The Internet in Contemporary Life
The Internet has developed greatly over the last few decades. Nowadays, people cannot imagine their work and life without the Internet that allows saying about a huge step on the way to information development. Today, talking about the Internet, people usually mention only a part of the global computer network, the World Wide Web abbreviated as WWW or simply Web. Many people mistakenly create a parallel between the World Wide Web and the Internet. In fact, Web is only a part of the network; however, it is the most effective part for users as it has multimedia capabilities, which usually attracts people. Modern people cannot imagine their lives without the Internet as they can use a lot of different opportunities, which can help to survive in situations of the contemporary world and to use the Web as a means of information search, study, and work.
The World Wide Web was emerged in 1992 and it was a beginning of a triumphal procession of the Internet as a means of information and communication for everyone. Since that time the Internet has become the most widely accessed place by people all over the world (Zittrain 89). Till the middle of the 90s the Internet was mainly used for information sharing by means of sending emails in the scientific community as the Internet access required expensive equipment, which could not be available for most people. At the end of the 90s the situation in regard to the Internet fundamentally changed. Many reasons caused this changed, namely, the more available equipment, the spread of the information on the Internet, and the emergence of the Web itself. The easiness of using this service has changed the world dramatically.
Now, the Internet connected the most popular users, like housewives and businessmen, teachers and students, etc.
The Internet and the computer technologies have made a transition from experts’ amusement to the tool of daily use. The Internet became the source of information for many people. It has entered the lives of ordinary people due to the easiness of use. Moreover, the increase of the information on the web and the variety of the functions possible with the Internet development has attracted a number of people from different spheres and professions. The Internet meets the needs and demands of those who search for some information, who wants to get new software, for those who need some documents for professional activities, etc. The Internet is a source of entertainment for people as well and the recent characteristic of the Internet is a possibility of communication. Web provides a wide variety of services. In general, all users of the Internet are looking for one thing, communication and information. The Internet is a peaceful and friendly community, which substitutes real life of many people. Many people use the Internet for communication since they are unable to do the same in the real world. One of the functions of the Internet has become the space for people who need communication. Here people can find the same people as they are in regards to interests, features of character, etc. Using the Internet for communication, people find it interesting and easy to share their thoughts and ideas online without the personal contact that has a number of both advantages and disadvantages.
There are not the special psychological problems associated with communication in the network which are arising among the professionals.
In general, people exclusively oriented on obtaining business or scientific information least of all susceptible to two major psychological problems, namely virtual dependency or aggression in the Internet. But they are exposed to those individuals who have such problems.
The Web possesses the enormous possibilities. The Internet makes available the set of all possible resources to its users. The special data transfer protocols have been developed in order for the information to be conveyed between computers regardless of communication lines.
They operate on the basis of dividing the data into blocks of a certain size (packages) that are sequentially sent to the recipient. There are two main protocols on the Internet, (a) Internet Protocol IP which divides the transmitted data on individual packages and provides them with titles indicating the address of the recipient and (b) transmission control protocol TCP, which is responsible for the correct delivery of the packages. In most cases, TCP / IP protocols are interconnected (Goldsmith 146).
The basic Internet cells are Local Area Networks (Zittrain 89). It means that the Internet does not just establish a link between the individual computers but creates the connection path for larger units, such as the groups of computers. If some local network is connected to the Internet, then each workstation on this network can also be connected to the Internet. There are also computers connected to the Internet independently. They are called hosts. Each connected computer has its own address. Special requirements apply to the station address. The address must be in a format that carries the information about its owner. Each computer has two addresses, the digital IP-address and the domain address. The first one is more understandable to the computer and the second one is easier for a man. Both of these addresses are equitable. A digital address has a length of 32 bits. It is divided into 4 blocks of 8 bits each, which can be written as a decimal number not exceeding the value of 255. The address contains all the information necessary to identify the computer. Two blocks determine the network address, the third one is the subnet address, and the fourth is the address of the computer inside of an offered network (Douglas “The Internet Book” 85). Domain address determines the areas of a number of host computers. This address is read in reverse order. The name of the computer is indicated initially and then the name of the network comes where it is located. In order to simplify the communication of network subscribers all of its address space is divided into separate areas, domains. There are the domains submitted by geographic regions in the system of Internet addresses. They have a name consisting of two letters. There are domains separated by thematic attributes. These domains have a three-letter abbreviation.
