Internet is a technology that can be considered as sands of technological evolution. But why sand many would ask? That’s because as sand molds into any shape for which it is poured in, similarly, the internet is also a technology that adapts itself in any field in which it is applied. Another thing that makes sand and the internet alike is their ability to become basic building blocks of so many structures. While sand is used as a building block in buildings and structures, similarly, the internet has taken up the role of a building block in many new technologies in the world. Technological concepts of today like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain Technology, Cryptocurrency, and even the whole infrastructure of Metaverse and NFTs wouldn’t have been possible if the internet didn’t exist. These above-mentioned technologies are the ones dominating the technological landscape of today, and all of these have originated from the internet.
Not only these hi-fi technologies but today most basic activities are also been handled by the internet. From our work life, education, entertainment activities, shopping, home security, and basic communications gadgets have also become internet-based. This ability of the internet to take up different sections of life came into full front during the pandemic when everyone was using the internet for basic tasks and daily life necessities. People were using the internet to work, education activities were conducted through online classes and remote education setups, shopping was being completely carried out online through e-commerce platforms, social media and internet-based applications became our major source of news and information, and the internet even took charge of entertainment activities through streaming and live TV apps in the absence of Cable TV and Cinemas.
This was because all these activities were prohibited physically due to the imposing lockdowns placed in effect due to the pandemic. But life always makes its way, and this time this alternative came in the digital form through the internet. This was a live demonstration of the power and the incredible adaptability of the internet. Since the internet took up the status of an essential service due to being actively involved in so many important activities, subsidies and assistance programs were being launched by the governments all around the world in order to make it easier for their citizens to afford a good internet connection.
Service providers like Cox also chipped in and reduced their prices on the internet for new customers, while also offering promotions for existing customers. Cox internet prices specifically were quite economically placed even for high-speed tiers like 500Mbps and even a Gig, allowing customers to easily afford them.
Internet in Communication
Subsidizing the price of the internet has also another hidden benefit, which is the reduction in the cost of communication. Like many other fields in the world, the field of communication and information sharing has also become heavily dependent on the internet. Today VoIP and video conferencing are the two main technologies dominating the communication sector of the world, and these are purely internet-based. Social media has also become the main source of communication and news for the current generation, a technology that also works on the internet.
People are heavily relied on Wi-Fi and mobile data to make calls instead of using their cellular pack because internet-based options are quite cost-effective as compared to regular means like cellphones. Not only communication but the whole mass media sector now works on the internet with a very small part left with conventional means of media like TV and print media.
Inclusion of the Internet in Mass Media
The internet has an immense influence on the mediums of communication and news, something that we have already discussed above. We will explain these mediums below in detail and how they have effectively changed the whole system of communication and mass media.
Social media is quite a powerful tool that has given voice to the masses, it has allowed the general public to openly express their opinions in front of the world. The word social media itself means people’s media, which shows that this informational platform is run by the people for the people. Not only is it a cost-effective communication medium but also plays a big part in news and information sharing today. As anyone with a smartphone and internet can report anything happening around them, as a result making people all around the world informed about what is happening even in the remotest corner of the world.
Plus these mediums are also free from censorship and biased views, something which is evidently found in state-controlled mass media channels of the world. We have all seen what a single tweet can do in the current geopolitical aspect, an example of this can be seen through the Black Lives Matter Movement which sprung a global revolution against injustice and racial discrimination, and it all originated through a short video clip of George Floyd which was posted on social media.
VoIP and Video Conferencing Apps
Traditional communication devices like telephones have also ditched their wired infrastructure to go with internet-based options. Today there are technologies like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) that converts analog voice signals into a digital form that is sent over the internet. Not only home phones but many internet-based communication apps like WhatsApp and Skype also use this technology for voice calls. A major advantage of this way of communication is that not only these ways of calling are cheap because they typically just require an internet connection, but they are also better in quality. But probably the greatest achievement of the internet for communication is the invention of video calling.
This is the type of communication medium that is used in countless avenues of life, not only for typical communication for people, but video conferencing is also used by companies for virtual meetings, and schools also used this technology to conduct online classes during the pandemic. This was one of the most useful technology during the pandemic as it helped save countless jobs and education careers of many students. Today many applications offer video communications to up to 100 participants simultaneously. Video Streaming is also a part of this technology that allows individual users to broadcast their video feed live to a number of people.
Just like any other field of life the internet has had a great influence on the field of communication and mass media as evident by the argument stated above. The invention of new technologies like social media has empowered regular people to partake in their role in shaping the narrative and keeping their fellow countrymen and the whole world informed about the happenings occurring around them.