Since the dawn of time technology has played a vital role in the way that mankind’s life has changed. The discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel started the cycle that would enable man to rule this world. Then the invention of paper and the building of ships and aeroplanes allowed man to travel to lands on the edge of this earth. Today it is the Internet that is shaping and reshaping our lives.
Even as this essay is being written, millions of people on this planet owe their livelihood to the Internet. They work in dot com companies and Internet start-ups, cloud computing firms and network agencies, call centres and knowledge process operations. They service clients who are sitting on the other side of the world. They owe their livelihood to the ability of companies to be in touch with their customers in real time, all thanks to the Internet.
The banks that we transact with
So much of banking and money management is now done on the Internet. People simply sit in front of their laptop computer and transfer their money from one account to the other. They make credit card payments over the World Wide Web allowing them to buy goods and services in an instant. They check their financial statements online and file income tax statements over the Internet.
Finding your soul mate online
Yes, people make friends over the Internet, they find their weekend dates over the Internet, and they find a spouse over the Internet. So many sites have come up in recent times that allow people to find their loved ones by chatting on social media sites or in community chat rooms.
There was a time when the workers of Third World countries like India and the Philippines had to leave the streets of Mumbai and Manila and travel to far off lands to find work. They no longer have to do that. The numerous outsourcing companies that have emerged in these countries have given many people a source of livelihood. The workers are able to live in their own cities among their own people within their own culture and earn a decent living even though they cater to customers in London and New York. This phenomenon that drives the economies of these nations has been made possible only because of the World Wide Web.
Getting the news out there
How often have we been witness to blogs and Internet journalists driving the news and telling the stories that traditional print media and television stations have been slow to catch upon. Such is the threat from the online sources that almost all newspapers and television studios have an online version to cater to the needs of the public.
There are many more things that can be done on the Internet. Think of this the next time a flight ticket is purchased, a hotel room is booked, a movie from the Internet is downloaded, or research is being done for a PhD thesis.