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How the Internet Has Changed the World

The Internet has dramatically changed politics, business, how we socialize and our very culture.

My children will never fully understand what a life changing experience the

Internet has had on our society because they do not know life without it. The impact of

the Internet is far greater than any other communicative tool in the history of mass

communications. While doing my research I did find some experts who believed that

other inventions were more important than the Internet as these inventions led to the

development of the Internet. While this is certainly true that these early inventions may

have been important the Internet has a far greater impact on U.S. society due to its

versatility and ability to function in many aspects of our everyday lives.

Which other

invention in the last century allows us to email, instant message, research an automobile

, access a library, blog, purchase or sell stock, buy airline tickets, book a hotel and see the

world without even leaving our chairs?

In Tech’sExperts Predict Future / We May Become Pets of

Robots, Pew survey Says; Lee(2006) shares that the Internet has

dramatically reshaped the way people interact, as more and more people connect

to high-speed Internet services. Nowadays, Internet users can use instant

messages to connect with a customer service representative, or buy, sell and rent

virtual homes in online worlds.

Therefore, selecting the internet as my choice for the communications

tool with the greatest impact in the United States was not a difficult decision. The 

Internet is an important part of most Americans’ lives. In The Chronicle of Higher

Education Cole(2004) reports that over 70 percent of Americans use the Internet at least

once a month, and the average user is online for nearly 12 hours a week.

The Internet has changed the way we communicate, do research, shop and interact

far beyond the borders of our country. The Internet is truly a global link and a profound

tool of immense proportions. The Internet has changed the way we conduct politics, earn

money and participate in our social groups and cultures. No other form of mass

communications share in this distinction.

.

. In this paper I will show how the Internet is the most important communicative

invention since the printing press. I will show how the internet intertwines political

economic and social communities. Finally I will discuss the potential of the Internet in

the future.

Political:

The Internet, like television before it, has a great impact on the politics and

political system in our country. When Americans want information about an upcoming

election they often use the Internet to help them make voting decisions.

.In Reports E-Gov and E-Policy 2006 Election Horrigan & Raine (2007)

provide statistics that twice as many Americans used the Internet as their primary

The Internet 4

source of news about the 2006 campaign compared with the most recent mid-

term election in 2002.

The advent of the Internet has had a tremendous effect on how political

campaigns are structured. Both parties are taking advantage of blogs, email, raising

money with text messaging and communicating with potential contributors through

email. The Internet is proving to be a faster and cheaper way for political parties to view

what the masses find important. Candidates then can plan a political platform from that

information and communicate that platform to the American people. In Politics Face Sweeping Changes Via the Internet Nagourney (2006) writes

that the transformation of American politics by the Internet is accelerating with

the approach of the 2006 Congressional and 2008 White House elections,

prompting the rewriting of rules of advertising, fund-raising, mobilizing

supporters and even the spreading of negative information. Democrats and

Republicans are sharply increasing their use of e-mail, interactive Web sites,

candidate and party blogs, and text-messaging to raise money, organize get-out-

the-vote efforts and assemble crowds for rallies. The Internet, appears to be far more efficient, and less costly, than the traditional tools of politics.

Websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Friendster are being used as well to

reach the voters of America. On these sites, political allies find linkage and common

issues.

Nagourey (2006), states that campaigns are now studying popular Internet social

networks, like Friendster and Facebook, as ways of reaching groups of potential

supporters with similar political views or cultural interests.

Politicians need to get their message out to the public and to also get the voters to

the polls.

The Internet is a powerful way to sway voters toward one candidate or

isssue. Nagourney (2006), calls the internet the “holy grail”

that political organizers believe can persuade voters toward their candidate.

The Internet most certainly will be an ominous political presence in the future.

We however, need to recognize as voters that everything we read on a website

is not always accurate. The Internet like all other dynamics of mass

communications can also spread untruths. As Americans searching for the best

candidate for our vote, we must research the issues and candidates on our ballots

Internet 6

carefully. The Internet will continue to be a powerful force in American politics for a

long time. But like all forms of information found in magazines, newspapers, television

and, radio we must educate ourselves as American voters and not be swayed by the mass

communications political persuasion. Narourney (2006) cautions that

as American voters it is our responsibility to separate the truth from the “spin” and

make decisions based on our own judgement and values-not on what the latest blog is

telling us.

Economic:

The Internet has been a huge economic boom to our country and the

world. The Internet has a massive variety of items available for purchase and online

merchants want our business. Online merchants take the information that they learn

from the consumer and apply it in their own businesses to become even more profitable.

In the business world, this knowledge of the customer is an opportunity for money and

power. Corporations and businesses can reach worldwide customers. Information

passes via internet to the individual person then to businesses. Corporations study the

trend of business and execute much larger economic decisions using millions of

dollars. . We no longer live in a world of local markets. The Internet has brought us

Internet 7

into a global marketplace.

In Corporate Metamorphosis Murphy (2006) explains that knowledge is power.

