Everywhere you turn today you're bound to see a computer present in some way, shape or form. Aside from the typical things, such as mobile gadgets and desktops, you'll find cash registers, ATMs and parking meters, to name a few. As the Internet of Things continues to shape our society, other everyday devices and machines are also steadily becoming connected. Even wearable items.
Computer automation has greatly enhanced society's way of life while simultaneously increasing expediency. While there are disadvantages of so much connectivity (but that is another topic for another day!), the advantages afforded by the Internet are kind of mind-blowing if you think about it. Especially, perhaps for those who grew up in an era where this stuff was only in science fiction as a mainstream technology. But we've quickly adapted to it. Many people today would find it very difficult to go back to an age when the Internet was not in existence. Our society has evolved into an on-demand one and the Internet is the tool which facilitates the capabilities we see today.
Back in the day before computers, some transactions took days, even weeks or months, to be processed and/or completed. Now with a simple click of a mouse, an action can take mere minutes to begin processing with fast results because the paper shuffling from place to place has been, for the most part, decreased or eliminated.
The convenience, efficiency and productivity would be hard to part with, not to mention the wealth of information available on demand. In addition, since the Internet offers global interaction, the positive effects of diversity can also be experienced.
There are many ways computers and the Internet has added a great convenience to enhance quality of life. Consider the daily tasks and errands people need to take care of which used to require various trips and excursions to deal with; not so today. Many of these activities can be completed from the comfort of your own home.
For instance, banking is a snap because most transactions are able to be completed online. You can also shop from the comforts of your couch or do some comparison shopping before you head out to the stores to make sure you'll get the most for your money.
Many government agency requirements can also be completed from home. No more waiting in long lines at Department of Motor Vehicles to renew your registration. Filing your taxes has been greatly simplified. No longer do you have to fill out lengthy tax forms by hand, mail them and then wait months for your refund. Today you can do this all online using tax software and file online which greatly reduces the tedious nature of this kind of tax. Even college financial aid can be applied for online.
If you need or prefer to work from home, there are also many other opportunities can telecommute to a job or create a business online if you prefer to work from home. Or you can attend college courses through distance learning using a computer connection.
Efficiency and Productivity
Computers streamline the way information is transferred and is very fast. Instead of writing a letter and mailing it, you can now get a quick answer through email, instant messaging, Skype or a number of other applications.
Spreadsheets, word processing and database software adds a higher degree of efficiency and productivity in both the home and business environments. Tasks can be completed much more quickly and with a strong level of accuracy.
Businesses can better focused on new innovation and let computers take care of the more mundane and systematic tasks. This reduces costs and frees up time to focus on core competencies to grow their companies.
Access to Information
The incredible amount of information at your fingertips in another very positive effect of computers and the Internet. Through the powerful capabilities of search engines you can essentially find anything you're looking for in a matter of seconds, or minutes at the most.
Newsgroups and forums offer ways for people to share information they have with one another. Entire global "neighborhoods" have arisen through these communities and people who never would have interacted otherwise are now able to discuss and share knowledge.
Social networking platforms connect people to one another rapidly. Ever wonder whatever happened to your best childhood friend you've lost touch with? Chances are, unless he or she has carefully kept him or herself offline, a simple search on the web or through a social network site can help you find your friend easily (most often this would be Facebook).
In the area of education, today more people have access to classes that were out of reach in the days of pre-Internet. Due to job or family obligations would-be students who never could find their way into the traditional classroom can pursue their educational dreams through the innovation associated with distance learning.
Through the Internet, people have a mass of information available to get access to. This kind of accessibility has added a lot of value to quality of life.
Over the years organizational studies have suggested that in the business environment when a group is diverse, higher levels of innovation are not only possible, but probable. This concept can be likened to social networking too. People who live in different regions can now connect and learn from one another. Computers and the Internet make it possible for the world to truly be a global community on many different levels.
There are many advantages the Internet has afforded and despite some of the drawbacks of the Internet, it is unlikely society would readily adapt to (or even accept) going back to a world without it. The capabilities experienced are too vast and, over the course of time, society has and will likely continue to become more dependent on the Internet.