How Our Relationship with the Internet has Changed in the Last 20 Years

by Janeth Kent Date: 29-04-2021 internet news audience connectivity

With more than 1 billion websites online, it is fair to say the internet has transformed the daily lives of people across the world. It now impacts almost every aspect of a person’s life. Find out how our relationship with the internet has changed in the last 20 years.

Fast Adoption

On New Year’s Day in 1994, there were reportedly only 623 websites online and 13 million people were using the first functioning internet browser. One year later, Amazon, now the biggest retail giant in the world launched, and Google quickly followed in 1998. By 2001, Wikipedia launched for the first time and, by the time it had done so, an incredible 513 million people were using the internet. Nowadays, approximately 3.77 billion people are online.

Greater Connectivity

The cellphone and internet have grown almost in unison throughout the past twenty years, as the two now almost seem a byproduct of each other. Back in 1997 when the popular Nokia 6610 was introduced, the internet was nowhere to be seen on a cellphone. Nowadays, it’s hard to remember a time when our smartphones didn’t feature the internet.

After all, the internet is now our biggest form of communication to people from across the world. The emergence of WhatsApp in 2009 has resulted in a decline in text messages, and FaceTime and WhatsApp video calls have resulted in less people using their smartphone minutes to make a call.

People can now also document their daily lives and share photos and videos instantly on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram. It’s also never been easier to play games online. So, there are no restrictions to how, where or when you can communicate if you have a Wi-Fi connection – as you’re no longer restricted to that annoying ethernet connection from the early 2000s.

The Active Audience

TV, newspapers, magazines and radio might command our attention, but they have often delivered little control. As a result, people have come to believe everything they have seen or read. Yet, the internet has provided people with a voice to express their opinions, share their ideas and question everything, and it is a freedom that has become stronger with the growth of the internet.

With more websites and social media platforms to choose from, people now have the power to not only choose the advertisements they want to engage with, but they have the potential to shape the success of brands online. Thanks to the emergence of Facebook, TripAdvisor and the rise of blogging, people can now influence others’ actions before they buy a product or service from a business.

Companies are also having to work much harder to capture audience’s attention due to adblockers and complex search engine algorithms, which change and advance every year. They also need to engage with their target audience on a more personal level through personalized emails, targeted advertising and direct messages on social media. Internet users therefore have the power to shape the society they live in, as they can promote their political beliefs, comment on social conspiracies and can even inspire social or political change through the power of online petitions. Feats that may never have seemed possible for many back in 1997.

by Janeth Kent Date: 29-04-2021 internet news audience connectivity hits : 8513  
Janeth Kent

Janeth Kent

Licenciada en Bellas Artes y programadora por pasión. Cuando tengo un rato retoco fotos, edito vídeos y diseño cosas. El resto del tiempo escribo en MA-NO WEB DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT.


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