It is always difficult to decide what the most significant inventions that have been made are. History is a continuing process and it is the case that the significance of certain acts or inventions may become more or less obvious as time goes by and therefore those invents which appeared to be very significant at one point may reveal themselves to ultimately be much less significant at another time in history. Despite this, however, I would state that it is possible to argue that the invention which I will speak of is one of the most significant in human history. It has fundamentally changed the way that people relate to each other, the way that they access and store information and even the way that they conceive of social, political and geographical boundaries. The invention which this paper will discuss is the invention of the internet. Although it is not technically one single object, but rather series of objects and information connected by servers and computers, it is nonetheless usually conceived of as being an object. As such, I will consider it in this way. In the following paper I describe the various ways in which the internet has changed almost every aspect of life.
It is almost impossible to imagine a world without the internet. It can be argued that it now mediates almost every part of life. One of the most obvious ways in which I believe that it has greatly improved people’s lives around the world is through the capacities which it has allowed for communication and social networking. It is now possible to communicate with people all around the world at no cost and almost instantaneously. Typically this is done through email, social networking websites such as Facebook and also though call video-call programmes such as Skype. All of these instruments rely on the reliability and technology of the internet in order to be able to function. Through these websites people are able to talk to distant relatives, friends and loved ones to whom, only ten years ago, the thought of being able to keep in touch would have been impossible. It is also the case that people are able to co-ordinate their social life through social networking in a way which is evidently beneficial. It is now possible to hold social interactions with people many thousands of miles away and to select one’s friendships and social group with little regard to the physical proximity of the people whom they socialise with. Previously, it was the case that members of sub-cultures would have to either move to the geographic location of their sub-culture or would be fundamentally isolated from their world. However, through the invention of social networking, it is now possible for those who wish to socialise with others who are not immediately present to them, to form social groups based on interest.
It is also the case that the internet has fundamentally changed the way that people are able to plan their lives. Because millions of people now have access to the internet at almost all times of the day, it is possible for them to access information and to carry out transactions at anytime. This has greatly reduced the need for planning time which would previously have dominated a large amount of a person’s time. Previously, an individual would have needed to plan exactly when to visit a bank in order to withdraw money to allow them to buy what they needed, and would also have needed to visit individual stores in order to get their products. However, the invention of the internet has led to online banking and online shopping. This means that people are able to accomplish tasks relating to the basic organization of their life much more quickly and easily than ever before. The result of this is that it is now that the case that people need to spend less time on banal and boring tasks and that they have more time for pursuing their own interests. In short, the internet has done a huge amount to reduce the amount of time which must be devoted to daily bureaucracy. This is clearly a beneficial effect of the invention.
A third and final benefit which the essay will consider is the effect that the internet has had on the media and on access to information in general. Before the invention of the internet, access to global news was restricted to a relative few number of publications and television channels. These publications would have to be read and purchased at a certain time, or the new shows would have to be watched at a specific or they would be missed and people would remain potentially about key events that were happening in the world. This has changed since the invention of the internet. It is now possible for people to access breaking news at any time of the day or night. Through new websites, people can access constantly updating information and may remain up to speed with important events very easily. It is also the case that people may easily access archived reports and publications which means that it is much easier to form meaningful opinion about new stories. The access to information in this way has already been shown to have a beneficial effect on people’s lives, but also on society in general. Many people consider is to be the case that events such as the Arab Spring other movements for global democracy and freedom would have been impossible without the easy access to information which the internet provides. This proves that, not only does the internet have a beneficial effect on individual lives, but it can also be shown to effect the way in which whole societies are able to grow and develop.
In conclusion, this paper has discussed the invention of the internet. It has claimed that this invention has fundamentally changed the world for the better. People are now able to be in touch with others thousands of miles away, according to their preference, they are able to reduce the amount of time that they spend on everyday tasks and they are able to access important information and breaking news at any hour of this day. It is self-evident that these have been huge improvements and it seems very likely that such improvements will continue to be important.