There is no doubt that we are experiencing unprecedented times in terms of human evolution. Access to information and knowledge is, undoubtedly, one of the major advances that every society may experience. Since Johannes Gutemberg invented the printing press in 1450 and thus enabling wider dissemination of written knowledge throughout the globe, nothing has been as critical as the creation of the Internet in terms of the expansion of knowledge. Maybe we lack a little perspective to really appreciate the moment we are living in.
We need do nothing more than look at the official figures to assess the degree of penetration that the Internet is having among this planet’s inhabitants. If we pay attention, year on year growth has shown to be incremental, and this is DESPITE THE FINANCIAL TURMOIL. At the end of 2011 penetration according to Internet World Stats was 32.7% of the world’s population. And the thing is, the number of users who have used the Internet has multiplied by 5.28 since the year 2000.
Well, what does that tell us? In addition to the fact that there are more online users every day, these users share information, access pages in search of the desired knowledge, present views on all sorts of topics, conduct surveys, organize themselves into interest groups, and even take courses from home. Virtually unthinkable a few decades ago.
New alternatives are open to humans in terms of knowledge. Today we can view all kinds of information in real time and can interact with people around the globe instantly without even having been previously introduced. This collaborative capacity is not only reflected in general and worldly topics. More and more companies are making the Internet their faithful companion. And the thing is the rapid spread of permanently-online mobile devices, as well as a substantial improvement in the speed and reliability of communications networks is favoring an innovative, effective and efficient way of working that makes all kinds of cost saving possible for its users. Video conferencing, desktop sharing, common collaborative spaces and telecommuting are examples of this new way of working.
We just have to analyze the data published by Cisco to see how the information flow is growing exponentially among all kinds of devices.
It seems strange to think that this invention has only taken about a decade to become really functional. It’s hard to imagine how it will continue to evolve and what new ways of information sharing it will end up providing us. What does seem undeniable is the fact that the Internet has changed our lives and will continue to change the way we relate to each other, work and evolve from a knowledge standpoint.
Oscar Fernández Vicente