How the Internet is Teaching Us

​Not that long ago, we lived without any notion of the web and communication was done through face-to-face interactions or over a telephone or mail. Today, the internet has become indispensable for many people because it is their primary means of communication and socialization. The internet has shaped the way that we live. “There are approximately 2,405,518,376 internet users on the internet, and 70 percent of those people use it daily. The number of internet users has grown a drastic 566 percent since 2000¾now; approximately 37.3 percent of the world’s entire population uses the internet,” according to The Cultureist website.
​The percentage of population using the internet by continent is distributed among seven continents: “North America, Oceania/Australia, Europe, Latin America/the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa” on The Bizreport website. In North America, this has the highest amount of internet usage, “78.6 percent of the population uses the internet.” Oceania/Australia has the second highest amount of internet usage, with “67.6 percent of the population using the internet”, while Europe has the third highest amount of internet usage, with “63.2 percent of the population using the internet.”
​Latin America/the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa have lesser amounts of internet usage than do the three leading continents, but they still use the internet extensively. The population of Latin America/the Caribbean that uses the internet is “42.9 percent”, similar to the Middle East’s population’s internet usage at “40.2 percent.” Of the Asian population, “27.5 percent” uses the internet. Africans use the internet by far the least, as only “15.6 percent” of Africa’s population uses the internet on a regular basis. Although internet usage cannot determine how much an individual socializes or communicates with others daily, these data display that North Americans and people living in Oceania/Australia and Europe use the internet more than those living in the other continents do.
​Data on one million users show that the top five languages of internet users are English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, and Portuguese. This indicates that the internet is accessible to a mass audience and has many tools provided to facilitate its use. Of the top five languages of internet users The Cultureist states, “English is the most common, with 536.6 per one million users. The Chinese language follows, with 444.9 per million users, the Spanish language has 153.3 percent per million users, Japanese language is the second least common at a percentage of 99.1 per million users, and the Portuguese language is least common with 82.5 percent per million users.” Approximately eight new people per second are getting online¾no matter what their language.
​There are multiple ways of using the internet, whether it is on a computer, a cell phone, a tablet, or on many of the other new devices coming out continuously. Mobile devices are becoming more popular as means to access the internet. In 2009 on the Bizreport website, “mobile devices accounted for 7 percent of internet usage, whereas by 2012 the numbers had increased to 8.5 percent. The Apple Company is the most popular mobile device vendor, accounting for 25.9 percent of mobile web use.”
​On average, 139,344 new websites go live every day. The top three browsers used for these websites are Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Firefox.”Chrome is used the most, with 37.1 percent using its software. Next, Internet Explorer follows, with 29.8 percent using its web browser. Firefox follows last, but not by much: 21.3 percent of the world’s population uses its web browser.” says the website Upstream Commerce. People use these browsers to complete everyday tasks. There are seven main purposes for which people use the internet according to The Cultureist website:
1. Research
2. Banking
3. Shopping
4. Meeting People
5. Information about Health
6. Jobs
7. Making Travel Reservations
​The internet was created for almost instant access to information and services, making people’s lives better and having commodities easily at arm’s reach. About “62 percent of the world’s population uses the internet for research”. Whether it is to look up a simple task or to do research for an academic paper, there are people around the world researching various topics and ideas to benefit themselves or others. Internet users have also come to trust their money on online banking websites¾”50.1 percent of the population uses the web browser for financial purposes” such as banking and paying bills.
​People also use the internet for personal purposes that interest them or help them socialize with other people. Some personal internet users are shopping, as” 58 percent of users on the internet are online shoppers. Another 15.2 percent uses the internet to meet other people,” whether it is to date, catch up, or just to talk and meet new people. It is often believed that the internet takes away from social experiences, but meeting new people online can lead to many new face-to-face experiences if done appropriately on trustworthy websites.
​The internet is also used to look up facts and information about health. Many people worry about their health but cannot afford to take care of themselves or other family members; therefore, they go to the internet as a resource to help them find remedies. Of all internet users, “62.2 percent “goes online to check about health or information leading to living a better life. People constantly make changes to their lives, including their employment. Of all internet users, “45.5 percent “uses online sites to look for jobs. This is important because resumes and portfolios are now being presented in digital format. If a person is just starting out and needs a job or has lost a previous job, an internet site can be the answer to helping him or her make a change.
​Last, 43 percent of internet users use the internet for booking travel reservations such as plane tickets, bus tickets, train tickets, and places to stay once getting to the destination. Many websites allow users to see images of where they will be staying and descriptions of what they will be doing while they are there. This is especially important for users who will be visiting a country where the people do not speak the same language.
​The Cultureist website also gave light to monthly internet users and the websites they use, “The websites that have the most monthly views are Google, with 188 million views; YouTube, with 157 million views; Facebook, with 148 million views; Twitter, with 88 million views; and Yahoo, with 85 million views. “
​Emails are also popular on the internet and on mobile devices, as they help people communicate with many people at once, just as text/SMS messages do. However, often the inbox can be filled with spam that people do not want to read. Each day, “144 billion emails are sent, and 68.8 percent is spam. Gmail is the most popular email provider, with 425 million active users.” The Cultureist website shows that email is one of the most frequently used internet options.
​Google is the most popular search engine, with 88 percent of the market share, “There is an average of 3,278,688,524 Google searches every day on a wide range of topics. The next most popular search engines are Bing, with 4.2 percent of users; Baidu, with 3.5 percent of users; and Yahoo, with 2.4 percent of users.” These sites all assist in helping people all over the world communicate with one another or gain new knowledge with information they research on the internet.
​Social networkers spend, on average,” 3.2 hours per day on social networking websites such as Facebook, with 1,000 million users; YouTube, with 800 million users; Twitter, with 500 million users; Google+, with 340 million users; LinkedIn, with 200 million users; Tumblr, with 150 million users; Instagram, with 100 million users; Reddit, with 43 million users; and Pinterest, with 25 million users.” The Cultureist puts emphasis on these social networking websites because it pushes people to talk with others and learn what is going on around them locally or in the world. However, information on the internet needs to be double-checked if it is not from a trustworthy website.
​Social networking is a form of internet-enabled communication and socialization to which people have become accustomed. The internet teaches us that there are many different ways to get information and distribute information to other people. Although many people believe the internet keeps people inside, it allows people to communicate freely with others and come up with new ideas and innovations. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are the leading social networking websites for communication online.
​On GrabStats website, “Facebook users spend a combined time of 10.5 billion minutes each day interacting with one another or new people online. This equals up to 20,000 years of time in one day of online communication and socialization. Facebook has become so sought out that 28 percent of 18- to 34-yearolds check it before getting out of bed, and 500 million people log on each day.” Twitter is used almost just as much as Facebook for communicating with people all over the world; “Twitter users’ send 175 million tweets per day” according to StatsticBrain web pages and Instagram uses photos as a form of communication where people comment beneath the photos. Every day, “40 million photos are posted on Instagram, with 1,000 comments given every second.”
​At the rate of YouTube’s current growth, the web will soon become a part of everyday life for all. YouTube has “4,000,000,000 views every day, with 60 hours of video uploaded every 60 seconds. People watch 133 hours of videos on YouTube each day”, says The Cultureist and Bizreport websites, proving that the internet can be used for socializing, communicating, and interacting with one another at any given point in the day.
The internet teaches us about new technologies, businesses, and unfamiliar places. Through the internet, family and friends can stay connected, and people can talk to other people locally or globally, exceeding boundaries and limits that once were thought impossible to be breached. The internet connects the world and has become a way of life.

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