From Minesweeper To Twitter: How The Rise Of The Internet Has Changed The Way We 'Work'

Considering our society is constantly motivated by the allurement of modernization, it’s no surprise that our lust for innovation has perpetuated itself on the forefront of technology.

Older generations may refer back to previous stretches in time such as the Industrial Revolution of the late 17th and early 18th centuries, but for those willing to neglect nostalgia, the dot-com bubble of the late 90s is undoubtedly the most significant.

Before the mainstream emergence of the Internet, things were entirely different. People were forced to read books for entertainment, and acquiring music or movies was an enigmatic struggle hindered by US legislation. Strictly speaking, before the age of the Internet, personal computers were virtually useless.

I remember the days when I would venture into the depths of my basement where a dusty, charcoal-colored personal computer (a Dell Dimension equipped with Windows 2000 compatibility) squatted atop a hideous Fisher-Price table that, prior to my parents’ computer purchase, was utilized exclusively for my various LEGO enterprises.

At the time, the Internet was merely a sperm cell in the scrotum of society. My experiences with the family computer were predominantly characterized by idle frivolity: losing in chess, pretending to understand Minesweeper or meticulously rearranging desktop icons based on little to no form whatsoever.

In fact, it wasn’t until middle school that I began utilizing my family’s computer (and more specifically, the Internet) for endeavors one could interpret as “constructive.” It was also around this time that I began to recognize the Internet’s capacity for procrastination.

The Internet bears a seemingly infinite capacity for insight, acuity and inspiration. However, considering at least a third of our population is comprised of unmitigated wastes of oxygen, the Internet’s conduciveness to academic and occupational productivity is ultimately decided on a case-by-case basis.

In other words, there are two types of individuals who use the Internet: those who harness and maximize its potential and those who utilize it to anonymously spew their sociopolitical (and often, racist) agendas, disseminate buffalo chicken dip recipes and explore a seemingly infinite utopia of cat videos -- all of which affect our collective productivity.

In contemporary times, social media has become the most dynamic entity for transforming the way we work and communicate with each other.

Beginning with Myspace’s earth-shattering emergence (and equally impressive collapse) in the early 2000s, social media platforms have become just as vital to our cultural identity as religious intolerance, media bias and childhood obesity. In a way, our captivation with social media should come as no surprise.

Ever since the humble origins of prehistory when Neanderthals decorated cave walls with paintings rather than hunting or climbing the primordial social hierarchy, to present day, humans have relished the prospect of publicizing every last detail of our lives at the expense of productivity.

The infatuation we exhibit in regard to aimlessly broadcasting our personal experiences, interests and opinions is so prevalent that it’s become somewhat of an epidemic. However, that is not to say that social media fails to provide its fair share of benefits when utilized properly.

Although Facebook and Twitter are often hosts to a hoard of misguided opinions and shortsighted banter, these platforms are still communicative outlets capable of transmitting, sharing and providing vital information to a considerably larger audience than our forefathers could've imagined.

Furthermore, this rise in interpersonal convenience is remarkably beneficial in that it allows us to communicate at a far more expeditious rate than ever before, thus increasing our accessibility to all kinds of information, which stimulates our capacity to work.

Whether you’re an FBI detective conducting background checks on suspects through Facebook or a stay-at-home spouse streaming reruns of late 90s sitcoms on Hulu, the Internet is your one-stop destination. Just remember to utilize it wisely.

Photo Courtesy: Flickr