There are certain events and inventions that are bound to change the world and how we see it forever. The internet is for sure one of those inventions that finds itself in this prestigious list of inventions, right along with the Wheel and the theory of Gravity. The way Internet has impacted our lives it can only be described as phenomenal; its impact has been felt on a Global level, and there should be little doubt that there is anyone who has not been impacted by the side effects of this great invention.
The internet was never designed for the purpose that it is being employed for today, but it is a fact that it has evolved itself to take on this role of the great connector, a need of every human, which emerges from the basic need of humans to connect with each other.
While we as humans have come a long way from the first form of oral communications to the development of symbols and petroglphs and now the internet, there is no doubt that other mediums such as the TV and the newspaper had an equivalent and were just as important inventions of their time. However the impact of Internet is far more, considering that it has gone on to revolutionize even these mediums and how we perceive and interact with them.
Whereas there has been an silent agreement on the fact that Internet has changed the way we live and think, what is more important to understand is, how exactly has internet managed to do that? What are the different segments and parts of our lives in which the Internet has gone on to have a profound effect? This effect would take into consideration many aspects of an individual and the society at large, including the social and cultural impacts. And just because, a Medium has become so successful, does that mean that the need for mediums such as the Television and the Newspapers are now limited?
The essay would also like to answer in its discourse the probable future scenario that Internet might take. The very way in which Internet has evolved is a testament to the fact that people use and utilize thing in their own way, which may even lead to the complete ignorance of the original purpose. Therefore it is always a difficult job to predict the future scenario of any medium; however, using statistics and reports an effort will be put in to do just that.
The Emergence of Internet: The Beginning
The need of Internet was the result of the Cold War race between the U.S.S.R. And the U.S.A., where the need to beat the other in academic and scientific research took precedence over every other thing. The ultimate resultant was that computers and internet were employed to keep track of the growing library collections and Bibliographies that were increasing countrywide to promote scientific literature and research. This was done by many hosting services that came about on the surface in the 1970's namely the Dialog, SDC-Orbit, BRS, etc. (Alice Keefer, 2001).
Therefore the Internet was designed as a cataloging and a research tool to further the advancement of research. However today it has taken a role and a form of its own and the role is so important in the life of the modern man that it cannot even be ignored. Today Internet is the tool for communication, Business dealing, Shopping, Dating, Innovation, and so much more. Internet has become a much versatile tool with hardly a limit to the roles that it can perform. Internet has meant today that the very way in which we as humans conduct out business as changed forever. It has changed the way we interact with each other. It is possible today to get instant results and get instant feedbacks on your ideas and suggestions, it is possible today to have a conference call in Singapore and that too without any hassle; emails, instant messaging, video conferencing, all have been the blessings of this technology.
Social Networking Sites, with the likes of Facebook and Twitter emerging on the scene has meant instant gratification and connectivity with friends and family. But it has also gone on to prove that you can never predict the usage of any technology. A recent example has been the use of Twitter and how it has been employed in the Tahrir Square and the Middle East uprising.
The impact of the Internet has been so that from the year 2004 to 2009 the use of Internet has gone up to 117% (Siegler, 2010) and is only going to rise, therefore in light of this, it becomes important to take into consideration the impact that it would have on the various social aspects of one's life.
Forecast of the Probable Scenario for Internet from the Perspective of Individual and Cultural Backgrounds:
While in the past enough debate has been presented regarding the American Cultural Invasion that has reached the shores of many countries and as a result has completely destroyed their long standing traditions, today Internet has presented many disconnected communities and tribes to stay connected with their ancestors and their traditions via this medium.
The ultimate result of this has been that many communities have simply withered away or gotten extinct in the face of such a drastic cultural invasion, this being especially true of the second generations of people who have migrated to other Western countries. This has especially been felt by those smaller groups who have little or no link to their lands because of the distance and the apparent problems that were faced by lack of communication in the pre-Internet era.
Internet as a medium therefore can be quite essential in the years to come to act as a medium that acts as a mediator of various cultures and tribes and their traditions. With the emergence and setting up of many business online as well, there is little or no need for people to displace themselves to city centers to find employment, and therefore employing the internet to continue to connect with the world (Stewart, 2008). With the emergence of the 21st century and the blessings of the Internet, it is now possible to be connected to your family and be part of larger communities online thus continuing to maintain your cultural identities.
Economics and Business/Advertising:
From an Economic front, a realization and with that the possible ways in which this medium can be used to benefit "all the worlds people." This realization is a direct result of the "recent shifts in the use and functionality of the internet" (Heather Creechm Maja Andjelkovic, 2009) and was first voiced out by the many heads of states in January 2000 in the G8 Meeting.
Social Media today is providing a wide platform to many companies and SME's to expand their wings in this global and digital market and estimations are that one-third of all SME's are today making their presence felt through the Internet (Matthieu Pelissie du Rausas, 2011). SME have been considered as the heart of the online advertising and by the year 2016, it is expected that online advertising will be growing by a 10.6% every year from 2011 after rising by 12.5% (MagnaGlobal, 2011).
This is the most ideal situation for many SME's since they have little or nothing to invest when they make their presence felt on the Internet, and at the most what is required is intelligent advertising of their brand through a Profile page of their brand. The Ultimate result has been that a lot of new names and home grown businesses have emerged, however they are not the only exception. A lot of software's and services have also made themselves knows through this. More and more corporate are finding themselves online and in the upcoming years this trend is only to rise instead of decline.
According to one estimate in the year 2004, 75 million people used the internet in some way to engage in political activity. By the year 2008, the use of the internet as a dominant and a very influential tool came to be apparent in its fullness, with almost 2.6 million supporters on Obama's Facebook page and almost 123,000 followers on his twitter account, making it one of the most popular account on Twitter. The way the Internet has been used and integrated into politics to gain mass support and to inject ideas into the Population to get them approved is sure to have a direct result in the manner in which Washington has functioned for so long, and can even result in increasing the Presidential Power as compared to the Congressional control that has prevailed for so long (Wagner, 2008).
The ultimate success of the Obama Campaigning through the internet has meant that in the Presidential race in 2012 and so forth, Internet would sure be employed as a tool that would go a long way in gaining popular support. Many…