The Internet and Us

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Being the offspring of a baby boomer has its benefits, I mean I got to grow up with the Ninja Turtles, The Simpsons, and Power Rangers while they were happening. Born in the 80’s and raised in the 90’s, we got our first family computer when Windows 95 came out. I had the unfortunate luck of using dial-up internet and when Verizon rolled out DSL, it was a blessing. My mother could reach out to all her friends and gossip like all mothers like to do. I have had the pleasure of being at the forefront of technology and have the opportunity to experience everything first hand. From the dawn of the handheld cell phone to the era of smartphones and virtual reality, I have been there and have been amazed. We live in an age of bullet trains and drones, it’s sad that we still don’t have a fully functional hover board like the one Marty Mcfly rode in Back to the Future. I mean, we’re close to accomplishing that with the technology that we have now, but we’re just not quite there.

All technology is built on a need, as is the question in life. What is our purpose, I believe that it’s inner peace and the will to resist the tour of temptation and being charitable towards your community so that we may prosper and grow as one. Others believe the fame and wealth are the only way to be successful in life, regardless of what our purpose is, all technology serves a purpose.

THE DAWN OF LIGHT

The best way to explain the internet without getting too technical is with light. At first, signs of light were available and it was late to arrive but it was there. Advancements in telephony and technology ushered in the age of DSL. The light was steady and our moms were able to use the telephone while we got to use the internet, all at the same time! The light got brighter and brighter and then we got cable, which leads to wanting for faster internet. We turned to an old primitive manner of transferring light and turned to a method originally demonstrated in the 1840’s. I give you fiber optic internet which allows transfers of up to 1Gbps in areas where it is offered. Just to be clear that Gbps stands for Giga-Byte-Per-Second which has transformed how we consume content indefinitely to be sure. We have truly evolved from the Floppy Disk to the Cloud.

THE INTERNET AND ITS VARIOUS COMMUNITIES

The internet can suck you into its black hole, draining you of your responsibility with its vast amounts of data and information that it holds. Therefore, it is clear to see that the internet can be a lonely place and it would be useless if not one else was there. The initial start of online communities took hold at first inside of chat rooms which are still around today. The true pioneer in terms of social media should be Myspace which is no longer around and this is doubly true for Google’s attempt on a similar site by the name of Orkut. Online forums were created to allow users to achieve the conversations and arguments which took place. Search Engines came into being so that all the data that existed on the internet could be searched, organized and accessed as required. Online gaming is where the true communities started up where users would play games with strangers and friends for hours on end.

At this moment the social landscape is vast and includes the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat amongst other platforms. In my personal opinion, too much emphasis is given to these platforms and tools which were meant to make you social but have actually had the opposite effect of what was intended, which was too connect people. The honest truth is that we are drifting further and further apart and depression is at an all-time high. Just look around you and see past the distractions towards the actions of everyone that surrounds you and it’s clear that we are all affixed to electronic devices. Pornography runs rampant and unchecked, readily accessible for those that need it even if they happen to be of the wrong age group.

PIRACY

In the early days of the internet piracy really didn’t exist until the internet started getting faster and faster which lead to people starting to share images, audio, and video with one another. The first program which gained popularity and momentum was Napster. The program didn’t last very long but allowed us access to MP3 audio files which were uploaded by other users, searched and downloaded by another user. Napster was truly the first of its kind in terms of peer to peer sharing, others followed and still exist today. The hit series Game of Thrones which is produced and aired by HBO has earned the title of the most pirated television series since it is exclusively aired on HBO and the only other workaround is piracy. Many look at piracy as simply sharing data, while others look at the act as that of theft. Understand that nearly all content including extremely large video games can be pirated. Also understand that I believe in the freedom of information and am in a way telling you piracy is acceptable and the fact that you are reasonable for your own actions. I can also tell you that Google knows everything, you just need to know what to ask it.

THE DARK SIDE OF THE INTERNET

I have already mentioned how big the internet is but have I mentioned how dark and disturbing it can be if left unchecked. Accessing and navigating the dark web is not an easy task nor is it impossible with a little know how. A digital Silk Road was created to facilitate contraband and human trafficking, amongst other things. It is well known that there is a little bit of evil in all of us and when left unchecked and without consequence can take ahold of you and lead you towards sin that will forever change and possibly haunt you if you don’t have a conscious about your actions. I did manage to access the dark side of the web at a time out of sheer curiosity and haven’t returned since and I just explored the outer cup of what is a deep dark hole.

INTERNET AND COMMUNICATION

The internet has made a lot of things possible and the greatest has been our ability to communicate with one another. In the beginning the main medium was email and as we progressed then came instant messaging. At this point in time, the most popular communication application would be Whatsapp, which grants us the ability to communicate via text, audio, and video. It’s a fact that more data is consumed then the minutes and SMS volume allocated to you by your mobile network operator. The internet has allowed us not only to communicate with one another but to also learn from one another.

The internet has also lead to the communication of false information such as Fake News which is a real thing. I mean a majority of the news outlets report biased news in order to change your perception and hide the truth from you. Fake News and the manipulation of your data has actually resulted in you being electronically programmed into making an intuitive decision similar to the concept of Inception. Identity Theft is easier than it has ever been before and with all this communication taking place has given rise to the number of cybercrimes that do take place.

THE AGE OF STREAMING

 It started with YouTube and has evolved into Netflix and similar service providers. More users than ever are cutting the cord in terms of cable programming and choosing the option to stream content for entertainment purposes. Gone are the days when a written television show never made it to the production floor, due to an oversight or a bad decision. We as a society are slowly shifting our basic requirements from food and shelter to now include the internet. The more dependent you are on a particular technology the more likely you are to fail when it is no longer available. The truly great thing about streaming is that once your content has been created then it is relatively inexpensive to stream, advertise and capitalize, especially so for small business organizations. 

Regardless of whom your internet service provider may be, one thing is clear that that unlimited internet is required in order to facilitate streaming. It only makes sense to get the best possible internet service coupled with appropriate costs to derive value from your services provider. For me, it just happened to be Spectrum deals due to their amazing internet offers and unlimited usage.

THE DIGITAL AGE AND LIFE

Our lives have slowly started to become digital and reliant on the benefits that the internet offers. The Internet of Things is the next frontier and technology, when used correctly, gives a chance to those that are technically gifted. The Internet of Things and its devices simply communicates via the internet, allowing you to carry out real-life actions that usually required a physical presence. Simple things such as tracking your activities to opening the front door now can be done digitally without your presence. More complex actions such as monitoring and protecting your home to operating a self-driving car and even farming can be accomplished with the Internet of Things. Technology shows no signs of slowing its headstrong march ushering us into the next century and bringing us closer to real artificial intelligence, my only hope is that AI doesn’t gain sentience because if it does then the plot of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, might become a reality.

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About Annabel Johnson

Part time gamer, reviewer and blogger. Full time geek and tech expert!

View all posts by Annabel Johnson

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