You Are An Internet User... But Many People Are Not


 You Are An Internet User... But Many People Are Not

The internet has become a staple for so many people that many of us take it for granted. Most of the time, the only negative impact it's seen is when a company fails to protect our privacy, but without the internet, how would we know what went wrong? How would we organize protests? How could we donate money to charity if a disaster strikes before donations are coordinated online? In order to better appreciate what life is like without the internet, here are some common thoughts that you may not have considered before.

The Internet is obviously an incredible tool. It has done so much good for humanity in terms of connectivity and information sharing — and yet it can also pose some problems as well.

It can be hard to realize just how much the internet has changed our lives since it's been around for the past 20 years, but I'm willing to bet you didn't know that these would be some of the biggest changes.

You haven't gone grocery shopping in aisles full of people before. Most people go grocery shopping alone. You've never seen a group of your friends trying to figure out the best way to split up the contents of their grocery bags. The supermarket checkout line is so much simpler when you're dealing with a handful of plastic bags from no more than 2 different stores. (Although I have moved far beyond this now. Life is complicated.)

You've never had to share a physical space with more than 2 other people. I mean, sure, you have to share it with your family, but even then that's not really an issue. This was probably common in the 80s and 90s, but since most people now live in apartments or house-share situations, it's become more of a rarity.

You've never had to bounce around from place to place on the internet. You may have lived somewhere for a few years and then moved to another location for work or school – but you've never been forced to keep up with all of your friends at every location at once just because of where they log into Facebook and Twitter.

You've never seen a Google Maps screen this cluttered. When you open up Google Maps, most likely the screen is already filled with information. There's hardly any room to add anything else on there, whether it's a suggested route or not. With location services and internet access becoming more common, and especially with beacon devices becoming common as well (the plans for which began in 2012), there could be significant changes to Google Maps soon enough.
For example, you're in a restaurant. The waiter brings you your drinks. Do you stop to look at your phone? I mean, you're always checking your phone, but I wonder how many of us have ever ordered an entire meal in a restaurant only to be interrupted by texts from our friends checking on the location of the nearest Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts.

You've never seen a person log into a website and not see anything they didn't want to see. Think about the number of websites that are meant for children. How many smartphones do kids even have? How many of them don't even have the internet on their phones? Why would parents create websites for their children if they're not planning on protecting their privacy in anyway? (I used to think this was common sense.

Conclusion: Your Weird Family Has More Privacy Than You Do

You've never seen a person have to be as guarded about their privacy as you are. It's not like you're a billionaire who can afford a private jet, but it's clear that you haven't lived close enough to something exploding to know the importance of preventing the loss of life. (Which is probably just another thing that will change when we have location services and internet access embedded into most devices.)

There is much more that has changed with the internet over the past few decades than I had originally imagined.

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