I was born in the year 1990, which meant that there was not much of internet back then. Of course, computers were already around, but because their capabilities weren’t yet all that great, people didn’t use them for the things they use them now. The internet as we know it today also came around only at a later stage.
I grew up watching a lot of TV. Cartoons, movies broadcasted on Friday evenings, reality shows and TV shop are what I remember best. All of the time that I didn’t spend outside hanging out with friends, I would spend inside watching the TV. I am sure those of my or similar age can relate to this.
As I got older, I began to use the internet more and more, until I eventually stopped watching TV altogether. Moreover, I became frustrated with TV. I finally realized just how useless it was.
Thanks to the internet, lies showed on the TV were exposed. The younger generation now was becoming aware of this, but the older generations did not feel the same way.
I remember being angered by the fact that my parents kept watching the box every single day and believing that what they saw on the news was true. I tried to convince them that all of it was rubbish, but none of it helped. It’s hard to change the habits of people when they have lived with them for a very long time.
How we saw the internet
The internet was amazing. There were active forums about any topic that you could think of, people played simple yet fun online games, and funny cat videos were still to be seen.
The internet would be that place to go for a fresh breath of air. It was a place where people from different parts of the world could meet and talk about things.
But the most amazing part of the internet was the fact that we could choose what we wanted to see or hear. There were no or little advertisements, and we didn’t have a sense or feeling that everything we do is being watched and can later be used to help selling us stuff.
Of course, just like anything good in the world, the internet began to change. On the one hand, it began to improve.
The first social networks emerged, YouTube was referred to more and more, and school papers could be written without having to go to the library; we could simply google the information.
The speed of the internet connection was also a game changer. Now surfing became easy and fast. This was especially great when you could do it straight from your smartphone.
But like I said, things change. Advertisements gradually became more common, to the point where any popular site that you would go to, you would be bombarded with products.
Creating a website was no longer difficult and expensive, which is why the amount of them grew dramatically. There would be websites made for the sole purpose of selling you stuff. People would try to use certain unfair strategies to trick the search engines into putting their websites ahead of everyone else’s in the rankings. Fortunately, this was dealt with quite soon, putting many people that were cheating out of business.
What we have today
E-commerce, internet marketing, online casinos, sponsorships in YouTube videos, streaming of games and begging for donations in exchange for reading out loud your comment, advertisements and censorship on social networks, cancellation of net neutrality, spreading false information and fake news, and even the existence of the dark web through which drugs and weapons can be sold and bought. All of these things is what the internet has become today.
Of course, I am not trying to say that there is nothing good about the internet. No, not at all. Thanks to the internet we are able to find the content that is able to motivate and inspire us, to teach us something new about the world. We are able to communicate with people living on the other side of the globe, get in touch with old lost friends from school, and we are able to get help almost immediately in the form of support. Finally, we now always know what is going on in different parts of the world.
However, the reason why I am angered by what the internet has become today is because it feels like all that is done is done out of greed for more money.
Like I said, you are now being sold to anywhere you go on the internet. Moreover, your browsing habits are now being watched. People know exactly what you have been browsing for to buy, which is why that product will be advertised to you on your favorite social network the next time you go to say “hi” to an old friend.
The internet has become the only source of income for some people, which is why they will do cringy things for your donations and tell you made up stories on purpose to convince you that something is true, when in fact, it isn’t.
The same goes for politics. People now use the internet to spread lies in order to justify their actions.
In the past, when the internet was not yet so big, we loved the content because it was genuine. People created it because it was truly what they wanted to do. This applied to both, websites and YouTube videos.
Now it has changed somewhat. People are restrained by their contracts and create content because they have to. Yes, that has created competition and the necessity to make better content with higher quality, but that has also created a lot of noise and false information on the internet.
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Now, you only have an illusion that you get to choose what you want to hear or see. There is no way to ever know that what you are reading, hearing or seeing, isn’t there on purpose to make you think a certain way. So how is this then any different from the TV that so many of us proudly say that we don’t watch? If anything, we spend more time on the internet today than we ever did on TV.
It’s hard to say what the future of the internet will bring, but I believe that because it is becoming more intelligent and sophisticated, it will become more unpredictable. With time, I believe that lies will be almost impossible to distinguish from the truth, which is why it is important to stay aware and not to blindly believe everything that you are being told on the World Wide Web.
What do you think of this? Do you see a positive future for the internet, or maybe not so positive? Feel free to share your thoughts down below.
Thank you for stopping by and good luck!