From the prehistoric era to the modern age, we have been on a quest to improve their standard of life. From various observations and tireless researches, we have found ways to discover technology that can make our lives easier. Fire allowed us to cook. Tractors allowed us to cultivate land. Automobiles allowed us to travel faster than ever before. However, if there’s one technology that changed the way Americans live, it has to be the Internet. Communication and information exchange have been a crucial aspect of everyday life.
Whether it’s a business transaction or a simple delivery of a message, we are always looking for faster ways to get in touch with each other. While transportation technologies have given us cars, ships and planes, they are still limited by the distance they have to travel to get to the destination. With the advent of the Internet, distance is no longer a limitation. The 6 billions living in the world can now connect to each other in real time. The development of this information super highway has changed the way people live. The areas most affected by Internet are business, broadcasting and correspondence.
The business world is a very competitive one. Buyers and sellers compete with each other to obtain the best prices. The Internet allowed people to connect to a larger market by finding buyers and sellers from all over the world instead of only from their local area. One example is the auction website eBay. Before the Internet, people usually go to their local stores if they want to buy an item. The only other alternative is to place an order by the phone if the seller accepts phone orders. With eBay, buyers can search and browse through the site for the item they want and they are not limited to sellers in their own area.
Even people from different countries can trade with each other. The Internet acts as a broker connecting buyers and sellers in a way that was not possible fifty years ago (Gordon, 2004). Another example that the Internet has transformed the business world is e-commerce (Schifferers, 2006). Sellers no longer have to rent their stores and wait for customers to come in. Instead, they can open their business in the Internet as an e-commerce. Similar to eBay, the advantage of e-commerce is that the sellers’ market are not limited to their local area. People all over the world can now browse and purchase their items over the Internet.
What is remarkable about this type of business is that the businesses can open 24 hours a day. These can potentially increase the number of customers compared to conventional stores. For example, the e-commerce website Amazon. com received more than 500 million visitors annually (Marcus, 2004). The Internet changed not only the business world, but also the broadcasting industry. Before the Internet, people get their news from television and newspaper. News broadcast on television usually has a scheduled broadcasting time while newspaper is delivered to each customer’s doorstep every morning.
This does not allow people to receive news whenever they want. With the Internet, everyone can get news on demand. Most TV-news companies and newspapers now have their own websites which allow people to receive news as it happens instead of waiting for the scheduled news broadcast or the morning newspaper. Whether it’s war, disaster or sports news, information gets to people faster than ever before thanks to the Internet. More importantly, websites can correct mistakes almost instantly, something that printed newspaper cannot do (Gordon, 2004).
Finally, Internet has changed the way we communicate with each other in a more personal basis. We no longer have to wait for the postmen to deliver letters. Instead, we can send emails which can reach the recipients instantly. This has made many people’s life easier. Long distance relationships become bearable and having pen pals all around the world become possible. A person can deliver a family birth or death news to distant family members instantly. People are no longer separated by distance. While many technologies have improved the life of many Americans, none has a greater impact than the Internet.
It has allowed buyers and sellers from all over the world to trade with each other. It has allowed important world news to be received instantly by people around the world. Finally, it has allowed people to keep in touch with each other more easily.
Gordon, J. (2004). The 50 Biggest Changes in the Last 50 Years. American Heritage Magazine, vol 55 issue 3. Marcus, J. (2004). Amazoni: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot. com Juggernaut. W. W. Norton. Schifferers, S. (2006). How the Internet transformed business. BBC News. URL: http://news. bbc. co. uk/2/hi/business/5235332. stm.