Computer name includes at least two levels of domains. The levels are separated from each other by a dot. The top level domain is indicated on the left. All the names located on the left are the sub-domains of a common domain. Addressing the individual users in the network, their login names are specified on the left of a computer name. After the user name the sign -@ is put (Steve 227). Not only the names of individuals but also the names of the groups are used. There are special name servers for processing the search path in the domains. They convert the domain name into a special digital address.
The use of Internet technologies is not necessarily implemented through the World Wide Web. Technologies applied in the global network are suitable for the creation of powerful corporate information systems and systems of teamwork ensuring. Intranet is a corporate network (perhaps the enterprise network or office) using Internet technologies and products for storage, communication and access to the information (Tiara 65).
World Wide Web on the Internet contains millions of documents from unstructured text information (as well as graphics, audio, and video). In order to find the necessary information, the client of network often has to sort through hundreds of Web pages (sometimes without great success) to spend a lot of effort and nerves (and cash). Keywords are usually used as the principle of search in unstructured documents. A keyword of a document is a single word or phrase that somehow reflects the content of the file. In many word processors a keyword is a text used for searching the necessary information.
The universal search service (search system) is a complex of programs and powerful computers performing different functions (Douglas “Computer Networks and Internets” 156). Special program (search robot) continuously scans the pages of the “World Wide Web”, chooses keywords and addresses the documents in which these words are found. Web-server accepts the search query from a user transforms it and sends to the special program, a search engine. A search engine scans a database of indices, makes a list of pages that match the query criteria (or rather a list of links on this page), and returns it to Web-server. Web-server prepares results of the query in convenient form for the user and passes them to the client machine. Searching the graphic information (including video information) is a fundamentally insoluble question in computer technology.
The specialized information services are the thematic catalogs (subject catalogs) in which topics are collected. In contrast to the universal database of indices the thematic catalogs are composed by the specialists and provide customers with more rigorous and reliable systematic information about the web.
Means of Virtual Communication
Email is the most popular use of the Internet today. The ratings say that there are more than 50 million e-mail users in the world. In general email traffic occupies only 3.7% of all networks in the world. E-mail is an electronic mail. One can send messages with its help, receive them, automatically reply to the letters using their addresses based on their letters, send copies of letters at once to several recipients, to forward the received message to another address etc. Both subscribers – a sender and a recipient – are dealing with intermediaries (ISPs) served as the local post offices. Broker server is turned on constantly and on its hard are identified the “mailboxes” for temporary storage of incoming and outgoing correspondence drive for officially registered subscribers (Kirk 156). The advantage of the e-mail is efficiency and low cost compared to the traditional means of communication, like telegrams, long distance calls and longhand. Email reaches the subscriber located anywhere in the world within minutes. In contrast to conventional post offices e-mail does not lose letters.
Another kind of information network services is called a teleconference. It reminds a subscription to electronic newspapers where the information appears on certain subjects like news, notes, answers to questions, responses to previous publications, etc. teleconferences allow the users to share not the written information only, but video and audio in the real time. Teleconferences allow face to face communication between the Internet users on different distances. Teleconferences in many cases are led between people of the similar interests. Many ISPs provide their subscribers with a list of conferences they can participate for a modest fee (Bakardjieva 96). Teleconferences are very similar to e-mails by means of registration and method of operation with the only difference that a letter can be read by a huge number of people. The conferences are subdivided by topics. The title of the conference consists of several words separated by decimal points, each of subsequent points reduces the topic.
In order to participate in the conversation one just needs to connect to the selected channel. Each channel has a name which more or less reflects the topic of conversation. IRC represents a system that allows conducting a dialogue with other users of the Internet by special “channels” either personally or not. The channels can be compared with the rooms, one enters on any channel and after any of one’s phrase can be heard by all who are on the same channel regardless on the fact that one of the partner lives in Australia and another one in Brazil (Eddings 133). If it is necessary one can communicate personally, in private only with those with whom you wish. People visiting the chat base their impression of each other only on the basis of words, actions, reactions of the interlocutors on occurring events. Many people coming to chat become liberated. Perhaps many people never discuss some topics in life, which possible to talk on the channel or using e-mail.
