Note: This is a guest post by Sylvie Harrison
Internet is a powerful technology that is used for countless activities today. It’s a versatile piece of tech on which we are heavily dependent because its versatility has allowed it to seep into various avenues and fields of life so much so that it almost seems impossible to lead a successful life without an internet connection.
This is the amount of intensity regarding the use of the internet today. This might sound absurd, that why we are so dependent on a piece of technology? However, there are quite a few substantial reasons and history behind the progress of the internet, the increase in its user base, and how it reached the point it stands firmly at today.
There are still misconceptions among people regarding the internet. Many still fancy the internet as a technological gimmick that is of no practical use other than its techy façade. This notion is far from the truth because the internet is such a helpful technology that assists humans in various things including work, business, education, communication, information sharing, medical and research fields, and even in entertainment activities.
Those who need proof should look at the role the internet played in the last two years when mankind was dealing with the pandemic. In those desperate times during which people were secluded in their homes and there was little to no economic activity. During that time, it was only the internet that salvaged our sinking ship and provided countless opportunities to bring back some kind of stability.
These opportunities ranged from options to work from home, conduct e-commerce business activities, online classes, and remote education courses, food delivery options over the web, long-distance audio-video communication, releasing of new content including blockbuster movies, and seasons on streaming platforms. From these above-mentioned examples, one can clearly infer that the internet is a tool whose applications are far and wide, that covers most of our essential activities ranging from economic to educational and even in the entertainment sector the internet has got us covered. That is why people are rushing to get an internet connection and this is exactly the reason why it is listed as an essential service today.
Since the internet became an essential service, governments around the world started offering grants to people so they can manage to afford a connection. Subsequently, service providers also reduced their prices of the internet quite a bit during the pandemic and one such drastic change was witnessed in Cox internet plans that have become quite affordable for a new customer who is going with Cox’s services. The companies are still offering promotional plans because as the pandemic is not over yet, there are many people who still are on low-budget.
Internet in Communication
We have talked about various applications and fields where the internet has proved itself to be a game-changer technology. But there is no other field that has been revolutionized by the internet in such a way as what it has done to the field of communication. The whole communication sector toppled after the inclusion of the internet, and the interesting fact is that this is the field for what the internet was actually made for in the first place, the rest of its benefits emerged as a byproduct.
The internet was developed by DARPA for the transmission of sensitive files and information between different intelligence agencies and the military, it was developed during the Cold War when there was an immense need for efficient ways of communication.
At its core, the internet is a communication tool and it has fulfilled that role perfectly. Because the internet has not only modernized the way of communication but also has drastically reduced the cost of communication as well. We all remember that back in the day how costly it was to make long-distance calling, and a few minutes of international calling was enough to break anyone’s bank.
With the inclusion of the internet not only the ways of communication were transcended from just voice calling to video calling, and options of group and conference calls, but also the reliability factor was greatly increased because the internet wasn’t dependent on the age-old transmission infrastructure that worked through transmission poles and analog signals like telephones. Instead, it was a digital medium which made it so good and economical.
Inclusion of the Internet in Different Aspects of Communication
As the internet has left a huge mark on the communication industry, we have decided to break down how the internet affected already present communications techniques while also discussing some new ways of communication that were invented thanks to the internet.
Internet in Voice Communication
Voice communication is something which is not new to us, this was a technology which was invented in the 1870s and we are using it for more than a century now through telephones. However, there was no improvement in this technology until the inclusion of the internet. The telephone service worked over copper wires and transmission poles that operated under telephone exchanges which routed these analog voice signals manually to the receiving end. However, with the introduction of the internet, everything became digital.
Now with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), it is possible to transfer analog voice signals into digital data which is transferred over the internet in the shape of bytes. This digitalization has changed how we used to look at voice communication. Now with enhanced features, a reliable and efficient transmission system, and most importantly cost-effectiveness. Thus internet or specifically VoIP-powered devices and applications have truly modernized the face of voice communication.
Internet in Video Communication
Apart from voice, there is a whole new communication technique that is present today only thanks to the internet. Video conferencing is a common means of communication that we all use in our daily lives whether for professional purposes or in our personal lives. This was the most useful communication technique during the pandemic when video conferencing was the main tool behind office meetings and online classes.
Since the internet has high transmission rates, it allows users to transmit live video feed from a device like a laptop or a smartphone along with the voice so users can also see each other’s reactions when talking in real-time. Now some platforms allow group video calls or conference calls with more than 100 people at the same time.
Internet in Texting
This was the earliest type of communication technology for which the internet was used. Through emails, the internet already mastered the textual way of communication. However, email was a slow process in which real-time communication was difficult. To fill that gap cellular providers used to charge customers for text messages which was also a form of textual communication. But over time with improvement in technology and the arrival of modern texting platforms, the internet also capitalized on the texting niche and even further enhanced it to live chat format.
In a live chat, two or more people can simultaneously text each other in real-time and these platforms also show information like when the user is online, whether they have read the text, and timestamps of when they received and opened the message. Options that were never possible with traditional text messaging. Now apps like WhatsApp provide all these features, including video and audio calling and they work over the internet.
By now we have already established the huge role internet has played in the telecom industry. The whole intent of this article was to enlighten the progress that has been made in communication mediums after the introduction of the internet in them. We discussed briefly how the internet modernized the traditional voice and textual way of communication while also discussing the new avenues of communication that it opened in the shape of video calling.