Life Before and After the Internet

In 1991 the world-wide-web was launched. Many people were apprehensive to the new tool; “I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots” a quote often attributed to Albert Einstein shows how even before the internet people were skeptical of new technology.

Twenty-seven years later a few people who didn’t grow up with the internet still fear it and how it affects our lives. However, the internet has revolutionized the way we communicate, learn, and make money. For centuries people had to mail their family for information but now they can text or email them, and their family will get it in a matter of seconds. People had to physically be in a classroom to learn new things, but now they can watch educational videos or podcasts about the topic they are learning.

The internet is a wonderful invention that should be cherished by older generations. The invention of computers and the internet has altered the way we view the world because it boosts the economy, connects people, and makes people more intelligent. The internet improves the economy by allowing people to make and spend money more freely. Today a lot of people use the internet to complete large transactions and pay their bills.

Everyone can manage their finances with the help of the internet by using excel spreadsheets and other similar programs. Seventy-one percent of people with bank accounts use online banking (Zhang). Many people who use online banking “show profitability-enhancing behaviors such as increased loyalty or product utilization” (Xue). People can also make money from home using the internet by taking paid surveys, selling their unneeded belongings on certain websites like eBay or Craigslist, or by selling handmade products on websites such as Etsy.

The internet has also allowed people to work from home using apps such as facetime and by sending documents over email. You Tube is also a way to make money if you have an interesting life or can teach a useful skill. Another way to make money off the internet is to advertise on a website that won’t allow adblockers.

Many websites force people to turn off their adblockers to access their website or they have to pay a fee. People can also shop online with apps that deliver food to their houses and online market places that allow people to spend less time in stores and more time doing things they enjoy.

The internet connects people by letting others talk to people around the world instantly. It is no surprise that people are feeling more connected than ever because “today, 3 billion people have access to the internet. Hundreds of millions of people are now part of online communities. Which makes the internet the largest community in history—as big as the global population in 1960” (Torricke-Barton).

Some people fear that the internet makes us less connected but, “a negative effect of the internet on social connectedness is less likely because adolescents have more opportunities to maintain their social network through this medium” (Valkenburg). The internet has bred many social media apps and instant messengers that people all around the world are using to their advantage. For example, someone in India can email or text a person in America and they could get the message instantly. Eighty-six percent of people use it to talk to their family or friends in different countries (Pew). Dating apps have also connected people by setting them up to meet others like them. With more than 7,500 dating apps around the world and more than 49 million users, it isn’t surprising to find out that thirteen percent of people on dating apps get engaged or married (Brooks).

Even though eighty-six percent of people don’t get married because of dating apps, most still form life-long friendships that they would never have had if they hadn’t met online (Emery). With all of this information, it is no surprise that “Online communication stimulated the quality of adolescents’ well-being” (Valkenburg). The internet promotes learning by allowing people across the globe to better their education.

Many schools have bought computers for their students to use because the computers give their students access to unlimited knowledge from multiple sources. This allows the students to write better papers and practice what they have learned. It has also let students expand their vocabulary more efficiently. Now instead of spending hours in a library searching for a book that may or may not have the information they’re looking for or flipping through a dictionary to make flashcards to study, students can use one of the multiple websites, online dictionaries, and flashcard websites.

Online thesauruses allow people to make their writing sound more eloquent and articulate. Online college programs have allowed students to further their education on their own time without having to move away from their families and jobs. It may seem like a low number but with the knowledge that 65 percent of college students and 23 percent of college graduates have taken an online course the fact that “fifteen percent of college students who have taken a class online has earned a degree entirely online” is very reassuring to those looking for an alternative to traditional college (Akanegbu).

People can also be updated on current events and can sound educated in formal conversations. The internet allows people to form their own opinions on world news. The internet is very helpful “for supporting individual study and engaging in educational projects” (Trentin). The internet has allowed many people to make more money, connect with others, and expand their knowledge. The internet has been a positive factor in reforming society according to seventy percent of people in the United States (Pew). Eighty-eight percent of people say it has been a positive influence in their lives (Pew). Now that people have become accustomed to the internet, life without it seems like a nightmare.

Without the internet some criminals would still be free because law enforcement officers use social media to track down criminals and find missing persons. Twenty-seven years ago, people didn’t have the luxury of being able to contact their friends instantly, learn a new skill in five minutes, or make money without leaving their house. They would have to get a nine to five job, mail things, and go to classes that don’t overlap with their jobs.

Today people can do a myriad of tasks with the help of the internet. Historically the internet is revolutionary even people who are skeptical of the internet can agree on that.

Works Cited

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  3. Brooks, Amber. “21 Amazing Online Dating Statistics – The Good, Bad & Weird (2018).”
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  5. Emery, Lea Rose. “How Many People Who Meet On Apps Get Married?” Bustle, Bustle, 24 Aug. 2018, bustle.com.
  6. Pew Research Center. “Internet Seen as Positive Influence on Education but Negative on Morality in Emerging and Developing Nations.”
  7. Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project, 17 Sept. 2018, pewglobal.org.
  8. Torricke-Barton, Dex. “How the Internet Is Uniting the World – Dex Torricke-Barton Medium.” Medium, Medium, 14 Oct. 2015, medium.com.
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  12. Xue, Mei, et al. “Determinants and Outcomes of Internet Banking Adoption.” Management Science, vol. 57, no. 2, 2011, pp. 291–307. JSTOR, JSTOR, jstor.org.
  13. Zhang, Richard. “Consumer Banking: Statistics and Trends in 2018.” ValuePenguin, ValuePenguin, 16 July 2018, valuepenguin.com.