Everyone who’s lived through the genesis of the internet knows how far we’ve come. From the old and slow times where downloading 5 seconds of video would take overnight, to the popularity of chat forums, many have forgotten just how good we have it today. Modern conveniences have simply improved greatly in such a short amount of time that even those who experienced the early days of chat would find it difficult to go back.
In an effort to remember where we came from, below are some of the most significant improvements in internet technology. Some might be nostalgic, but most would be something nobody misses.
GPS Makes Traveling (and Tracking) Convenient
In the time of pre-GPS functionality, everyone traveling to somewhere new needs to have a rough estimation of where something is. Otherwise, you would need to bring maps- or buy one if you happen to chance upon it. Going duckpin bowling or to a rollerblading rink with your friends required you to meet somewhere you all know and traveling there.
Not anymore, as most, if not all smartphones nowadays include GPS functionalities. You can quite literally just send the coordinates of where it is you’re going to, and meet on-site. While this is very functional, sometimes, getting lost with your friends is half the fun.
The Efficiency of Email and Instant Messaging
Snail mail, telegram, faxes, and telephone are all but a collective memory. Many of us have lived through the eras of telephones or even sending messages via mail, but only our grandparents still remember using telegrams. While these inventions played very important roles in history, they’re but a mere memory now. The internet and other forms of communications have proved to be more effective and more efficient, rendering them obsolete.
It wasn’t too long ago that an international call would cost you an enormous amount of money. Now, we take video calling our friends overseas for granted. We live in the era of literal seconds of instant messaging, which put things into perspective back when sending a message would take months before receiving a reply.
Google Has Replaced Nights of Library Research
Schoolwork has always been known to be tedious- looking up homework and tasks, creating pages of documents, all of these take too much time and work. Especially back when we did everything by hand. Before Google’s popularity, students had to visit the library and manually go through books to find a tiny spec of information. Then they’d have to write it down by hand (which means more work if you’re writing a 1000-word essay).
Are Google and the internet an improvement? Definitely. But it also took away the enormous amounts of reading it took to find one specific detail, which is where many students often learned more about the topic they’re studying.
Nobody Misses Dial-Up Internet
If you lived in the late 90s or early 00s, then you’re probably familiar with that distinct sound of dial-up trying to connect to the internet. That weird mess of noise was a part of many people’s childhood, and while it’s definitely nostalgic, we would never want to be stuck in that time again. Internet speeds were horrendously slow, and website user interfaces were clunky and difficult to maneuver.
In contrast to today, where connecting to the internet doesn’t even need wires, and all it really requires is to press the right buttons (or touch). Actually using the internet is also more efficient, the improvements in user interface and experience are significant, making everything feel seamless and instinctive.
Financial Technology has Gone a Long Way
As-seen-on-TV utilized transactions by phone, using your banking numbers matched with security passwords to allow buyers to take advantage of a promo they saw on TV. Then came online banking. While at the start, many people were rightfully skeptical, it eventually came to its own by offering stable and secure transactions. The economic landscape today would have been very different had financial technology not improved by leaps and bounds.
Now, we can buy things we see online and not have to worry much about our banking security (but proper measures still need to be accomplished). We can even apply for a refund if things don’t turn out fine- and the current online financial technology allows immediate returns to happen. Think about it: without financial technology, online shops wouldn’t exist- and malls would still be the number one outlet for consumers.
The first days of the internet were definitely a good memory. But technology has improved far enough that regressing back to those times is simply unthinkable. Let’s just all thank that improvements have been made, and we’re all enjoying them right now.