There isn’t a shred of doubt that the internet has changed our lives. From wireless internet to dish satellite internet, we now have the option to be connected at all times, almost regardless of where we are. You can even live stream your trek to the Everest Base Camp on 4G for goodness sake.
With improvements in data collection, we can now easily access how much time we spend on our mobile phones or laptops, and even break it down to which sites we visit the most, or how long we spend time in an app. We’re connected more than ever, in fact, one study shows that many of us spend up to an entire day per week on our mobile device. But why, exactly, are we spending so much time connected to the internet? Probably because of how much it’s changed the way we interact, the way we intake information, and so much more. Here’s some of the top ways that the internet has changed well, everything.
How we read
No longer a simple pleasure, reading now almost requires a screen to complete. Most of us take in our morning news from our mobile devices, rather than grabbing the local newspaper or even watching the nightly news. Reading for pleasure or in school has also drastically changed, with kindles still holding on to their popularity, but tablets and mobile phone reading becoming the prefered way to read. Approximately 75% of schools in the UK are using tablets to help deliver their lessons, with many teachers assigning reading to students via the tablet.
How we take in information
Most of our information, including news, facts, and reports, comes from the internet now. Gone are the days of spending hours in a reference library trying to find the right data, the internet has it all at our fingertips.
While intaking news electronically is forcing us to spend more time staring at a screen, some believe this is a more effective way to read the news as we’re getting multiple sources, rather than one newspaper’s perspective for example. Others claim that reading the news on a screen has reduced the amount of time we’re actually reading, so instead of taking in a whole article on a subject, we’re simply reading headlines. The next time you’re browsing a news website, notice how many times you pull up a news article, read the headline and perhaps a paragraph or two, and then lose interest. While we might be reading “more” articles, we’re actually taking in much less. This is an interesting article about how we skim read more than ever if you’d like to learn more.
How we complain
Yes, even what and how we complain has changed with the internet. Has your internet gone out recently? Have you ran out of data? Maybe the internet was just being slow? We can almost promise that you and/or everyone else had something to say about it!
The way we complain has expanded past our partners or close friends, as well. We no longer keep complaining or gossiping to those we actually see on a regular basis, instead we post rants on social media, or vent to someone via text. If we have an issue with service or a product from a company, we might visit their Facebook page to leave a comment, rather than picking up the phone or worse, actually complaining in person!
How we interact
Interestingly, many of us spend more time “interacting” with friends and family via our social media or other communication apps like WhatsApp, than we do in person. There’s been studies on both sides of the coin on this, with some saying that teenegers are more lonely than ever due to social media, and others saying that social media can’t be solely to blame. Whatever the truth is here, the fact is that is that we spend a significant amount of time on our phones or computers to socialise.
Meeting new people on the internet has also become the usual, and it’s quite normal to interact with a stranger over the internet for a while before ever meeting. Think along the lines of dating apps or social media. Many blogging communities cite their blog as the main reason they met many of their friends.
How we fix problems
Have a problem with your car’s power steering? Maybe the keyless entry has been acting up lately? Fixing problems with technology, even in our vehicles, is changing. We’re starting to see automatic updates to things like our car’s software to fix problems, even fairly big ones.
Even the online tech support we get is changing, with their ability to remote into our computers and fix the problem, live, without ever even seeing your computer. You don’t necessarily need to speak to the same person once, nor do you necessarily need to even speak to someone at all. Online chat support is easy, can be done instantly, and you can have your fix with a few downloads or clicks. Need to install something, like your new Freeview satellite receiver? Online guides, online support, or even live video chatting can help you without a technician needing to come to your home, and you’ll be watching your satellite television in a snap.
How we work
Getting up and commuting to work is decreasing, remote working is the new norm. We can Skype into meetings and chat while editing a document with four other people, live. Businesses have embraced remote working and flexible hours, and traded in office space for hot desks for the employees who sporadically need to visit the office.
These are just some of the ways in which the internet has changed pretty much everything. The increase of internet in everything we do is clearly not going to stop anytime soon, and we’ll leave it to you to decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing!