For many of us, it's hard to remember a time when the Internet wasn't a ubiquitous part of life. It has become such an essential element to our daily lives perhaps quicker than any other advancement in human history.
It makes one wonder about the future of the Internet. How will it change, and how will those changes impact how we live and the environment we live in? Changes seem to happen so rapidly that it's hard not to take them for granted. Let's take a look at what you can expect from your relationship with the Internet in the years to come.
The future of the Internet is getting closer than you think. Are you ready for it? Here's our prediction of the innovation and technology to come.
Privacy is something that most of us take very seriously, and for good reason. And yet the Internet makes it increasingly difficult to fully protect our privacy. Especially given the alarming power of social media.
Believe it not, your privacy will eventually be commoditized to the point where it will cost an individual a fortune to exist off the grid. It's been said that if you aren't the customer, then you are the product. This is more accurate than you can imagine.
And because privacy has become such big business, many companies have seized on the opportunity by offering privacy protection services for a fee. Just remember that the Internet is forever, and once your privacy is lost, it's nearly impossible to get back.
Many of us have become numb at the rate of change we've experienced in recent years. Products and services released on a nearly daily bases are so impressive that nothing is really surprising anymore. We adapt so rapidly to improved technology that it's become harder and harder to be shocked or awed.
Yet as the rate of change accelerates, it will become increasingly difficult to adapt. This is because the human mind simply cannot compete with the speed of machine learning and increased computing power. Therefore as we attempt to adapt, the experience will ultimately leave many people feeling overwhelmed and out of control.
This seems inevitable. For one example, consider the fact that Elon Musk and SpaceX plan to colonize Mars. Their mission could result in Internet access to Mars by 2030. We might be a long way from this goal becoming a reality, yet surely it's only a matter of time.
Eventually, settlers on Mars will be able to communicate with friends and family back on Earth via orbiting satellites that will transmit Internet data back and forth.
Take a look around. How many products do you have that feature some sort of Internet connection? This includes everything from your smartphone, laptop, fitness monitor, smart refrigerator, and other household appliances, car navigation and satellite radio, and beyond.
And those are only the beginning.
In the future, you can expect our lives to be fully wired. There will be few if any aspects of life that aren't online. Even the human mind and memory could be uploaded to the cloud, just as the content of your smartphone and computer hard drive are stored off-site.
For better or worse, there doesn't seem to be any limit to how our lives will become fully immersed in Internet technology.
The simple reality is that machines learn faster than people, master complex tasks more quickly, work for free, do not require healthcare or other benefits, never complain, and can work longer hours without the need for meals or breaks. In other words, machines are nearly impossible for human workers to compete with.
This obviously creates problems for a human workforce that needs jobs to survive. And as Artificial Intelligence advances, the line separating what it means to be human or machine will become increasingly difficult to define.
Machines might be good for corporations, but are they good for society? Whatever the answer, one thing is very clear: machines aren't going away.
Get ready to live in a virtual world. Though we've become accustomed to so much of our lives revolving around mobile devices, the future will be a much more immersive experience.
For those who have experienced virtual reality in any form, you understand how easy it is to be swept away into a virtual world and leave the physical world behind. Various devices such as Google Glass and Microsoft's HoloLens already provide augmented reality that project or embed the Internet into the real world.
The arrival of this technology can seem both exciting and scary. Be prepared for the line between reality and virtual reality to become even more blurred. Because regardless of whether you resist or embrace it, there's no stopping it.
It seems clear that the future will consist of a world where our connection to the Internet will be automatic and permanent. For those of us old enough to remember the early days of the Internet, there are plenty of memories of dial-up service with long minutes of waiting for web pages to load.
Today, by comparison, connection speeds are blazingly fast and our devices connect automatically. In the future, online connection won't be something we even think about. It will be automatic, at all times, in all places. The notion of logging into or seeking connection will be a thing of the past.
The future of the Internet is the future itself. There is simply no turning back. The world around us is wired and becoming increasingly so.
Future Internet will be as commonplace as indoor plumbing and electricity. Our connection to one another will be automatic and constant, and the speed of data will continue to move faster and faster even as we try to keep up.
Click here to learn how to solve the most common Internet connection problems.