Throughout history there are certain inventions which have changed the course of human history in ways that no-one could have predicted. The internet is one of those inventions, although at the time of its creation, no-one would have foreseen how ubiquitous it would become.
Google defines the internet as, “ a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardised communication protocols.”
To most of us, the internet is synonymous with the way we interact with each other, how we access information, our primary means of consuming media, an integral part of business and the most convenient way to shop for almost anything.
According to internetlivestats.com, there are currently over 3.4 billion internet users worldwide.
That’s approximately 46% of the total global population!
One of the biggest contributors towards this is the rise of the smartphone.
No longer just a means to make and receive phone calls, the smartphone has become the most used device to go online.
Ease of use, portability and easy accessibility had made the smartphone the most convenient way to do anything from checking your email, posting an Instagram pic of your amazing breakfast or video calling a friend overseas.
This is a far cry from the original purpose of the internet.
The internet as we know it is based on ARPANET, which was a US government created network to facilitate communication and collaboration between government entities.
ARPANET was also one of the first networks to adopt the TCP/IP protocol suite.
This adoption became the building block of what we now know as the internet.
As computers became more advanced and less expensive, people realised that they could do more than just crunch numbers.
Here are some of the industries that have revolutionised the world thanks to the internet :
Thanks to companies like Netflix and YouTube, more and more people are turning to the internet to watch their favourite movies and shows. Online media consumption has become such a lucrative industry that both Netflix and Amazon Instant Video have begun creating their own original content.
Amazon.com is known as the global leader in e-commerce. The online retail giant has revolutionised the way we shop for everything from clothing to groceries.
In an effort to combat the convenience of popping into your corner store to pick up a packet of sweets, the company now offers 1 hour delivery in select locations around the world.
Locally, Takealot.com has continued to change the way we view online retail thanks to exclusive offerings, daily specials and free delivery when purchasing on their app.
- Once upon a time you had to wait for hours to hear your favourite song on the radio. Now, thanks to internet radio and on demand services such as Apple Music, Google Play Music and Spotify, you can listen to your favourite artists at the click of a button.
Ease of Travel Online Services
Two of the most successful internet companies do not own any of the products they sell. Uber and Airbnb are the best examples of how much the internet has changed the way we view services.
As the internet continues to grow and adapt, our means of interacting with the world will continue to change.
After all, we now live in a world where you can check the contents of your fridge while you’re shopping at your local grocer and switch on the washing machine to wash that last load of laundry before you get home.