Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, information has been able to travel at a speed that greatly surpassed centuries before. With the Information Age, there were many inventions that impacted the lives of individuals. The Internet was a major player within the shift of how information was brought into individual’s lives. Through the Internet’s inception, it has brought many contributions to communication and its connection of people; there are also many advantages, as well as disadvantages.
Since its inception, the personal computer has brought forth a bevy of information for individuals. In 1977, the company Apple introduced the home computer. It brought with it the ability to manage personal finances, word-processing, as well as desktop publishing, all to the home computer (“Life In The 80s”, n.p.). During the 1980’s, home computers had become widespread. With the aid of a modem, a device that linked computers to information through the use of phone lines, home computers were able to connect individuals to not only local, but national news stories, and information, daily. This bevy of information was known as “[C]yberspace” (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.). The introduction of the personal computer was just the beginning in offering worldwide connection.
The Internet was a major component in connection of the world. With the impending Presidential election, between Bush and Clinton (“Domestic Division”, n.p.), major changes were occurring, both regarding America’s political outlook, as well as the Information Age. In the 1970’s, the Department of Defense had developed the Internet. This was to be used in case of a national attack—military advisors suggested that to be able to operate one computer from another terminal, was key in defense strategies (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.). Correspondingly, the Internet, in its early years, was used mainly by scientists, in order to communicate effectively. However, it wasn’t until 1984 that the Internet was released from government control. (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.). Though it had been given to the public consumption, the Internet was directed with flaws. A major flaw that disrupted the Internet’s usage was speed. According to the article Living In The Information Age (n.p.), phone lines, which were used to connect computers to the Internet, could only transmit information at a limited rate. However, the development of fiber-optic cables allowed for “[B]illions of bits of information to be received every minute” (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.). It wasn’t long before companies, such as Intel, established faster microprocessors, so that personal computers could process the incoming signals at a more rapid pace (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.). Yet, despite its flaws, the Internet had major benefits regarding its ability to keep communication readily available.
Communication had a major impact upon the Internet’s inception into the home environment. At first, for mainly commercial usage, the World Wide Web was developed, during the early 1990’s. This space within cyberspace was used by cooperation to create homepages where graphics and text could be place in order to sell products. It wasn’t long before other amenities were available online, including, “Airline tickets, hotel reservations, books, and even cars and homes” (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.). Soon, colleges and universities posted research data as well as other information, so that students could find valuable, accredited information at a much easier pace (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.). It wasn’t long before this accredited information was moved to the workplace as well. Companies discovered that work could be submitted online (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.), reducing the need for a home office. Companies could also manage payroll, mailing lists and inventories from computers, eliminating the ledgers that were once used (“Life In The 80s”, n.p.). Another area of personal communication that the Internet aided with was the inception of email. Electronic mail was a convenient and quick tool to send messages to collages or friends. Also, Internet service providers, such as America Online and CompuServe, created chat rooms, where individuals could communicate at all hours (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.). However, despite these additives, there were both major advantages and disadvantages to the use of the Internet.
There were both advantages, as well as disadvantages concerning the use of the Internet. Commercial possibilities to the use of the Internet were limitless, according to the article, Living In The Information Age (n.p.) as well as convenience. Both chat rooms and email allowed individual across continents and boundary lines to communicate with ease and speed. Education was greatly enhanced. Now, at a moment’s notice, accredited information could be gathered and used (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.). Yet, despite this bevy of increased communication and knowledge, there were drawbacks to the usage of the Internet. According to Living In The Information Age (n.p.), the Internet created a technological divide among individuals who had access to the Internet, and those who did not. As stated by Living In The Information Age, “Many decried the impersonal nature of electronic communication compared to a telephone call or a handwritten letter. Hate groups were using the Internet to expand their bases and recruit new members” (n.p.). Also, having the Internet unregulated allowed for unorthodox behavior, including pornography, were quickly invading individuals homes. It was also a feat to keep children from viewing material that was unhealthy, creating quiet a disturbance among naysayers (“Living In The Information Age”, n.p.).
The Internet has brought many contributions toward communication, as well as it’s connection of people; however, both advantages and disadvantages exist. The Internet has caused a great amount of advantages to the Individual household. Increased communication, with the invention of the email and chat rooms, has allowed individuals to keep in contact across the world. Education was also improved upon, bringing forth accredited information to students. However, despite these advantages, there were also disadvantages. The line that separated individuals who were able to afford Internet services and those who were not, were dividing. Also, with the communication avenues becoming so readily available and accessible, there was a technological divide among individuals. Unregulated websites caused unorthodox behavior and threatened children, which became a major concern for families. The Internet has shaped our world for what it has become today—a connected, knowledgeable, and informed society that is only bettered because of this invention.
“Living In The Information Age”. Schoolcraft College. n.p. n.d. Web. 28 June, 2015.
Within this article, much of the essays information was gathered. To illustrate how having the Internet has aided in communication, as well as connectivity between individuals. Education has also been impacted, passivity, through the use of the Internet. However, to these advantages, there are also disadvantages that exist. The technological divide between individuals, due to the use of email and chat rooms, as well as the divide of individuals who have access to the Internet, and those who do not.
“Life In The 80s”. Schoolcraft College. n.p. n.d. Web. 28 June, 2015.
In 1977, Apple brought the personal computer to the home. This brought with it the ability to mange personal finances, complete quick, word-processing tasks, as well as desktop publishing. This also allowed companies to have work done at home, versus the office.
This article was used in order to discuss the political divide that was erupting, regarding the Bush and Clinton Presidential race. This dramatic shift, which would have caused major shifts for America’s government, as well as the Information Age, were both very important aspects of the decade.