Many might argue that those born deep into the Information Era are the lucky ones to have all this technology at their disposal, but I reckon those of us who were around during the birth of the era are even luckier because we have a deeper perspective of exactly what something like the internet is. We know what life was like before the World Wide Web existed and we know what life was like when it was still catching on, really.
The reason why I think this kind of perspective puts us in a better position is that if you take a closer look at it you’ll realise that the value of the World Wide Web has deteriorated somewhat over the course of its development with time. Of course, it’s great for a huge number of things from performance marketing to finding the closest public toilets, and its uses are only growing. However, the internet is not quite what it used to be and although the intention was perhaps for it to get better, the exact opposite seems to have happened.
The Information Superhighway (to refer to it using one of its many names which aren’t necessarily superlatives) was meant to open the world up to knowledge and information which was to be made quickly, easily and freely available. The exact opposite has happened and I suppose one can say that “real world” contaminants of any developmental trajectory have seeped right into the World Wide Web. The reason why this is bad news in particular is that things happen so much faster online, not very far off from happening instantly for that matter, which means that fake news, inaccurate and misleading information can all explode in its reach just as quickly.
For all that it was intended to achieve, the true power of the World Wide Web has fallen in the wrong hands, not necessarily always in the sense that it can be used as a destructive force, but rather as a frivolous one. I mean think about it – how much of the “information” you interact with online is ultimately useless information in the sense of how usefulness refers to something which betters your life in some way?
How may cat videos are there circulating online, garnering millions upon millions of “views” – cat videos which the same people often view more than once, mind you?
Just try to Google something – anything and what you’ll realise is that often the results which are coughed up by the search engines and indexed first are those which are more of an “entertainment” nature. Search for a generic term and you might have to dig about five or six pages deep into the search results to finally come across some content which you can actually use and derive value out of, otherwise if it’s not entertainment-geared results you get then what you often have to settle for are marketing related results.
Search Engine Optimisation is largely to blame for this deteriorated value of the World Wide Web, so perhaps therein lies the biggest clue as to how to go about using the internet as you rediscover its true value and getting the most out of it in the least amount of time.