From the election of US President Donald Trump to our obsession with cat videos, here are nine ways the internet has changed our everyday lives, for better or worse:
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We multitask more
Multitasking existed long before the Internet, of course, but the ubiquity of smartphones – and tabs! infinite tabs! – has made multitasking both easier and more damaging. “The technology is rewiring our brains,” [insert link] one scientist [insert name] told The New York Times. Neurologists have found Internet-enabled multitasking often makes us less productive.
We now have access to unlimited cat videos
Described by Thought Catalog [insert link] as the “unofficial mascot of the Internet”, from Grumpy Cat [insert link] to Maru [insert link], images and videos of domestic cats make up some of the most viewed content on the web. With research showing that we turn to cat videos because they literally improve our mood [insert link], this abundance of feline movies online must be a good thing…right?
We get our news online
Before the internet, breaking news was delivered by printed media, television or the radio. In 2001, when the planes hit the twin towers, the news reverberated around the world at a never before seen rate. However, most people still didn’t know until they went home and watched it on their TV’s. We now get our news instantly via the power of social media and online news.
We watch TV shows and movies whenever we want
Gone are the days of video cassettes and DVDs! Given the rise of online-streaming services — and the gradual ease and normalization of digital piracy — unless it’s the Great British Bake Off or Strictly Come Dancing who actually waits for TV anymore?
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Languages are dying out
Only 5 percent of the world’s 7,700+ languages have migrated to the Internet [insert link], leading some scholars to believe they’ll fade out entirely within the next 100 years. Wikipedia has launched a language “incubator” [insert link] to help battle that trend.
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We no longer have to wait in line at banks
In those now-distant pre-Internet days, people had to physically go into a bank, or at least call it, to check their balance or deposit a check. With the percentage of adults who regularly bank online doubling in the past 10 years to just over 60% [insert link] and with high-street banks have announcing more than 461 branches will close in 2017 [insert link], how much longer will we be able to visit a physical bank?
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Parents have found new ways to embarrass us
The internet and social media has provided our parents with a variety of new ways to humiliate us. From sharing pictures of us being potty trained to taking selfies with their children’s teachers, will the embarrassment ever end?
Political campaigns are won (and lost) online
Three-quarters of Internet users went online to get political news and talk about their candidates during the 2008 campaign. In 2012, more than a fifth of registered voters announced their candidate on Twitter or Facebook. In 2016 Donald Trump got himself elected despite everyone outside of the US convincing themselves it would never happen – The Guardian claim his ascendancy would have been ‘unthinkable in a pre-internet age’ [insert link].
[insert picture of record store]
We don’t need music stores anymore
From Napster to Spotify, the internet has revolutionised how we buy/access music, one downside of this is the decline of the music store. No more browsing for records/cds, no more asking the employee behind the counter what’s playing over the soundsystem. We now want our music easy to access and we want it now.