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iWorld by Sharad Agarwal

How The Internet Has Changed Our Lives

The internet has evolved so fast that any business that dares to blink - is left behind

Not sure if you have heard this story before. In February 1996, when we applied for a trade license for Cyber Gear, we were issued one by the Dubai Economic Department in quick time. There was one problem though. The trade license stated the nature of our business as 'Automobiles' because 'Gear' in Arabic meant this was the closest matching category. At that time internet did not exist as a classification for business!

17 years later, it is thinkable that we survived without the internet. In just seventeen years, the internet has had more impact on the world culture and commerce than about everything else in prior history.

Here is a look at some of the ways in which the internet has changed our lives, both business and social.

Business' used to rely on local clients. Today businesses can go global with a few clicks. It has never been easier to keep in contact with customers as it is today. Customers from around the world can be found within minutes. The internet also makes it much easier for companies to do credit checks where necessary and even background checks for potential partners.

We live in a world of instant communication that speeds data, voice and images around the planet at the speed of light. Communicating through email is now taken for granted. Compare it to the time we sent faxes as an official way of communication.

The Internet is the disruptive technology that has set off a revolution in communications. The Internet of today reveals some amazing statistics:

  • Current Users = 3 billion
  • Percentage of the world's population with Internet access = 40%
  • Number of domain name registrations across all top-level domains = 246 million
  • Number of websites worldwide = 650 million
  • Number of blogs worldwide = 200 million
  • Number of email users worldwide = 2.2 billion
  • Number of emails average Internet users send or receive each day = 150
  • Number of Internet searches conducted each minute = 4 million

Mobile Internet connections represent the fastest growing segment with billions of devices talking to each other. And in the near future those numbers will increase exponentially. Studies show:

+10 billion devices by 2016

24 billion devices by 2020

Socializing has never been easier. Just how powerful is 'social' on the Internet today?

Facebook is the largest social network on the planet, the third biggest human organisation, only smaller than China and India. Consider these Facebook stats:

  • 1 billion members
  • 740 billion minutes on the site throughout an average month
  • Daily uploads and sharing of 300 million photographs
  • Postings liked or commented on amounting to 3.2 billion daily
  • More than half the members connect using mobile devices.
  • Communication on Facebook is in 70 different languages

The Internet has the potential to dramatically improve the lives of everyone on our planet, from accelerating the discovery of cures for diseases, to understanding climate change, to enhancing the way companies do business, to making every day life more enjoyable.

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