Internet is the future…

December 26, 2009

I was informed by someone this week, when they inquired as to what I did for employment that “the Internet is the future”.
Pondering the statement, I thought more about it. This individual was in their 20’s, appeared to be reasonably technically savy, but they thought that the Internet is the future?

I find the statement from Sony Pictures CEO, Michael Lynton amusing and relevant;

I’m a guy who doesn’t see anything good having come from the Internet

For reference, Michael Lynton was previously the president of a small company called AOL.

I appreciate that the Internet is the cause of a lot of creative destruction, where all forms of content is pilfered, extrapolated, pirated and just down right abused. Lynton further said

[The internet has] created this notion that anyone can have whatever they want at any given time. It’s as if the stores on Madison Avenue were open 24 hours a day. They feel entitled. They say, ‘Give it to me now,’ and if you don’t give it to them for free, they’ll steal it.

This I could only agree with as well. The Internet espouses not only a sense of entitlement to be able to get what you want, when you want it, and pay nothing for it, but also a sense of anonymity, in that you are entirely removed from the consequences of your own actions. Given one of the theories of road rage evolves from the sense that the physical barrier of your vehicles windows/panels empowers an individual to be much more bold in their actions to other road users than they would be in a normal social setting – and the subsequent “flipping of the bird” and colorful language than ensue – when you are 15, sitting in your bedroom in your underpants, typing out a comment on your favorite youtube video, because some ignorant fool just disgraced your mother and your family heritage, you can see this “social removal” in place.
Same with the downloading of pirated content, very few people see that downloading Batman is essentially putting some very poor movie script writers out of work, and those that do probably don’t care that much.

So, we have discovered that the Internet isn’t always necessarily “good”, but back to our original comment “the future“?
This statement I think could be correct, if it was made about 15years ago. We saw a stratospheric rise in the Internet business in the late nineties, followed by one of the most cataclysmic collapses in stock market history. From here however, the Internet industry has evolved and developed and it has captivated our attention: Time on internet doubled in last 10 years
Within 15 years it has caused the downfall (if not the demise) of conventional media streams.

So, while the Internet isn’t necessarily good, its hardly the future.

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