a foreign country, but then again I have overheard friends saying that they to will only stay in a hotel if it has wifi. Why, because they want to access Facebook and upload their pictures.
When I was in high school, as part of an assembly, my headmaster spoke about how things on the web were changing the way we not only thought, but lived, and showed us this video:
What this video shows is that we have changed how we live our lives to improve it, but also changed the way how we act so that it can be improved.
Take for instance these two tasks, getting up to date on the news, and secondly buying a television, both common tasks, the former happens virtually every day, the latter every five to ten years.
Catching up on the news used to be a case of going to the newsagent and buying a paper, flicking through the pages to find the story that you wanted, turning on the radio and waiting to hear the news reports, or tuning on the TV and waiting for the news to appear. Today all you have to do is go to BBC News, CNN, or if you want to cut corners completely, simply type into Google ‘news’ and you have hundreds of sites where you can get the information you want.
Buying a TV used to be much more personal. In each town or city there was a trusted electrical supplier who would be highly recommended and knowledgeable. They would be able to provide you with what you wanted after taking down your requirements. After the purchase was made you would then struggle with the TV trying to get it into your car before struggling even more to set it up in your front room. Today the majority of purchases, including TV’s are sold online. Reviews can be read from customers, videos can show you how to set it up when you get home, and comparison sites will trawl through hundreds of sites to ensure you pay the cheapest price. Even if you go to a shop to view the item, there are apps out there that allow you to scan the barcode to see if you can get it cheaper elsewhere.
Things have changed. A recent infographic from qmee.com shows how much, a copy of which is at the bottom of this post.
Rather than going to a friend’s house to show them pictures from your latest trip 20 million photos are viewed on Flickr every minute. Rather than purchase things off the high-street, people spend over $83,000 on Amazon every minute. Rather than write a letter or pick up the phone, instead we send 204 million emails every minute.
If you think about how much we have changed our behaviour from 10 years ago, and how much technology has enabled us to change our behaviour, it really does make you think, what will life, and the Internet be like in 10 years time???