Access to knowledge gives the exo-firm a powerful foundation from which to

work. This foundation, although not solid and not on the accountants’ books, truly

exists. It is real – not virtual. The foundation base is people, their experiences and

their ideas. This also spreads to corporations who have experience, knowledge

and access to atoms and materials with which to turn ideas into reality. The

access to this knowledge via the Internet – a simple medium – gives the the virtual

corporation the potential to be an extremely powerful player in the global

marketplace.

In The Changing Nature of Innovation Horn (2005) expresses that

the Internet links people of similar business goals in a global economy.

The

Internet is a tool that can work for people to make their goals reality. The

Emergence of the Internet and open standards is spawning those new models,

Allowing for the integration of businesses and business processed from an

ecosystem of outside suppliers.

Murphy (2006) concludes that it’s all about relationships. Whether personal,

corporate, management and customer oriented, connectivity is what the new

Internet 8

media is doing. It is bringing people with similar ideas and mandates together.

Distance is falling by the wayside. Ideas are being turned into reality. Virtual

corporations have the potential to change the way business is done from this

decade on into the next century. It is only the beginning and we are all still

predicting our future around technology of today

Social:

The Internet is about relationships whether political, economic or social.

However, the Internet has had a major impact on our society and culture. Long before

the Internet was but a twinkle in Al Gore’s eye, we wrote letters by hand and waited

weeks for a reply. Today we send instant emails across thousands of miles.

The Internet

helps us all stay more connected to family, friends and the world around us. The

Internet has made our world smaller by making us aware of other cultures far beyond

our own towns, cities and countries. Everything we need or want to know is at the click

of a button. Everything from home mortgages to medical advice, from research to

blogging can be done online. The Internet brings us email and instant

messages. It allows us to stay in touch with people all over the world. Personal

relationships also can develop between people who due to distance might never have a

The Internet 9

In The Weekend Interview With Greg Waldorf The Matchmaker Parker (2007),

reports that the popularity of Internet dating is just one more sign that we’re

witnessing a fundamental change in the way people interact, a difference that

can be particularly pronounced across generations.

Some positive relationships do begin online. However the Internet also has a dark

side. Everyday it seems we read about another minor becoming involved with a

sex offender they met online. The minor and the sex offender are not meeting at

a high school dance. They are meeting in online chatrooms.

Often the

conversation over time leads to an in-person meeting. Unfortunately these meetings may

have tragic consequences.

In Online Relationship Leads to Sexual Assault Jeppersen (2007) reports that

a Woolwich man who had been having an online relationship with a 16-year-

old Carthage girl for two years allegedly sexually assaulted her at her home this week and

was arrested outside of Bath Thursday night.

Still facts such as these will not keep people from forming relationships online,

especially young Americans. The Canada News Wire (2007), reports

that a comprehensive survey in 12 countries of more than 7,600 young people between

the ages of 16 – 29 shows that 77% of today’s online youth would sooner live without

television than live without the Internet.

The Internet 10

Many of our young people rely on the Internet for all aspects of their lives.

Instead of having real social situations or going out and meeting people face-to-face they

choose to build relationships in chatrooms, on MySpace and other internet sites.

Another form of linkage online are terror websites. These websites recruit

young people to join their groups and participate in violent activities.

In Terrorist Using Net for Propaganda , Recruiting,

Discussion Boards, Online Forums Can Provide Investigators With Leads

Jesdanun (2004), states that in recent months, al-Qaida-linked terror groups and

their sympathizers haves made a big splash on the Internet, making it their

communications channel of choice. They’re benefiting from free discussion

boards, e-mail accounts and other online forums for propaganda, recruitment,

fund-raising and even planning.

Terror groups organize crime online in the name of their religion. In The Daily

Telegraph Steele (2007) reports that Muslim doctors used a chat site to plan U.S. raids.

Yet another troubling side to the internet is pornography. Online porn

exists in all forms. It is very accessible to children and children need to be supervised

when they are online. In spite of the wonders of the Internet we now also have a much

larger scope of problems that are difficult to police. The global connection can be a

cultural awakening in both positive and negative ways. Like all other forms of mass 

communications it too has its dark side.

The Internet exercises the freedom of the press

and ultimately, it is the responsiblility of parents and caretakers to monitor all internet

access of their children.

In Teens and the Internet; Isolating Tendency of Medium is a Cause for Concern

(2005), the unsigned editiorial states that we need to look for ways to ensure that

the ever-expanding plethora of personal technologies doesn’t further isolate

individuals from the larger community. Modern life has empowered the

individual in ways undreamed of by our ancestors. But there is a price to pay in a

world where we communicate better from a distance than close at hand.

Future:

There are many predictions for the future of the Internet. In Text Experts Predict

We May Become Pet Of Robots, Per Survey Says; Lee (2006) writes that future

technological advances may see “humans becoming pets of robots.

In Clothes Make a Statement Electronically Researchers See A Day When You

Will Update Your Style With a Click Of A Mouse Enemark (2006) envisions

that you can only wear one outfit a day, and most of us have a finite supply of

clothes. Clothing and accessories that can change their “look,” however, could

make physical fashion as dynamic as Web culture.

