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How the Internet is Pulling Us Closer
The Internet has become the fiber that international commerce and communications are built on. Globally, the Internet is bringing our world closer together.
We can look up phone numbers for whatever business or person in whatever corner of the world we wish to reach. Genealogy is becoming a passion for people interested in their own family histories. The search tools available online are capable of tracking families back 100s of years in some cases.
The Internet has allowed soldiers shipped to Iraq, Iran and other international locations to have immediate, intimate contact with each other- in some cases, husbands and wives are able to connect with online cameras and see each other as they are chatting. Many more marriages are surviving this war than the last.
Internet connections are now affordable and super speed is no longer just a tool for big businesses. DSL and cable internet connections are finding their way into most American homes at a rate affordable to most everyone. And broadband isn't just an Internet connection, it's a way of life now. Adults are catching up with the technology of the day- most of us don't have to ask our kids how to navigate the computer these days.
People are using the Internet for most aspects of their lives. Travel, employment, recreation, family life, education, shopping- everything is affected by the capabilities of the Internet.
Travel plans are made via the Internet by more than 50% of American travelers. Travel agents careers are slowly disappearing to the extent that travel agent may become the dinosaurs of the job market--like telephone operators.
Many employers are using the Internet to increase their sales and traffic to their stores. Major employers like Wal-Mart and UPS use the Internet to draw people into their stores and use their services.
The Internet also provides a way for employees to clock in and out, access commonly used Human Resource activities and maintain basic statistics like marriage status, addresses and contact information. Employers can also monitor activity and productivity by employees in the workplace. In other words, it gives them another tool to keep track of what we are really doing at work!
Internet usage has changed our day to day activities. Since 1995, statistics show that Internet users are steering away from traditional media. As a matter of fact, the more someone uses the Internet, the less they look at print ads and other forms of traditional media. Magazine hardcopy subscriptions are down significantly. People are even reading fewer comic books!
Internet users also shop less at stores and they spend less time commuting and traveling to and from work. The downside is that we are also spending more time working- at both work and home. Instead of the traditional 8-hour workday, we tend to spend 8.5 to 9 hours at work.
The best part of our lives, recreation and entertainment, is dramatically effected by the Internet. Everything from movie schedules to bungie jumping reservations can be made online. We research what we want to do for fun, schedule it and then map it out. Everything but the fun itself is wrapped around an online activity.