Questions to consider:
1) Who uses the Internet and for what reasons?
The internet is now widely accepted on a global scale. According to (Miniwatts Marketing Group. Internet World Stats. (2015). Retrieved 06 March, from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm), there are over 3,366,261,156 internet users, documented in 2015, worldwide. This has transposed a growth of 832.5% between 2000-2015. At a global scale there are multiple uses for this technology, such as for educational purposes.
According to the study: (National Center for Education Statistics. Education Statistics Quarterly. (2003). Retrieved on 01 March, from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED492617.pdf#page=8), in 2001 90% of children in America were already using computers between the ages of 13 and 17. 59% were using the internet. These educational purposes include, the use of the intranet though schooling, where government network use intern tools, such as web browsers and internet protocols. The installation of school computers, iPads and digital equipment are allowing the internet to apply as research tools, developing this new digital age, where textbooks can be accessed in less than a second.
In 2015 there were 313,867,363% of North Americans are using the internet, while a large percentile came from the ‘digital generation’, this generation consisted of people born between 1995 and 2007, in accordance to (Isocostas. List of Generations chart. Retrieved on 06 March, from http://www.esds1.pt/site/images/stories/isacosta/secondary_pages/10%C2%BA_block1/Generations%20Chart.pdf). These people of the 21st century rely heavily upon internet usage. Social has exploded into the industry. According to (Amanda Lenhart. Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview. (2015). Retrieved on 06 March, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/09/teens-social-media-technology-2015/), “24% of teens go online “almost constantly,” facilitated by the widespread availability of smartphones.” “From the ages of 13 to 17, go online several times a day, and 12% report once-a-day use.” For example: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine and Tinder are all largely accessed where participants can connect with friends, fans and social groups.
While social media has a large teenage and young adult following, the rise the internet is also impacting the older generations. E-commerce is quickly replacing traditional commerce where ordering, processing and shipment are now digital rather than being physical. This social media phase has allowed big online businesses to market their products directly to those who use the media, following their “likes” and “interests”, tailoring a selective directive to stores online. Businesses are a major participant on the internet. More and more businesses are going online and engaging in electronic-commerce, where the process of buying, selling, or exchanging products, services or information occurs via computer (or even by smartphone nowadays).
According to (Michael Rappa. Introduction: being digital. (2010). Retrieved 06 March ,from http://digitalenterprise.org/introduction/intro.html), A large percentile of users enter into the digital world to complete various tasks. These can range from emails, operating an eBay store, messaging friends, selling work, creating blogs or playing or downloading games. The possibilities are endless. The internet now is targeting all age groups. Children are using smartphones and educational games and webpages at school and at home. Teenagers are constantly scrolling social media and so are adults. The elderly are now using smart phones and conducting their emails, and sorting out bills online. Businesses are the major focus on the internet, there are stores, retailers, marketers and agents all bidding to find suitable customers or fans to connect with online. Mentioned previously, businesses are able to have a global reach and can access consumer’s wants and desires by following their likes and interests online. This expands business and can engage customers once thought to be ‘unreachable’ now become a new target for retail.
2) In thinking about your own usage (aside from this course), do you consider the Internet more a convenience or a necessity in your daily life?
If you asked me this question nine years ago, I would have said that the internet was barely a necessity and definitely a convenience for connecting my Tamagotchi to the “Tama-Town” site, (you may have heard of), using dial up and telling everyone to stop using the phone. Books had every bit of knowledge I needed, email was up and coming but that wasn’t really a necessity to a ten year old. If you asked me again now in 2016 and at the age of 19, I say that the internet has become an integral part of society. Having the aspiration to have an online business, I agree that e-commerce is the way to access a larger amount of people. Facebook, and its group messaging capability highlights that importance of the internet. I am able to connect with nearly 600 people on my account with just a click of a mouse. In reference to the 2015 statistics from (Miniwatts Marketing Group. Internet World Stats. (2015). Retreived 06 March, from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm), 7,259,902,243 people from around the world have internet access and 3,366,261,156 of them were using it for a range of purposes. Realistically, I am one of them. I connect with social media on a regular basis, my email occurs online, I watch YouTube videos and stream music from Spotify. Federation University also communicates via the internet and emails, I would say that the internet is vital to my daily life, now.
3) When connected to the Internet, what products or services do you use most often?
In reference to the statistics sourced from: (Stanford SIQSS Study. (2000). Retrieved 06 March, from http://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs201/projects/personal-lives/stanford.html), email is the most popular tool on the internet. Whilst I do access my emails quite often, I am not embedded with 100’s per day let alone, 10. I use social media services to connect with my friends and family. I would say that I use YouTube (a video application) most of the time. I am able to browse comedic videos and I follow a wide variety of people. Uploads of videos even notify my phone so that I remember to watch them. I also spend time using the internet as a research tool almost every day, whether that is in relation to study for university or looking up topics of interest that arise in conversation.
In relation to services, there are times where I have looked online for a retailor, to see what prices or service they will charge. For example for the local dentist or spas. I generally buy products online rather than ordering services (such as pizza delivery etc.).
For applications I use; iTunes to buy and download music, I use Facebook that connects me with boutiques and fashion stores that I may buy from. I also have used the application ‘Wanelo’ that pools fashion items into your feed so that you have a wide range of clothing to choose from.
4) What is it about the Internet that is fundamentally different from earlier methods of communication?
