Three things the internet changed forever
Far beyond something that lives in a machine in the corner of the bedroom, the internet leaps out from the palm of our hand wherever we are in the world – so long as it’s within range of a data connection!
From the dial-up days of the mid-90s to the seamless online experience delivered by today’s smartphones, the internet has changed the way we entertain ourselves, communicate, do business and our shopping.
In this article, we will examine in more detail three of the industries that have been forever transformed by the internet.
As we start a new decade, the physical musical media marketplace has all but evaporated. Today, the scene is propped almost entirely by collectors, with vinyl releases often commanding big asking prices and hard to find quality record players and record player accessories, while other formats, like cassette, are also still sought after.
But new releases by artists are generally wholly digital, with streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube accounting for a high percentage of the world’s listening. It’s fair to say that the internet has brought the listener closer to their favourite artist’s music than ever before, but it hasn’t been plain sailing.
In the late 90s, platforms like Napster threatened the record industry due to the quantity of pirated material available. The matter reached a head when the case was heard in court, but thankfully today the most popular streaming platforms have a more positive relationship with recording artists.
Casinos have been around for centuries and have historically been enjoyed by wealthy men and experienced players. The internet has helped change all that and has had a hugely positive impact on the industry, chiefly by making the games more accessible to a wider audience.
The web has taken games global, especially as regulation in marketplaces like North America is eased. For example, in Canada, websites like Bonus.ca list many of the top websites available to that country’s players. And while games like blackjack, poker and roulette remain staples of online casino play, new titles have been developed to match the changing habits of players, including bingo and slots games that are designed for more casual enjoyment.
Lastly, and perhaps most poignantly, the internet has completely revamped the way we speak to one another and socialize. Of course, face-to-face interaction is and always will remain a thing, but online platforms like Facebook have made it possible to stay in touch with old friends and new with a few taps.
In the internet’s early days, services like email helped people stay in touch digitally. But the arrival of websites like MySpace and services like AIM, ICQ and MSN Messenger took that interactivity to another level, adding depth and colour to the interactions.
Facebook timed its entry into the marketplace at the perfect time and was able to realize the potential that other social apps had hinted at. Today, a range of modern social media platforms, like Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram, are connecting friends and strangers globally.
Like music, social media’s story isn’t all positive, but as a cultural phenomenon, it has truly transformed the way we live and interact.
As you can see, for all its faults and drawbacks, the internet has had an undeniable impact in the way we live, interact and entertain ourselves. And though the changes haven’t always been positive, the differences are clear to see.