Tech, Gadgets, Photography, Social Media and Poor Spelling
There was once a description on a BBC wildlife program on the Human Species which used an interesting analogy explaining if all the time in the world was displayed as a clock then the human species has been around for about 1 second to midnight. It’s an interesting analogy which shows us just how little time we have been on the planet.
If we take that analogy even further the internet has been around for about 0.0000001 seconds (ok, that’s a bit of a guess on my part, but you get my point) the fact is the internet has not been around for a long time comparatively speaking with human existence. However as a technology it’s very much part of our daily lives no matter who you are and where you are. Thee are very few cultures which don’t have use for or make use of the internet and the ones which are not intertwined are becoming more so each generation.
The question is what was the world like without the Internet? and would would it be like today if the Internet didn’t exist?
Post internet the world was still the same size however it must have felt like a much smaller place, having mastered the written world a few hundred thousand years ago. we had devised many ways of getting information from place to place from Greek guys running to Marathon to deliver messages to the famed Wells Fargo horseback messengers. Getting information from place to place took from months to weeks to days as transport got faster however the common denominator was it was the written word which was the dominant method of communicating, the letter.
The written letter and the newspaper for many years were our method of communications were written then typed and then audio and then video however they were all moved around manually.
Communications were improved with the invention of the telegraph and the first commercially successful transatlantictelegraph cable was successfully completed on 18 July 1866. This was improved on with the invention of the telephone around the same time this dramatically improved human communications for once the written letter sent over the telegraph wasn’t the fastest way to communicate over the next few years the phone call would be the choice for communicating quickly.
The internet is all about at it’s lowest form communication, getting a message across, and pre internet while we were doing well communicating and getting news and information within hours, the internet has allowed us to get information to our fingertips within seconds. Earthquake or other natural disaster, death of a celebrity, war breaking out these would have all taken us a few hours to propagate around the world and get the information to TV stations then news agencies prior to the internet.
It’s easy to think that the internet has improved our communications and yes it has allowed us to get news out to more people in a shorter amount of time this is possibly countered by a need to cross check what we are being told more than we were as rather then news agencies providing us with news, the internet has given rise to people being able to report what they have seen or heard. Not always a bad thing and has led to changes of governments across the middle east however can also prematurely report of the demise of people most alive.
As well as news personal communication was a much different thing pre internet as we would ebb and flow relationships some of us being better at keeping in touch than others, like news and information relationships with others would have been difficult over a distance with letters taking time to reach, if they did, the intended person. the phone again would have improved this with more immediate communication. The rise of the internet and even more recently the rise of social media has however provided us with a very strange form of communication. What used to be the realm of the pen pal, a back and forward written letter between two people who don’t know each other has become social media where people who have similar likes, interests or outlooks can communicate with each other in real time all over the world. No longer do you have to write about a great event in your life the internet has made it possible to stream it live to your “friends” via Facebook or other services.
So the internet has changed the way we communicate and obtain information however what would the world be like if the internet didn’t exist, for most of us that is the case for mouse of our lifetime, this writers included. News would be provided by companies with agendas, relationships with others would still ebb and flow as they have done for years before hand.
I’d love to write that “the world would be a better place without the internet” however i don’t believe it would be, i’m the first to agree that the internet is not the answer to every question, however it does provide us with choice. The choice to keep in touch or not, the choice to speak, or listen, the choice to find out more. The internet is changing education, social lives, media and how we communicate. Part of me does wonder if too much information is a good thing or a bad thing and if it is changing modern society to become information whores, needing to know right now and not always cross checking what we are told.
thankfully the internet is here, the question is how long will it be here as we know it right now, open and free (as it can be)?