The internet can be seen as a perfect example of the globalisation that has taken place in the world we live in today. Yet 20 or 30 years ago such a wide-ranging and instantly accessible phenomenon would have been little more than a pipe-dream. I for one cannot possibly imagine not regularly logging into MSN messenger or yahoo messenger; to not only chat to my friends and on-line buddies, but also to play online games and share files and information. The internet has eradicated traditional methods of communication. But that is not to say that it is a bad thing. There are a lot of opinions being thrown around with regard to the internet, but who can honestly say that is hasn’t had more benefits than positives not only on society as a whole, but generally on how we live our everyday lives.
Sales of newspapers in the last 10 years have dropped significantly, and the main reason is? Exactly that’s it you guessed it, the internet. Why would someone want to pay for a daily or weekly newspaper, when the exact same information is available for free online? This incredibly rapid progression has been aided by the continually falling costs of computer hardware, and also internet software and access ability. It makes perfect sense! Newspapers are printed the day before or the morning before (for evening papers) they are released on sale. Therefore is it not true to say that essentially as soon as you purchase a newspaper and read the articles, that you are essentially reading old news? It might be argued that yes still it is today’s news. But how can it possibly be as up-to-date as online news websites? The simple answer being that it can’t and never can be.
We find ourselves in a very surreal time because newspapers have for centuries without question been the bedrock of modern society, that bridged the classes and was a way, for those who wished to do so, to contact and send out a message to the masses. Society has developed (even going back to The Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom) around newspapers as they’ve played a huge part in everyday life. Yet now as we are present in this current time of ever-continuing change and development, previous bedrocks are now becoming out of date and are fast being replaced by new methods of communication. It is rather bizarre that we have gone full circle in this regard.
It may seem that I am chastising newspapers and criticising them, but that I am definitely not doing. I still purchase newspapers every so often during the week, and make a special extra effort to ensure that I do on a Saturday and on a Sunday too. This is because they do have a lot of brilliant features, magazines and interviews on those days. But by doing so, I am purchasing them not to read the news articles. I purchase them to read the opinion columns, the specialised features and the different selection of articles which are on offer. There can be no question about it, when I want to know the news of the day, I look on the internet!
But not only am I freely able to access such a massive amount of information only from the comfort of my living room. The advancement of the internet has been twinned with advancements in mobile technology. The new generation of mobile communication devices have enabled the average Joe to access the full internet on the move, from chatting on MSN messenger through to checking the football and soccer results of your team.
The number of news sites available is also without a doubt incredible. Now every search engine has a searchable news section. Now I don’t know about you but that tells me of not only the sheer volume and quantity of news that is currently available online, but also that there is a huge demand for it! You can look back at decades-worth of articles and find stories old and new which you may be after – quite honestly you will be able to find anything possible that you are looking for, and more! I myself look at the BBC news website nearly every day to check what’s going on in the world and in my local area.
The internet is without a shadow of a doubt a truly incredible resource that allows you to access up-to-date information virtually wherever you are in the world. I can safely say that it has had a profound impact on my life (as I am sure it has had on nearly everybody else out there who has come into contact with it); from how I go about my daily business and my social life, how I keep in touch with my friends and family wherever they may be and how I manage my home life such as my accounts. Taking onboard the advancements that have been made with regards to the internet in little over 10 years; it is exciting yet also a tad scary to think about just where we may be in another 10 or 20 years time. It truly does make you wonder just how, where, and when we will be able to access news in the future. Come to think of it, a very popular way to do so in current times is through online RSS news feeds which you can now access from your mobile device (not to mention news SMS message alerts you can set up). Now this is a complete twist on how news is accessed. No longer are you searching out the main news stories of the day and having to pick out certain elements which you are more interested in than others; no the news now comes to you! And maybe this is the way of things to come. Who knows, one day we may be able to get a news feed which is automatically relayed into a miniscule earpiece which you where all day long! Honestly, nobody out there can say what will happen; they can only make predictions and wild guesses which appear more fantasy than reality more often than not. All I know is that it is an exciting time, and I will embrace anything that will benefit (whether I know it or not at this stage) my life!