Do you remember the world before technology? Since the birth of technology, the world has changed drastically. ‘Technology touches so many facets of contemporary life that one is not necessarily conscious anymore of how and why it affects daily experience’ (Pineda, Roger G. 2014). There have been numerous debates concerning whether technology has improved human life qualities or has it changed us into a slothful generation?
The man behind the prediction.
Once said by McLuhan (1970) ‘After more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace’. Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian philosopher, who focused on media and the effects it has on people, predicted that the world will become one huge ‘Global Village’. The term is what people now refer the world to. Since pretty much most people have devices that allow them to have access to the internet. People are becoming hugely dependent on technology especially when it comes to purchasing gifts and goods. McLuhan’s prediction has been proven correct. When looking at the statistics of online sales in the UK in 2016-2017 a whopping £60.43 billion was made due to online sales. This leaves UK leading the table, making it number 1 in Europe with e-commerce sales. I guess we do love our online shopping!
The man who changed the world?
In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist introduced the World Wide Web. Little did the world know that this innovation changed the world forever. The World Wide Web has created a huge impact on how humans interact, live and communicate with one another. Think about it. When was the last time you went to the bank or posted a letter? Struggling to remember? We have the World Wide Web for that, thanks to Tim.
The rise of technology over the past two decades has created a huge influence with how the mass consume products. Companies are constantly finding ways to keep up with technology, while others are struggling to survive. Looking specifically into fashion and retail, the purchasing of goods has changed vastly. The retail experience is known as the physical sell of goods, traditionally the customer goes to the shop to purchase the item. (Just like the old days). However now, due to consumer’s ever growing dependence on technology. This has created another purchasing experience. The online customer experience was introduced. This term means the journey the customer goes through in order to receive the item from their online source. For example finding the product the customer is looking for and checking product availability.
When did online shopping first get introduced in the world? Michael Aldrich, a British inventor, launched online shopping in 1975. He made this concept become reality. He achieved this by connecting a television to a telephone line and connected it to a transaction processing software. Aldrich introduced his concept in Ireland, Spain and UK for business to business use. On the other hand, business to consumer use aka ‘online shopping’ was not introduced till 1990’s, this is when computer’s and the Internet became mainstream in society. Three decade’s later Aldrich’s invention has become a necessity in today’s world. Is this a good thing or bad?
The first companies that explored the digital world, were dominant internet giants, Amazon and eBay. Amazon was launched in 1995 by Jeff Bezos. After seeing the success of the first ever online transaction. processed by Netmark in 1994. Both companies saw this opportunity to transition to the digital world. eBay was launched after Amazon in 1995, by Pierre Omidyar. Both companies became a global sensation. As we know it today, the companies have become the two dominant online markets.
The world was a different place in the 90’s, technology was slowly becoming popular with the mass. When Amazon and eBay were launched the number of worldwide internet users was 16 million. Comparing this to the world population, which was 5.7 billion at the time. Only 0.4% percentage of the world were on the internet. Flashback forward to 2018, the amount of internet users are 4 billion. This shows that in 2018, 55.1% of the world population are on the internet.
In conclusion, it is evident that the world is favouring technology. This is due to a number of contributing factors. We are able to surf the web to find a better deal and have the option of getting items delivered to our front door. The question is, is this a good concept or is it going to effect us negatively in the future?