The Internet Effect: How has it affected you?
Commonly known as the Internet, the world’s largest network is used extensively throughout the world today. Since its creation in 1983, the Internet has continued to grow in popularity and use as a commercial and private communications medium. Millions of people throughout the world use the Internet in a variety of ways, ranging from personal conversations to on-line shopping. According to a survey compiled by Nua Ltd in 1999, the number of Internet users rose from 26 million in 1995 to 205 million in 1999, an increase of almost 700% (Nua Ltd)! With such an explosive increase, how then has the Internet affected us personally, and how has it affected the way we do business? The answers to these questions include changes in the way people obtain information, interact, work, learn and conduct business.
Given the Internet’s original purpose is to share information; it is no wonder that the most important asset of the Internet is the wealth of information that can be found on the Internet (Maney 3). Information previously found only in libraries and encyclopaedias is now available on the Internet; in addition, news, weather, and movie listings are also made available on the Internet. Internet users constantly remain informed of the world around them by reading news from the New York Times, USA Today, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times and many other newspapers found on-line. Even those like me who are far away from home can keep in touch by reading local newspapers published on the Internet.
Along with the vast amount of information, the Internet also provides almost instant sharing and distribution of information. Through the use of electronic mail, people all over the world can “send information to far-away places cheaply, easily and in great volume – much more than any medium before it” (Maney 3). This form of communication known as email is the most widely used tool of the Internet today.