While these ideas sound like a chapter out of a George Orwell or Ray Bradbury

science fiction novel. Who could have imagined twenty years ago the progress of mass

communications and the Internet today?

Twenty years ago the technology we currently

are using did seem like science fiction.

In the future we will continue to debate online personal privacy and the First

Amendment. Our technology will become even more intelligent and

sophisticated. As a nation we need to ask tough questions now about addressing these

issues. The Internet is our most powerful invention in the last one hundred years. But

like all tools of modern technology it has a positive and a negative side. We as

Americans and citizens of the world need to use our human brain to think critically and

use the Internet effectively in a positive fashion. We still need the power of human

reasoning and ingenuity . We need to remember to use the Internet as a tool for making

political decisions, continuing with our country’s economic growth and understanding

cultures different from our own.

If we can overcome the negative side of the Internet and use it as it was intended,

we can truly see our dreams for the future materialize into a global reality.

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User Comments
  1. Ralph Brandt

    On April 14, 2008 at 1:45 pm


    From someone who has been a part of computers for 45 years and the internet for over 12, this is an interesting view.

  2. Danielle

    On April 14, 2008 at 3:52 pm


    Well-thought

  3. rupok93

    On April 14, 2008 at 5:43 pm


    nice article but should have made it a little more shorter no one is going to try and read the whole thing. I am only saying this to help.

  4. Elizabeth

    On April 14, 2008 at 8:30 pm


    Intelligent article. Worth reading.

  5. Rob

    On April 15, 2008 at 10:19 am


    I like the content and for the topic it is not too long.

  6. Big Brother

    On April 16, 2008 at 10:36 am


    Who the bleep is TheFederalWatch.com? Weird, I would google it, but I am afraid of spam.

  7. Bob

    On April 19, 2008 at 9:20 pm


    This article is okay, I guess. It is really long and I have ADD and I can’t work my way through it. I am used to shorter articles.

  8. G and F

    On April 19, 2008 at 9:21 pm


    May we suggest “Hop on Pop” to the person who wanted easier reading material.

  9. :)

    On May 6, 2008 at 1:54 pm


    Well done!

  10. MM

    On May 8, 2008 at 2:53 pm


    Thank you for a most comprehensive piece. Well-written.

  11. Brand new from this author:

    On July 15, 2008 at 1:41 pm


  12. Viv

    On August 6, 2008 at 6:17 pm


    The Internet really has single handedly changed the way we do so many things today. Good information. I can see why you are a popular author!

  13. GH

    On August 13, 2008 at 10:01 pm


    Well-written and informative.

  14. D. Rhoades

    On August 18, 2008 at 1:54 am


    As a communications professor, I found this article informative and accurate.

  15. sasiey

    On August 19, 2008 at 2:33 am


    i like it…internet indeed brings tremendous effect and impact not only in an individual but in society as a whole!it is worth reading and very interesting…

  16. NIIICKKKKKKKK

    On October 14, 2008 at 8:10 pm


    well good for u!!

  17. anthony

    On November 19, 2008 at 8:29 pm


    good for you,,,,,,!!!very well said…..

  18. annabell

    On February 18, 2009 at 4:49 am


    love ur writing style =)

  19. Liz

    On February 22, 2009 at 9:23 pm


    Great stuff!

  20. Nalin

    On April 28, 2009 at 11:59 am


    Very nice article.. Hats off to you.

  21. RHS

    On May 6, 2009 at 11:54 am


    Very good essay, i’m using this for my paper about techology that changed the world

    you will be cited!!

    Thank you

  22. sarah

    On November 17, 2009 at 8:08 pm


    thanks soooo much ! im doing a HUGE projecct for school && this helped alot !

    your a lifesavorrrr !

  23. hitika

    On November 19, 2009 at 11:37 am


    it was very good.it helped me a lot. the content was also nice.

  24. caly

    On November 26, 2009 at 5:54 am


    the article is a very nice one and it is comprehensive cos it really goes a long way in discussing the importance of the internet in our everyday life. thumbs up.

  25. chance245

    On January 13, 2010 at 2:47 pm


    thanks who ever wrote this because i am doing a hisrtory fair project on the internet

  26. channieman242

    On January 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm


    thanks who ever wrote this because i am doing a hisrtory fair project on the internet

  27. CC

    On January 25, 2010 at 12:06 am


    I wonder how to do the work cite for reference? Im writing a paper in MLA format.
    Thank you!

  28. GG's student

    On January 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm


    Thanks alot for these informations and I hope the teacher will will not mind using this web as a sourse.

  29. monika

    On February 17, 2011 at 8:07 pm


    I am in the middle of writing a paper about localization. Obviously, this can be done without mentioning the immerse influence of the Internet over our lives. Thanks so much for the article. It’s awesomely well written.

  30. ujjwal

    On November 26, 2012 at 2:26 pm


    very good, thnx

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