How long do I bake a spaghetti squash? How much exercise should I get every week? Is it normal for my fingernail to look like that?
We all come to the internet for something.
Whether we whip open our laptops or pull out our phones, the internet is accessible almost 24/7, depending on device and our location. We can connect with anyone. We can learn anything. With this much potential in its application, the internet is shaping our world.
You’ll see plenty of blog posts and articles blaming the internet, social media, and smartphone access for the deterioration of society. As with any tool, however, the internet’s uses can be both good and bad: it all depends on how you use it. No one would deny that the internet is shaping the world; if they do, they have their head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich. The power of the internet to shape our future, however, can be frightening at times. If you’re feeling an urge to resign yourself to the fate of mankind due to the enormity of internet capabilities, take a minute to contemplate the lighter side of internet potential. While some things may be harming us, at least at present (consider internet addiction or the concerning growth of isolation), there’s a lot to be excited about in the online world.
To start, the internet is changing the way we do business. Workers were once limited by where they lived; they can now live and work anywhere. It’s estimated that the majority of US workers will be freelance within the next few decades. Businesses are also able to advertise and grow almost primarily through the internet by making connections and sales with online platforms. With the help of SEO agencies Toronto and all over the United States, businesses are able to rank higher in Google searches, so customers worldwide can find their unique selections.
The internet is also changing what we can consume. A product that might have been out-of-reach before is now a few clicks away on eBay. If you live in the US, it’s possible to have a custom-tailored suit made in China or to even buy research chemicals online, should your industry require that accessibility. City and country dwellers alike can purchase vegetables from companies like Imperfect and have them delivered straight to their door.
This kind of global access could also change the world’s economy. With the internet, countries are no longer bound by their access to water or an airport; they can enter the business world with little more than a WiFi connection. The internet is already playing a role in reducing poverty worldwide, since an internet connection provides education and job opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t exist. According to a recent report by Price Waterhouse Cooper’s strategy and consulting firm, internet access for 4.1 billion could bring 500 million out of poverty.
Finally, the internet is changing our ability to communicate. While some are quick to point out the negative effects social media has had on human relationships, the internet is relatively new, and so is our experience with it. Within the next few decades, it’s more than possible that we’ll discover a better way to end isolation, reduce the risk of internet addiction, and use the internet as a tool to shape greater communities than before.