Where would we be today without the internet? For an increasing number of us, the internet is an essential part of our daily lives. We use it so much and for so many things that we’d be nowhere without it. We use it to do our shopping, keep up with the news, learn new things, communicate with others, book holidays and so much more. It’s a tool that’s becoming increasingly capable of doing things and increasingly important for us. It’s no wonder that nearly half the world’s online. Back in 2000, some 738 million people around the world were online, but as of 2018 this figure’s jumped up to a huge 3.2 billion. The internet is incredibly powerful. It enables us to do so much and brings us, and the wider world, together in many different and fascinating ways. The question is this: is the internet ever going to stop being relevant? Will we continue relying on it as much as we do now, or will we someday ween ourselves off it?
No, the internet’s here to stay
Let’s face it: we’re internet addicts. We rely on it so much for so many different things that we’d really struggle if it were to one day stop existing. Sure, we could revert back to more traditional techniques and methods easily enough, such as having to go to proper shops all the time instead of being able to buy things online, for example, but so many of us would struggle because the internet’s all they’ve known. The problem with the internet is that it makes things too easy, too accessible and too convenient. Many of us grew up before the internet came along and could probably go back to being without it. For an increasing number of us, however, the internet has always been a big part of our lives. For many younger people, the internet has just always been there; it’s always been something they’ve used to do all sorts of different things. They’ve grown up relying on it and they see themselves relying on it for the rest of their lives. Internet accessibility around the world is increasing day by day; more and more of us are going online and discovering the many wonderful things about the internet. The growth of the internet certainly shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. When you have things like benches and lamp posts with their own Wi-Fi hotspots, it’s safe to say that society as a whole is keen to have the internet readily available to as many people as possible. Whatever you own internet usage is like, you can’t deny that the internet is indeed here to stay. It’s an intrinsic part of daily life for so many of us that there’s really no chance of it being taken offline or even just scaled back.
Yes, we’ll tire of it eventually
In the coming years, it’s very likely that the percentage of the world’s population who use the internet will climb higher and higher. However, there will always be some who choose not to use the internet. Some will only use it sparingly, while others will just not use it altogether and will do things in more traditional ways. Many regular internet users these days eventually tire of the internet and increasing amounts of time spent staring at screens – indeed, it’s not uncommon to hear of people getting treated for internet addiction or even having breaks away where they ‘switch off’ and deny themselves internet access the whole time they’re away. The point is that even those who use the internet all the time need a break every now and then. If the internet becomes more capable and important, will that lead to an increasing number of people needing to go without? Is there at point at which relying on the internet becomes too much for some to take? For many of us, the internet is very relevant indeed, but we try to downplay its relevance and focus on other things so we don’t become addicted to it.
It’s almost certain that in the coming decades, the internet will be just as relevant as it is today, if not more so. It’s simply too convenient, too helpful and too useful for it to stop being relevant in any sense of the word. While there will always be those who don’t want the internet to be all-important and will deliberately keep their screen time as low as possible, the majority, including the younger generation, are so accustomed to the internet that there’s really no turning things back. The internet is here to stay and will always be relevant to some degree. How relevant it is to you ultimately depends on how much you decide to use it. For many, it’s a mainstay of life, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t have to be – there’s more to life than the internet.