Five ways the internet has changed the world

The world wide web is 25 years old this year. Hurray. Happy birthday Internet. As it enters its next quarter century, we take a look at how online antics have transformed modern life…

internet birthday

1. Love and sex

Dating sites, and apps like Tindr and Grindr have soared in popularity of late, and the internet is fast becoming the preferred means of meeting someone new. With 1 in every 3 marriages in the UK now stemming from online dating, it seems bar side pick-up lines and face to face flirting are no longer the go-to dating tactics.

2. Clocking off

Yes, smartphones mean employees can check their Facebook whether it’s been blocked from the network or not. But overall, people are more productive in the workplace (and outside it) because they’re never really ‘switched off’. In the last two decades, productivity in the work place has increased by an average of 84% per hour; from email, to the Blackberry, to iPhones, Hangouts and LinkedIn, we have constant access to colleagues and key documents that 30 years ago we would have had to wait until 9.00am the next morning to deal with. A mixed blessing…

3. Everyone’s a newshound

With 76% of the UK now accessing news through our mobiles, we expect up-to-the-second breaking stories delivered to us through social media – and we give as good as we get. A mash up of big broadcaster and personal Twitter feeds, and shares on Facebook from friends and family means we’re never out of the loop for long.

4. Young people are more socially aware

Largely due to information being so accessible, Generation X is more concerned with issues such as climate change, recycling and fair trade than the generation before. The world over, Generation Z appears to be following suit, with 75% of Singaporean teens pushing their parents to purchase eco-friendly products, and 70% of their Aussie counterparts actively attempting to reduce energy consumption.

5. Death of the high street

While tumbleweed blows along empty streets, online spending in the UK cleared £10bn for the first time ever in November 2013. The range of items available through the internet is ever-growing, and with consumer reviews influencing consumer decisions, and m-commerce making it all-too-easy to click and buy, shopping from your sofa is fast becoming the norm.