Five innovations that changed the internet as we knew it forever
When the internet was in its infancy, people were in awe of it. How was it possible to send a message to someone on the other side of the world without snail mail or a fax machine? Could it be that simple to access information and consign your beloved encyclopedia to the recycling bin?
As with most things, the internet grew. Its capabilities and advancements seem to come daily. Before we knew it, the internet became part and parcel of our lives. Young and old have grown to depend on it.
Here are five innovations that showed us the internet could be more than we ever imaged possible.
There are very few people who can say they don’t have an online social media presence. There are so many platforms to choose from. We’re talking Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as the main ones. They have helped us connect with long-lost friends and school friends.
Families have been reunited through social media; stories that might otherwise never have been told are out there because of social media. Sure, we have problems with people who have the TMI approach. They post pictures of every meal they eat or tweet randomly about anything. But the benefits definitely outweigh the irritation.
For those of us who saw the internet make its debut, we could never have imagined that we’d be playing video games on it. And not only that, we’d be playing them with and against people from all over the world.
If you need a group of warriors for a quest, they could be anywhere from Bhutan to Budapest. These games have become more intricate and sophisticated as time has progressed. And they are a cultural gateway for us to meet people we’d otherwise never have encountered.
At first, the internet was for sharing pictures. Later on, we could share videos. And we thought the internet had struck its peak. We were wrong. The advent of live streaming changed the way we use the internet forever. When you live stream an event, you are recording and broadcasting it at the same time.
Early internet users thought that was the privilege of news and sports television. But the internet made it available to anyone who chooses to use it. From concerts to weddings, you can live stream them to the folks who couldn’t be there.
But live streaming has had a broader impact than just making events more readily available. It basically has had an impact on almost every aspect of internet usage.
Just look at online gaming. Initially they were all about machines replacing real-life games. Today, with the help of live streaming players can use their computers and even mobile devices to play any sort of game. They revolutionised the industry, by offering a combination of the real-life experience with the comfort of online gaming.
When the first e-commerce businesses started, people were aghast. How could you buy goods and services over the internet? Surely it was not possible. But leading e-commerce websites like Amazon and eBay proved everyone wrong.
Today, there are people who buy almost everything online. They rarely venture into shops IRL to make their purchases. With secure banking options, you can safely pay for your purchases and have them shipped to your door.
The internet of things
When the Internet began, you had to have a PC. That’s a personal desktop computer. Laptops weren’t as freely available and affordable as they are today. But the internet of things has replaced that.
It is a network of physical devices that contain software and connectivity to help them to exchange data over the Internet. This integrates the physical world into the internet.
Today, many agree that the Internet of things is one of the biggest advances in the online world because it expanded its reach from specialised devices to other, everyday objects.
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