Twenty years ago, less than 9% of the world’s population had access to the internet and it was seen as a leisure and a luxury. Nowadays, the internet appears to be as important as water and oxygen, with approximately 33% of the world’s population accessing it.
As a member of “Generation Y“, some people believe that I don’t know what life is like without Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Others may think that I don’t know what life is like without the “world wide web” as a whole; the latter being correct. The internet was introduced widely only a few years before I was born in 1994 but it had been around for about 30 years before that. I started using the internet when I was about 5 years old. My dad was about to resign from his position as Sergeant in the Victoria Police Force and was teaching himself all there is to know about technology. Back in those days we had only two computers and the internet was seen as a leisure activity, where my siblings and I would only spend about an hour after school playing on it. Either that or I would sit at one end of the house with my sister on the other while we spoke over ICQ Messenger.
I grew up with the internet and was constantly exposed to what it had to offer. Over the years I have become quite advanced in my knowledge of technology, I have tested various tools available and I have discovered the ones that suit me best. For instance, I use Windows Movie Maker to create videos, which I then upload to YouTube; I prefer to socialise using Facebook and I socialise with members of my fandoms through Tumblr. I can do all of this from my laptop, or the 9 other computers in my house.
I don’t perceive Facebook to be lame, in fact I think it is a marvellous tool that allows me to keep in contact with people who I rarely see except for the occasional family reunion, or even school reunion. Another thing that makes this concept brilliant is planning a surprise party. Take my father’s surprise 50th birthday party for example. There was no way I was going to be able to go through his phone and find which contacts were appropriate to invite. So, I did the next best thing: Go to his Facebook page and figure out who to invite based on his list of friends. This made everything so much easier; I was able to send this invite to people who dad went to primary school with, that he worked in the Victoria Police Force with and of course, people that he meets up with nowadays.
Personally, I adore the internet; I can socialise, I can create and I can even apply for a job; it allows me to do things that I probably wouldn’t do otherwise. However, there are some concerns about it. Many devices are now being hooked up to the internet such as TVs, refrigerators etc. and this could increase the risk of cyber-attacks, or even a lack of privacy. If you’re on Facebook, you’re too late: by posting, you give Facebook a license to use any of that content.
The internet has gone from a device that was used as a leisurely activity 20 years ago to a device that is so vital to our everyday lives. Not only has it opened our eyes to new ways of socialising, new career paths and even new skills such as Photoshopping and video making but it is forever changing and expanding, that in order to adapt, our technological knowledge expands with it.