Since personal computers (PCs) became popular in our homes in the 1980s and 90s we have seen them change so much before our eyes. What once were huge boxes with tiny screens, now are high definition, sleek designs with lightning fast processors.
To celebrate the PC we’ve decided to look at five ways it has changed our lives.
Connection to each other
The PC has enabled the birth of social media, allowing us to use sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and more to contact people all over the world, instantaneously, whenever we want to. Increased computer power has led to the natural evolution of devices and now we’re using laptops, tablets and mobiles on a daily basis to feed our social media addiction.
According to WP Forms ‘Ultimate List of Online Business Statistics (2019)’, 3.2 billion internet users are also social media users. That is just under half of the whole world’s population sharing, retweeting and making conversation online.
Most businesses now have an online presence, whether this is a website or social media pages. This allows them to have a greater reach to new and existing customers.
Promoting a business used to rely on word of mouth, advertising in the newspaper, billboards or on TV. Now Google Adwords, as well as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn pages can attract customers with offers, tell consumers about products and generate business leads.
According to a survey by The Manifest, 66% of businesses advertise online and that number is only going to rise.
We store our photos, work and pretty much everything on PCs and other personal devices. So much so that according to a study from analyst firm IDC and hard drive maker Seagate, the amount of data the world tucks into its devices, storage systems and data centres will rise to 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025. A ZB translates to one trillion gigabytes for the sake of this study.
Data used to be stored on tapes in the 1980s and it wasn’t until the early 1990s that discs came around. Now all we have to do is hit the save button and it’s job done!
Pre-computers and the internet, if you were writing a paper, debating a topic or trying to figure something out you would have to go to the library and find a certain book, read through it and get your answer. Unthinkable in this day and age.
We now rely on the internet and PCs to give us instant information for everything. Google averages 63,000 searches every second, which results in at least 2 trillion searches across the world per year.
The computer, and subsequently increasing internet speeds, has given birth to the streaming world, which has changed how we consume our favourite TV shows, movies and music. On 16th January 2007, Netflix launched its streaming service to the world. It would go on to change the way we watch things forever.
Netflix originally started in 1998 as a subscription service that sent out discs to customers by mail. This was a similar service to that which Blockbuster provided when it was around but now the process is completely digital.
On-demand TV has taken over due to its ease of access with UK viewers opting for Sky On Demand, Netflix, Amazon Prime and more because they can watch the shows they love, whenever they want to. Netflix now has 148.9 million paying members with many people sharing a single account, meaning that the number of viewers it has is even larger. The same applies in the music industry with Spotify and Apple Music reigning supreme. Users now stream music, paying a flat monthly fee.
These are just some of the ways PCs have changed the way we live. They are constantly evolving and with the future looking likely to be based around quantum computing, we really could be on the verge of a new dawn.
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