The internet is arguably the fastest method of communication in reference to (Vinten G Cerf. Musings on the internet. Page 76-84. Retrieved March 06, from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0256.pdf), High Ethernet speeds create reliability and fast communication. Initially forms of communication outside of your immediate environment would require postage or even delivery by horse and cart, even appliances are now “internet appliances” (Retrieved March 06, from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0256.pdfpage 80) doors are automatic and toilets flush themselves. Phones can control the dim settings on lights. We are at a digital age.
In contrast to this digital age of online messaging, email, face time (video calls) and ‘Snap Chat’ photo apps, earlier methods of communication included: cave paintings (most privative form) that appeared around 130,000 B.C.E. Apparently, according to scholars the paintings depicted which foods were safe to eat (which communicated a message). This is in reference to: (Creative displays. History of Communication from Cave Drawings to the Web. Retrieved 06 March, from http://www.creativedisplaysnow.com/articles/history-of-communication-from-cave-drawings-to-the-web/). Next there were ‘early handwritten documents or books,’ which occurred 1,000 years before the invention of the printing press (which allowed ink to be pressed into manuscripts). These were often religious and communicated ancient beliefs. According to this site, next came the ‘letter’ and the ‘postman’ which allowed for (you guessed it!), letters to be delivered door to door. In 1775 the first post office was opened in America. This was slow going initially, letters could take large amounts of time to reach others (this limited opportunity for instant communication).
The telegraph came about and was more efficient and quick to communicate messages than those before it. It sent electro-static-generated signals through a wire. “An Englishman by the name of William Watson had devised a way to send messages via telegraph in 1747.” This is quoted from (Creative displays. History of Communication from Cave Drawings to the Web. Retrieved 06 March, from http://www.creativedisplaysnow.com/articles/history-of-communication-from-cave-drawings-to-the-web/)
Obviously the next step in communication was the telephone! Finally we were able to dial up others with a telephone to have instant communication, with the impact of listening to the others voice. Radio followed the telephone, we were able to stream voices and music over a radio frequency, not only creating a more direct form of communication of music but also of messages such as fire warnings and advertisements through a radio wave.
Cell phones became popular and images were able to be sent through the devices, cell phones increased the availability of communication. The text messages offered a quicker way of directly reaching another, data services could connect these to the internet! The Internet was invented in 1967, initially for military purposes. Today we use the internet in a variety of ways but we can agree that the internet can provide all forms of communication including, instant message, phone calls, video calls, emails and more. The one thing it lacks, is the ability to have people connect humanly and like in the old days. Face to face, but actually face to face. It is a wonderfully weird form of communication and now is an integral part of most societies.
5) Looking ahead to the next decade, what do you forsee emerging as a direct result of the continued evolution of digital technology?
Digital technology is only growing, statistically from 2000-2015 the amount of people using the internet (one of digital technologies biggest aspects), has 46.4 % of the world’s population online. This growth has been documented as an 832.5% growth in users within 15 years. These statistics are sourced from: (Miniwatts Marketing Group. Internet World Stats. (2015). Retreived 06 March, from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm). The digital age is here and day by day it will feel no different but overtime, everything will be operated digitally until our planet changes. I do think that there are many positives, we can use the digital age to spread light, love and morals through the internet, we can affect the masses and we can make change. We have incited movement, limited paper wastage by turning to email, we can use less electricity, found alternative to burn less coal, we can affect movements. I hope the digital age becomes one with an ethical and environmental outlook. Saving electricity and sharing messages so that we can become a more happy and healthy earth, spreading positive awareness to global issues. While the digital age becomes more and more a part of our lives, I hope we grow more and more intent on creating ethical businesses, create more solutions to global problems, save energy and have online resources that entail local communities to buy from their own country, even if this means it is online. I want to be involved in this digital age but I want to benefit society and provide valuable resources and products globally. The statistics stated on (http://digitalenterprise.org/navigation/nav.html) Show the global amount of internet users in November 2006. The current digital media universe estimate that there were 488,865,738 users.
Within the article (http://archives.obs-us.com/obs/english/books/nn/bd40696.htm), The author states that, he was quite optimistic, about the developing digital world. He also stated that over “half of the populations of developing nations are under 20, in contrast to less than a third in developed countries.” He went on to suggest that a large youth population (associated with the new digital age), “is an asset as nations move forward, particularly in countries where older members of society are less literate.” This came to provide hope for under-developed nations to grasp onto the internet and digital waves.
The young are becoming literate in technology rather than writing on paper, this movement and development is propelling the world into new digital age.
Creative displays. History of Communication from Cave Drawings to the Web. Retrieved 06 March, from http://www.creativedisplaysnow.com/articles/history-of-communication-from-cave-drawings-to-the-web/
Isocostas. List of Generations chart. Retrieved on 06 March, from http://www.esds1.pt/site/images/stories/isacosta/secondary_pages/10%C2%BA_block1/Generations%20Chart.pdf
Michael Rappa. Introduction: being digital. (2010). Retrieved 06 March ,from http://digitalenterprise.org/introduction/intro.html
Miniwatts Marketing Group. Internet World Stats. (2015). Retreived 06 March, from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
National Center for Education Statistics. Education Statistics Quarterly. (2003). Retreived on 01 March, from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED492617.pdf#page=8
Stanford SIQSS Study. (2000). Retrieved 06 March, from http://cs.stanford.edu/people/eroberts/cs201/projects/personal-lives/stanford.html
Vinten G Cerf. Musings on the internet. Page 76-84. Retrieved March 06, from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0256.pdf
Retrieved March 06, from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0256.pdfpage 80
|Current Digital Media Universe Estimate||