With the internet came a paradigm shift in terms of how we communicate. If I could choose a cartoon character to assimilate this occurrence to, I would choose Speedy Gonzales. We are faster, more efficient and have an infinite reach in terms of who, how, where and when we communicate with people and things – yes things – we are communicating with things. The shift from how we connect with the world and how the world connects with us has been a blink-of-the-eye type transformation.
Show me the money: Can you recall the last time you physically had to walk through the doors of a bank? Me neither… This is because the internet has empowered technology, particularly mobile technology to enable you complete accessibility to your money. You can transact without cash or even a card. I remember realising I needed petrol only when my car was just about empty, from the fumes, only to realise that I left my wallet (with all my cards) at home which was still very far away. The realisation that I could communicate with my phone that I needed some instant cash from the ATM at the garage meant that I had a full tank and was merrily on my way within minutes. Another crazy story – whilst I didn’t become an instant millionaire, I was able to play the lotto from my phone without leaving my couch knowing that I wouldn’t even have to check the winning numbers because if I did win something there would be an instant transfer of funds into my account.
I need a ride: Need to get home but find yourself over the limit to drive or simply stranded, you can stay fiercely independent by communicating with an application based cashless service like Uber who will be there to pick you up within minutes and get you home safely…
What is the Yellow Pages?: Most millennials don’t know what a phonebook or the Yellow Pages looks like. The internet helped changed communication in terms of how we enlist the services of say a plumber, electrician, handyman etc. Applications like Help Out App has made it possible to seamlessly find the help you need in a matter of minutes.
No more walking into a music store unarmed with information having to ask the salesperson – “I am looking for a CD, the song sounds something like Dee Dum , Dee Dee Dum” especially if you aren’t vocally gifted is something of the past. If you hear a song on the radio you like, you can find out what it’s called, who sings it, and even buy it by pressing a button on the Shazam app on your phone. The title, genre, artist is there. Not only has there been a shift away from buying CD’s, downloading music is all the buzz. You can plug in or connect via bluetooth your hard drive, smartphone etc. to your car and have all your favourite music play out those speakers.
You don’t have to be an extrovert to successfully find a love match: You will date people online via an app like Tinder on your phone that shows matches within a certain distance from you. You can connect and start chatting from the moment there is a connection. Eliminating the hassle of having to dress up and show up at every possible event hoping to make the connection.
Get educated without having to turn up for class: You can receive a degree via the internet at home, having never stepped foot on a college campus. Need to bounce some ideas? Instant Messaging like whatsapp allows you to share files like notes, chat in real time in a group and helps keep you in the loop.
I love to shop or I need to do some shopping but don’t have the time: The internet has made online shopping possible. You can get your groceries, clothing, books – anything really delivered to your door eliminating the hassle of having to schedule a day for this only to come home buying everything else but the items on your list.
When a home becomes an office: The internet has enabled connectivity from literally anywhere with a connection. You can have meetings with with several people from all over the world and at the same time. You can work on a document in real time in tandem with other people eliminating the need for a physical presence.
No more cable: You don’t need to subscribe to TV viewing anymore, with the advancements made in speed of internet connectivity and reliability, you can watch movies or series of your choice, listen to music of your choice thanks to access made easy by providers like Netflix and Showmax.
Fundamentally, connectivity allows us to do many things differently – that didn’t seem possible a decade ago. The only safe prediction for the decade to come then is that the evolution of internet-based technology isn’t over- it is happening – and will remain in a constant state of evolution. All we can do now, is ensure that we are prepared for it. That means ensuring we have reliable, fast and efficient connectivity to the internet.