Is The Internet Creating A New And Different World?

The internet developed as a network for academic researchers and the military before spreading to connect the world. It graduated, only in the last 25 years, from specialist to general use for the larger population. During its brief life, however, it has shaped a changing world more than any other technology in history.

Change is exciting

Change is exciting and stories of how the internet brings greater freedom to millions of people are inspiring and impressive in equal measure.

But change comes at a price as people are forced to make difficult choices, abandon the past and embrace the new and unusual.

Businesses expect competition but the internet has changed the rules of engagement, as new competitors appear unexpectedly, from unexpected directions and in unexpected ways.

The internet connects businesses in ways that create and eliminate millions of jobs, as it causes unprecedented shifts in cultural and economic behaviours.

People’s day to day habits are changing too, as they try to keep up with a new economy that clash with the status quo.

The internet-driven economy gives us greater control of our lives but transfers responsibility from employer to employee in a way that changes the social fabric of society.

Such change represents technological and economic success for the few but destroys countless lives and livelihoods, as it fashions an ever-widening gap between rich and poor.

In previous periods of technological turmoil jobs were lost but the pain was mitigated by the provision of greater opportunity and a higher standard of living for the majority.

The revolution

In the current revolution the fear is that greater numbers of jobs will be lost than gained and the gap between the haves and the have-nots will stretch beyond breaking point.

The hope is that people will benefit from the liberties offered by widespread access to the internet and the advance of a more prosperous world.

Such hope comes with higher levels of responsibility, as we are forced to take control of our lives and become less reliant on organisations and institutions for the success we seek.

The new economy will create more opportunities to be independent and take responsibility but it will not suit everyone, as many are abandoned and left stranded.

Self-employment and business ownership will increase as a matter of practical necessity, as job security and career stability stumble to the point of extinction.

We will all experience the flow and fluidity of the new economy with or without its more difficult choices but regardless of our position we will have to embrace its new and very different ways.

SO, the internet provides us with greater choice but also transfers responsibility as more is demanded from us and of us.