The Internet has left a lasting mark on society. It has changed many aspects of what we do as people, from the simplest to the most complex. To those born after the conception of the internet, it came naturally, with them being unable to understand what a world without it would be like.
And as time goes on, there’s a shift to digitalizing everything. Many of the media we consume, communication methods we use, and even work platforms to earn money are connected to the internet. This change is often seen as for the better, but how does digitalization actually affect us? Below are some examples of how the shift to digital reality is influencing us.
Encourages Small Business Owners
Not many years ago, starting a business required a large capital and an actual location to place your shop. In 2021, all you need is your product and services, your own online banking account to accept payments and a computer with an internet connection. You might not even need a computer, and perhaps a smartphone might suffice. The popularity of ease-of-use products in all aspects of financial technology has led to the surge of small businesses everywhere. This has empowered people of all kinds, from age groups to different financial backgrounds, to try their hand in business, resulting in a golden age of small businesses (albeit online).
Access to a Wide Range of Resources
Through streamlined digital logistics systems, we are now able to access a wide variety of products. If, back in the day, one can only hope to acquire a certain imported resource through good connections and at a much higher cost, technology has now made it more obtainable. E-commerce is constantly revolutionizing the way we shop, and in this day and age, things like same-day deliveries and 3D photo previews make the consumer experience more pleasant.
Ability to Connect to Services of All Kinds
Specific services were once only available to those who’re aware of that special industry. Gaining access to niche industries like producers of skincare labels or t-shirt manufacturers was only limited to those working within that industry.
However, with the prominence of the internet, you can literally type in any product or service you need, and you will net results in seconds. This is of particular use to people with special needs and requirements, be it medical care, personal preference, or a professional need. For businesses, this means that they need to spend less time finding the right manufacturer and supplier, making it even more efficient.
Communication and Culture Regardless of Location
To anyone who’s lived before 2000, long-distance communication was either expensive landline calls or horrendously slow snail mail. There were very few options beyond these two. Yet, fast-forward to today, communication with someone from the other side of the world is such a common occurrence, nobody gives it much thought. What this brings to a wider audience is the ability to talk to family members from overseas, or communicate with an employer from a different country, or make friends from another region.
This indiscriminate communication has made the world more interconnected. Interestingly enough, the internet is the place where it all happens has spawned its own subculture. It has its own rules and linguistics that are unique and specific to it. Generation Z and Millennials are very familiar with this culture, often mixing it with their own generational culture.
Quality of Life Improvements for Everyone
One benefit that the Internet has brought is accessibility. And not just more accessibility to what already has access to before, no. It gave those living a different life from us access to the things we normally enjoy. Differently abled people long had to contend with the rules laid out by abled people. Acts like calling a restaurant to order, or buying something from a shop, or even watching an event- these things may seem normal to many, but they can pose quite a challenge to those physical disabilities.
Thankfully, the development of technology and the prominence of the internet have led to a new age of accessibility that seemed impossible years ago. Voice command, text-to-speech, conversational AI, accessibility features integrated into standard devices are the quality of life improvements that the modern era enjoys. And these improvements aren’t just for one specific kind of crowd but are definitely for everyone.
Technology has changed how we view and navigate the world. Yet, it’s often demonized or taken for granted. But the truth remains: digitalization and technological innovations have improved our lives, and perhaps, the lives of our children too.