According to the Office for National Statistics, 87.9% of adults in the UK (45.9 million) had recently (in the last 3 months) used the internet and Almost all adults aged 16 to 24 years were recent internet users (99.2%). These are staggering numbers and show that nearly all the current generation use the Internet in some way or another. Alongside these statistics a recent Which survey showed that 90% of people regarded a broadband connection as essential.
We’ll look into the most common uses for the Internet today and how this may shape the future of Internet usage and how we connect to the Internet.
Social networking is very common amongst younger generations with almost all of them using it in some way or another. Common platforms include Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. There is currently a culture of sharing your social activities on the Internet with friends and often complete strangers, it could be as simple as the food you are currently eating, or letting people know where you are travelling.
Many people associate social media with vanity and is just an area to showcase or boast about your lives or achievement. While this is often a valid statement to make and many will use it that way, there are also some genuinely valid reasons people use social media.
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends and let them know what you’re up to. In the past, it was hard to keep connected with distant friends, especially if you haven’t seen them I years. Now it is very easy to keep up to date with people’s lives via platforms such as Facebook or Instagram.
Transferring data via the internet is the main reason for its invention. Historically the Internet was used for scientists to collaborate and share their research so that science could move forward quickly and advance technology and theories.
Nowadays, we use the internet to transfer files of all kinds. It could be a simple email that has a PDF attachment of something like a CV or invoice and equally it could be to share songs or videos.
File transfer has enabled a rise in piracy across areas such as films and tv and also in music. The major companies and music producer try to combat this by employing people to get certain sites shut down. It is also now legislation in most countries to fine or even imprison anyone caught downloading pirated material.
There are however legitimate file transfer methods or sites such as Rapidshare and Wetransfer. These sites will allow you to upload any file and send the link to anyone for it to be downloaded.
As mentioned above, there are many music producers and film producers who employ people to shut down file transfers of their pirated material. Once way in which they combat this is with services like Spotify and Apple Music which allows people to access and stream music very easily.
It is so easy and relatively cheap to listen to music on these services that it stops people from going to the effort of downloading music easily.
There is still, however, issues with the film industry as the cost of a movie can be over £15 these days. This is often a cost that many aren’t prepared to pay and therefore are much more inclined to try and download the file via a file sharing site illegally.
There are however platforms that do make accessing films and TV shows a lot easier. For example, Sky now has access to a vast library of films thanks to them being owned in-part by 20th Century Fox. If you have a film package, you can access all the films in their library whenever you like, and you can access more premium films easily for around £3.50.
Netflix and Amazon also offer rival services and now offer their own content to boot. Recently Amazon Prime has brought The Grand Tour as an exclusive to its network in an attempt to get people to sign up to its entertainment service.
All modern gaming consoles now actually require you to have an Internet connection in order for them to be able to verify the version of the game you have purchased is legitimate. You will also need to be able to access the Internet in order to download any updates to the games you already own.
Gaming on consoles and PC’s is very common with teenagers, and fast broadband is required to play without any drop in performance. Many games require a low latency in order to register your performance correctly. For example on games such as Halo, you could make a kill on your screen but it not register on the server due to the latency.
Many education sites like Linda.com and Udacity now allow people to access course material from home via the Internet. There are many different courses you can access and not actually need to leave your bed. A lot of the major universities now also offer the ability to access your course material online such as live broadcast of lectures.