Notwithstanding to all possibilities that might be useful for the professional users IRC has always been considered by the system administrators of most corporate and academic networks like a harmful fun which should be eliminated from the departmental computers.
It is necessary to remember that chat is just a virtual reality. Clubs is similar to a mixture of conference and chat. In the club you can have only one permanent nickname which can be changed only by a special request. Here the community is constructed and formed quite slowly.
It is a club for intellectual communication and for interpersonal communication where people are interested in each other. They are suspicious of strangers and the moderators jealously guarding rules of the club. The topics are strictly defined and deviations from them are not welcome. Club Members usually meet in reality.
“I Seek You” or “I’m looking for you” or simply “ICQ” is a program that allows to communicate with friends online in real time. It operates on the principle of e-mail, only even faster. This way of communication reminds a throwing of notes. One can send messages, files, invoke into the chat and send people an invitation to start the network programs which is necessary to specify in the configuration of ICQ (Douglas “The Internet Book” 63). Using ICQ one can communicate only with those individuals who one wants to see here. The ignore function works flawlessly here.
It is easily to find network games on the Internet. The type of gamers depends on the type of a game, closed or opened for the beginners, the rules acting there, etc. However, there is a set of general rules for most games, for example, it is not worth to one person to appear in one game under two (three) different “nicknames” or as several different characters. In other respects all the variety of games (with few exceptions) can be divided into rpg, strategic and intellectual games, race and others. However the most important thing in communication on the Internet is not to cross the line and not to become Internet addicted, not to transform a virtual fictional reality in the present.
Ethics on the Internet
Many people who have heard the term the Internet know that it is an information library and one of the means of international communication. Unfortunately, only a few of these many imagine the appearance and the essence of the network. Exactly from these positions follow so called demonization of the network attributing to it a terrible appearance and magical powers without any ethical principles and standards. The Internet is an integral organism. It is a part of public relations and the ethics is present in it also as in any other branch of these relations. It is natural that a question about the ethics on the Internet is raised. The new network user has a concern caused by lack of ethics. Of course, it is clear and understandable that the Internet is a special place. Living under the laws of humankind, it repeats our reality. However, this repetition is not blind and unthoughtful copying. The person in the network is trying to be much better than one actually is.
Advertising on the Internet
Advertising on the Internet is a tool which is a necessary condition for the success and popularity of any Internet resource, for effective capacity and maintenance of the company’s image or event, for the promotion the brand on the market which is carried out mainly through the banners and email. Its main objectives are to inform and to attract the visitors who are the target audience of the Internet resource. The objective of advertising in the Internet is to provide a steady growing level of products and services sales of the site’s owner. The Internet is the trade’s motor, however, not conventional trade but electronic one. Now, it is easy to find online electronic stores, to book or to buy certain goods there or simply to be familiar with the contents of electronic shelves. To pay for goods and services purchased online, one can do it by one of the following ways:
- via mail order;
- pass money to the courier;
- pay for goods or services via the Internet with the help of bank credit card;
- use the services of the online payment system;
- receive an access via the Internet to your bank account and make a transfer to the account of the store (Chaffey 95).
The Internet undergoes a large raise in the world. It performs a lot of functions in the sphere of information share in human life. E-mail has taken a strong place on companies’ business cards. In the meantime the Internet is the fastest and the most affordable provider of information helping to cause fast communication between people at a distance of thousands kilometers. Therefore, today the ability to use the Internet as well as the ability to work on the computer is a must for achieving success in almost any area of activity. In the contemporary world, it is impossible to imagine human life without the Internet. One can find a wide range of information on the Internet. Through the Internet one can also listen to the radio and watch TV. The global network allows carrying out conference calls and video conferences. With the help of the Internet many employees can work at home exchanging the documents with colleagues who are thousands of miles away from them. People can communicate with relatives and look for new friends and acquaintances. We can talk using the video communication with relatives who live in other countries. Also, with the help of the Internet, people can learn, send e-mails to each other without leaving home.
The Internet is becoming one of the main means of communication, the main method of obtaining and transmitting the information.
Therefore, the Internet is of great importance in the contemporary world.