What a wonderful invention the internet has been. It has impacted our lives in ways previous generations never could have envisioned and has rapidly become most important in everything we do. In previous generations researching was done in libraries and communicating was in writing but now both of these things can be done on the internet and from almost anywhere at any time. Three of the most popular ways we can use the internet are for personal communication, business communications, and for education and research.
Companies today are turning to the internet more and more to introduce themselves to the consumer letting potential customers know who they are, where they are located and give histories of the companies to assure customers that they are reputable. When you are looking for products on the internet and customers can't visit a store or talk to someone face to face it is important to give some sense of confidence in which you are dealing. This is accomplished through the use of a company web-site. Web-sites are designed to catch the eye of the consumer and offer products and services in an easy to follow format. The internet is a very large commodity to businesses these days. It is used for advertising their products, giving information about the company, sales, and customer service.
Product Description. Company web-sites are designed with catalogues of the products that they sell. It is here that the customer can browse through pictures and descriptions of those items being offered for sale. This can include product specifications and warranties. Often the company will offers ratings from other companies on the products.
Points of sale. Many websites also allow the customer to purchase their products online. They provide a secure online payment system as well as shipping. Another important aspect of the site is customer service. This can take many forms. Returns are often an issue in selling a product over the internet instead of in the store, because the customer cannot just bring it back to the store, shipping has to be dealt with. In the case where the product sent is defective or not as ordered a representative of the company needs to be available to help the customer.
Customer service. In cases where returns need to be made or a customer just wants to ask about a product or point of sale, customer service representatives will step in. The web-site can provide phone numbers to contact them direct for assistance or have a link to send them an e-mail with your questions and/or complaints.
In addition to the internet serving the needs of the business community, it also has proved to be a vast help in the area of personal communication. Through e-mailing, blogging, and social networking sites you can easily keep in touch with friends and family even if they are on the other side of the world. Gone are the days when you had to use handwritten instruments or the telephone to communicate with others. The internet has made communication almost immediate reaching almost anywhere in the world.
E-mails. E-mailing has made regular, paper mail almost obsolete and with good reason. It gets the message to the receiver almost instantly and also saves paper, which, with today's environmental problems, is a great thing. This method of exchanging digital messages uses a computer server such as AOL, G-mail, or Hotmail. This means the individual uses their services to store and forward messages on behalf of the user. The parts of an e-mail can be broken down as follows:
Senders email address
Receivers e-mail address
Main body of the message
No more long letters and waiting for post office delivery. Messages can be passed back and forth effortlessly and quickly.
Chat rooms. In addition to sending messages the individual can use internet chat rooms. A chat room allows a group of people with similar interests to instant message in a large or small group on a variety of themes. They act like an old fashioned bulletin board. It allows for the free flow of conversation bringing people together no matter where they are located geographically. You can find a chat room for just about any topic, no matter what your interest, and if you can't find one that involves your interests you can always develop your own using the services of one of an endless group of companies. Some of these companies are as follows:
Social networking sites. For many individuals one of the most popular uses of the internet is for social networking. Groups such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter have recently become extremely popular. Facebook alone has over 350 million users and it is still growing every day. People can find old friends that they haven't seen in years, keep in touch with family and friends all over the world, or just let all of their friends know what they are up to. How wonderful those who previously had no interaction are given a means of communicating with others.
Education and Research
The internet is a great resource for education and research. You can access information from databases across the globe, which gives us far more information than we could ever even think of. You can take classes online, such as the BYU course which I am taking right now, or you can even earn your college degree online. People in the professional world use the internet as a resource for stock information and other various information to improve their business. If you want to learn about anything you can be sure to find it on the internet.
Research Aid. At last the long and tedious search through the card catalogues at libraries is over. The internet now allows us to sit in the privacy and comfort of our homes, offices and classrooms and find an endless supply of information from many varied resources. The databases of a worldwide array of institutions can be tapped for greater and more efficient research. A few of these are INFOhio, Byki online and Pro-Quest. Therefore it provides the users a distinct advantage over those how do not have access.
Online classes & degrees. Not only can we do research but can also take classes at every level and acquire degrees. School such As BYU, Phoenis and ECOT allow the student to study from home or the classroom and take courses of interest and upon successful completion receive credit. This means of education is so successful that most universities and colleges offer some form of online education. This type of education offers a less expensive means to acquire a degree or credit and also affords the individual to take course that might not be available at their local school. Also it is a perfect solution for the person who is at home due to a long confinement.
Professional Development. Professionals can also use the internet to provide professional development. In any business it is important to stay abreast of industry trends, informant on markets and possibly find new jobs or employees. All can be done easily and quickly on the internet. Many professionals follow the stock markets, watch government economic reports and interact with trade groups on a daily basis. The uses are endless and for the individual or company trying to keep ahead of the crowd the internet is a vital tool.
The internet has quickly become a very important component in our lives. It has impacted all areas and changed everything we do on a daily basis. It has become an indispensible tool for many playing a large part in how we do business, communicate with others, and education and research. In short the internet allows us to communicate with others. The internet's uses will only continue to evolve and become more important in our lives.