Can you ever imagine a world today without you checking on your favourite news site, logging in to your social media account, and streaming films online?
Hard to imagine, right? The internet has become so essential that a big part of our lives depend on it every single day. From business-related e-mails, to video calls to families overseas, to lectures held online—the internet has become a necessity much like how we need to eat and sleep to survive every day—and that is not even an exaggeration.
A quick research on the genesis of the internet will tell you how it started in the Western part of the world as wikipedia would share, “The history of the Internet begins with the development of electronic computers in the 1950s. Initial concepts of packet networking originated in several computer science laboratories in the United States, United Kingdom, and France. The US Department of Defense awarded contracts as early as the 1960s for packet network systems, including the development of the ARPANET. The first message was sent over the ARPANET from computer science Professor Leonard Kleinrock’s laboratory at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to the second network node at Stanford Research Institute (SRI).Packet switching networks such as ARPANET, NPL network, CYCLADES, Merit Network, Tymnet, and Telenet, were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s using a variety of communications protocols .”
Fast forward to today, the usage of internet is broad and wide. Student from Singapore Marie Chan, 22, shared how much the internet has contributed to writing her major papers for school, “There are a lot of updated journals now that may be read and downloaded online. Wherever I am, as long as there is wifi here in changi, I can always access these reading materials and use them for the papers I write for my major subjects as academic sources. While I still go to the library, there are some materials that cannot be found there, and I need to regularly find sources that are current, as prescribed by my professors. People publish materials now online so I am glad of the speedy internet connection we have here. I could only imagine how hard it was before for students to write papers when everything were relied upon physical reading materials.”
Online boutique owner Zarah Milandih, 29, also shared how the internet helped her launch her clothing and apparel business in Singapore. “I was initially thinking of renting a small space for my designs to be sold, but when I had my own wired wifi here in my rental apartment in changi, everything became easier. I just made a website for my products to be featured and ordered (such as clothes mainly, bags, and other accessories), and I constantly update my instagram account—and there, the business flew like a swift bird in just a month. Apparently, a lot of netizens are fond of online shopping. I have been getting orders here and there—and my clients are not only based in Asia. With the way the business is going, I may be able to open my own physical shop in 6 months—and I may even be able to buy my own place in just a year.”
The internet has also made possible for companies to communicate with their satellite offices, clients, business partners, and employees based on the farthest places and even in remote locations. Sean Zafra, a marketing director of an IT company in Singapore, shared how easy it was to organize an international business conference with just the use of video calls. “It doesn’t really matter where are people are, as long as the internet is speedy, we can always hold meetings and get things done where there is wifi technology. It saves us travel time and money to have to always go to from ne country to another just to close some important business deals and decisions.”
The advent of the internet technology worldwide has also enabled people to work from home, “My boss allowed me to work from home with the same salary I have been getting. I chose this setup because I get tired from the daily commute, and I don’t want to move near the office anymore as I am settled where I live now. Not only does it only save me money from possible rental and transportation, I also don’t have to eat outside daily because somehow that puts a big dent to my pocket too. I also realized how less stressed I am now that I am working from home because I don’t need to deal with difficult people in the workplace. Without the internet, I would still feel like a corporate slave every working day, which is, truth be told, too dragging for me to handle considering the work I do is very much brain draining. Lessened stress, saved money, what more can I ask for,” narrated Louie Quien, an IT professional.
What the world will invent better than the internet in the future, we don’t know yet. But for now, we can safely say, it has given us more than what we could ask for. The internet world has changed the way we live, for sure.