by James Smith
I describe my ideas on how the internet has become our most valuable ecosystem.
|The world we live in today is vastly different than the world we lived in even 50 years ago. The internet has changed a lot of things and has improved our quality of life in numerous ways. That being said, I’ve noticed recently that people who use the internet tend to fall into specific niches. Now, throughout this post I’ll be using ecological terms so I’ll try to explain as I go. That being said...|
4. The Internet is an Ecosystem.
An ecosystem is a community of interacting organisms. The best example I can think of is in the ocean. The plants absorb the sunlight, small fish eat the plants, larger fish eat those small fish, and we eat the large fish. It’s a very delicate, interlocking chain and if even one link is broken then the entire ecosystem begins to fail. This is how the internet works.
To begin with, something happens. Doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. What matters is that 99% of the stuff that happens gets absorbed and shared and re-shared by the internet. What happens next is that we absorb the sharing and re-sharing and it creates and interlocking chain (or web, if you will) of information. We then gather (or feed on) the comments or general reaction to this information, thus completing the cycle. If even one of the steps in that process then we lose that interconnection that the internet brings us.
3. We all have our own niches.
In ecology, a niche is an organisms role in it’s ecosystem. Just like the plants role is to absorb sunlight, we each have our own roles on the internet. There are content creators, people or companies who make what we see on the internet, sharers, people who don’t create any original information but rather share those that are created, reactors, who don’t share or create but do comment, and observers, who tend to sit back in their chairs and absorb all the internet has to offer without changing it. And while we all may occasionally participate in other niches, we tend to stick to our own. This is because...
2. If we decided to change, it would destroy the internet.
As I mentioned above, the internet is a thriving ecosystem just kinda hanging around haphazardly. If one niche decided to change it’s role in the internet then we would lose all meaning for the internet. The most obvious of which is the content creators, if they stopped producing then there would be nothing to share. If the sharers stopped sharing then it’d be much harder to reach the new information. If the reactors stopped reacting then we’d lose the interconnection that the internet brought us and have no point for it. If the observers stopped observing then the internet would be pointless because no one would be watching it.
1. Like it or not, we need the internet.
If the internet stopped existing then we would live on, just not as well. Think about it. How many times have you Googled something this week? Or read an article that opened your eyes? Or were able to connect with family miles away from you? Or them connect with you? My guess is anyone reading this is super dependent on the internet for all of their news. And that’s OK. The internet has made it a lot easier to stay connected and I think that after a good 20 year taste of it it will be hard to go back. (Plus catching the evening news is such a chore.)