Internet Evolution and Accessibility

Hello!

In honour of recently learning the basics of HTML, I thought I’d give it a go and create this post using the HTML option of editing!

So, I am two weeks into my Library Science MSc and I have already been learning so much and looking at every-day online situations from an entirely new perspective. One of the aspects of my Data, Information, Technologies and Applications module that has intrigued me has been the learning of the evolution of the Internet and how it has changed the way we access information.

As the Information Society suggests, the Internet has the ability to shape you, mold you and connect you to people from around the world. It is something we take for granted these days as something that we assume is highly accessible to everyone no matter the time, day or location.

How many times have you used or heard the phrase “Just Google it” when you want to find something out? How much do you rely on the Internet to keep you up-to-date with family, friends and current affairs?

But it wasn’t always like this. In the greater scheme of things, the Internet has been around for only a relatively short amount of time. We have only recently changed the way in which we discover information and the evolution of the Internet continues to be in a “state of continuous change” (Internet Society, accessed 15 Oct. 17). The emergence of Web 2.0 technologies and Information Architecture brought about further changes still.

Which begs the question of where will the future take us? And with all these rapid changes, how will those in the LIS profession keep up when even “privacy and intellectual property laws have not kept up with the pace of technological change”? (Big Data: Are You Ready for Blast-Off? Accessed 15 Oct. 17).

Given that we have become so dependent upon accessing information via the Internet, other ethical concerns such as privacy, fictional history (the post-factual society), ownership, informed consent, censorship and accessibility have been brought to the attention of LIS professionals, amongst many others.

But what can we do? And to what extent are we responsible for such issues? Sure, we can do our best to promote digital literacy and provide people with the tools they will need in order to become fluent in information (albeit everyone has different levels of ability). But there are some serious power dynamics going on here and those that are in power benefit from those who are not being less informed.

Although this post has consisted of more questions than answers, I feel like I am beginning to understand the core concepts of information related to technologies and the ethical concerns that have inevitably been brought to the forefront as a result. These are tough questions and I’m not sure anyone really has any solid answers given how rapidly the information world has changed and, indeed, continues to change. After all, “the evolution of the Internet is happening now” (Information Society, accessed 15 Oct. 17).

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2 thoughts on “Internet Evolution and Accessibility

  1. I agree with DB. Institutions such as the BBC and much of the press is firmly rooted in the analogue world. Just listen to the Today programme. The presenters often sound baffled and slightly amused by conversations around the information society, as though this is a fringe area of interest. I often find myself shouting at my phone when John Humphrys compares Facebook to a newspaper. It’s a meaningless comparison!

    Liked by 1 person

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