As the internet grows and becomes more and more important in our day to day lives, to business, and to the whole world, in general, there will be a lot of advantages and many things will become easier. There is a flip side to this though and as it will be advantageous there will also be problems. It might well pay to predict and assess these problems now before they happen for real or at least so we’re prepared for them.
Yes, computers can do more and more. They have evolved a long way from the days of machines the size of small factories that were only capable of solving simple mathematical problems. Thanks to a lot of assistance from experts computers became more compact and efficient and able to help make tasks easier for us. Now, thanks to the internet, computers are able to network together and solve problems as a team. They can write our reports for us and are advancing to the stage where thinking for themselves is no longer a pipe dream. While this is all very exciting from a technological standpoint, it is quite worrying from an employment standpoint. As machines permanently linked to a super fast internet become able to do more tasks for us unsupervised there will be less need for their human counterparts – think about self-service tills in supermarkets where one person oversees a bank of machines doing the work of up to 20 people and then imagine it on a larger scale. There is also the risk that some jobs will be rendered completely obsolete by technology and some businesses could suffer or even cease to exist entirely. It is difficult for anyone to future proof themselves before the potential ramifications of this is fully known.
Privacy can already be quite difficult to achieve thanks to CCTV cameras, satellites and a never-ending digital footprint we leave no matter what we do or where we are. In fact, it’s staggering that in this day and age that anybody can go missing or a criminal can escape justice as we’re monitored in some way or other pretty much constantly. In the future, it is set to become even worse than it now is. It is also thought that real, actual privacy could become a commodity and it will become so incredibly difficult to achieve that the price of privacy will be incredibly high and only the super-rich will be able to afford it. Constant, uninterrupted internet connection sounds great and the future more than likely holds that prospect for us. That comes with a price too. Constant and uninterrupted also means impossible to switch off. This means that going off the grid will become a near impossibility and of even greater concern will be the fact that if we really are being monitored by government agencies or even more sinister, advertisers, we won’t be able to hide or escape them. Ever.
As anything grows in popularity and more people begin to use it then there will always be an increase in the criminal element who try to profit from it themselves. We’ve all received suspicious emails claiming we’ve won a lottery we didn’t play or asking for our bank account details or credit card number from people purporting to be official when they are nothing more than scams. Luckily, we don’t all fall for these but plenty of people have and will continue to do so. As internet usage increases worldwide and the developing countries catch up with the rest of the world there will be a whole new pool of “marks” for criminals to try and con, millions of internet newcomers who are all unaware of the fact that people will be trying to rip them off. There will also be more hackers than ever before too as Internet-savvy dishonest types try and exploit the chinks in the armor of some websites for their own gain. This means that internet security experts are going to have to up their game significantly. The best people for keeping sites safe from cyber-attacks are often said to be reformed hackers so that is actually one sector where work could increase and business could boom. But will it be enough? Cyber-attacks are expected to become better orchestrated and more sophisticated. Once the bank details of almost the whole world are online the information becomes exponentially valuable to criminals. We are at the mercy of the experts for this one.
Today’s technology can sometimes prove to be difficult for people to understand or master, particularly for older people. We often forget there was a pre-internet era and for some that represent a larger portion of their life than that in which internet usage has been popular. Also, it’s a fact that once we become older it is harder to learn new things. This will happen to some of the younger ones among us in the future. A few people not fully understanding things is hardly a massive obstacle though, right? Well maybe not, but when some of these people run businesses it could impact their livelihood. The speed at which new technology develops is quite breathtaking in comparison to other things and while it might not happen overnight it will certainly happen faster than some people will be able to grasp. Internet-based opportunities and technology will seem to get to a ridiculous point of oversaturation for many and there will be no place for technophobes or those who think we can survive without the internet. The internet will control our lives much more than it does today.
While it might sound like all doom and gloom for the future of internet usage it’s undoubtedly a very exciting time. All of the potential problems mentioned above are just that – potential problems. It’s not known if this is exactly how things will play out, but you can rest assured that these things will be considered by experts as we move forward and that we will hopefully all be safe in our internet future.