Before the advent of the internet in the 80s, and its broader expansion in the 90s, nobody could have anticipated the level of global connectivity we now experience because of its invention.
Before the wonderful World Wide Web, our best resource for information was the humble local library – and now we’re seeing these facilities slowly (and sadly) dying out as they become redundant due to the information we now have quite literally at our fingertips.
Over the course of the last 18 years, Google has become synonymous with the internet – for example, we tend to say ‘let’s Google it’, rather than ‘let’s look online’.
While other search engines are available, most people use Google as their go-to. Here are some ways in which the company has changed the way we interact with the world and each other…
How Google has changed the way we interact and gather information
It’s certainly true that we now have instant access to information in a way we’ve never had before – although it’s also true that without any truly effective way to ‘police’ the 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created daily (statistics from 2015), we can’t always be sure that the stuff we read is accurate.
However, nothing has impacted on our online lives to the same level as Google has – here are some ways it’s changed things…
1. Immediate information – whether using our PC, laptop, mobile phone or tablet, we can now switch on and search for anything we need and get myriad results within seconds.
2. It’s changed our thinking – where we used to have to think and troubleshoot for ourselves, we now rely on Google to do our thinking for us. If we’re not sure of the answer to something, we simply look online.
3. It’s changed communications – apart perhaps from Christmas cards and the like, when was the last time you sat and wrote a handwritten letter? Google’s proprietary email client, Gmail, has over a billion active monthly users who connect with clients, colleagues and friends through this facility, often as an alternative to face-to-face or even verbal communications.
4. Capacity for communications – Gmail also made sorting and deleting emails a thing of the past, with its incredible capacity for handling and storing these communications.
5. Working methodology – Google docs has allowed us to collaborate online, in real time. We can upload, amend and edit work and instantly share the changes with our colleagues, making us more efficient and reducing admin.
6. Finding our way – as well as allowing us to navigate through all the online information, Google also brought us incredible mapping and travel facilities through Google Maps – plus we can check out our destinations with real-world visuals so we know what we’re looking for when we arrive!
7. News and views – Google has changed the way we access and assimilate news, pushing print production down and giving us the opportunity to comment on the real issues of the world as soon as a story breaks.
8. Search sophistication – we now think of information in keywords and contextual search terms, knowing that Google’s sophisticated algorithms will serve up relevant info at the click of a button.
9. It’s made us stars of our own show – while credit for this originally lies with Youtube, Google bought the site in 2006 and ever since, the number of videos posted every day has grown exponentially. We can now create and upload videos whenever we want, and many people are making a very healthy living from it…
10. Mixing up your marketing – whether it’s pay per click advertising campaigns, optimising our web content to help Google (and its users) find us, or inserting videos into our online marketing avenues, we now primarily promote ourselves online and rely on Google to reap results for us.