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The Internet is Dead

Well, maybe dying is more accurate.

Like the onset of arthritis, we’re watching the adoption of what is now a ubiquitous AF technological resource slow. Hell, my grandma gets on the line with the best of them.

To quote Reddit user u/adityadragoniyer: “Two decades ago, our internet couldn’t work without our phones. Today our phones can’t work without the internet.”

One does not simply ‘go on the internet’ in 2015 – instead the technology that not long ago we accessed via a few beeps and a 56k modem now underpins so much, that it is difficult to define where WWW ends and the World begins.

For many, the internet is already moot. Studies in Indonesia, Thailand and, Africa are showing similar outcomes: people don’t realise they’re online, only that they’re using an application of value. “In their minds, the Internet did not exist; only Facebook”.

Internet Users and Facebook Users Per 100 People

Much like the adoption of electricity, telephony, or any pervasive tech, the how recedes in the face of utility.

Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt spoke recently at the World Economic Forum about how the internet will “disappear” into the background: “There will be so many sensors, so many devices, that you won’t even sense it, it will be all around you.”

Consider the kids who are being reared on tablets and instant interfaces – now remove your nostalgic knowledge of geocities and AltaVista. For these modern children, there is no relationship with the internet, but relationships with devices. You’ll tell them one day about a set of encyclopedia that contained the world’s knowledge; this generation who will never learn the pain of navigating on paper.

As adoption of ‘dark social’ apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp explodes, we move further away from a measureable, public web to a social construct much closer representative of real life. That these apps are underpinned by the same cables and codes as Facebook or Google is almost irrelevant. Again, utility is key.

So tonight, I’ll listen to Spotify on the way home whilst consuming dank Reddit memes, order my dinner on Menulog, stream a movie on Netflix and then check my calendar before telling Siri to set my alarm.

What’s an internet?

February 20, 2015 by Filed in General, Internet, Online Strategy

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