This past Saturday I looked out the front window of my home to find a strange vehicle slowing down near my mailbox. I live in a subdivision with a marked mail truck so any vehicle that is not white in color and marked with “USPS” on the side raises eyebrows if it slows near your mailbox. The vehicle came to a brief stop before throwing an object on the ground at the base of my mailbox. I was sure it wasn’t something harmful as the vehicle was repeating the same at each house in the neighborhood, but my suspicion got the best of me so I hurried outside. Upon looking at the item, it appeared to something that I have not seen in a decade. A book with a yellow called cover, properly named the “Yellow Pages.”
I am sure you read through the sarcasm of the first paragraph and understand this is simply a way to get you to realize how far technology has taken us over the last decade. It is not the invention of the Internet, but the adaption of everything that we use into an online platform that has made us an online society. One of the most popular services is online dating. People can now look for their “soul mate” without having to get all dressed up and hit on anything at the bar that moves. There are now dozens of online dating websites from all different niches from Match.com to Christian Singles.
Ever thought about buying groceries online? Well, you should start. Many metropolitan areas now offer online grocery shopping. You can go online, select the items that you want, and have them delivered to your door by the grocer. Some cities have services that will shop at various locations for you (including fast food restaurants) and deliver it to you on the spot (for a fee of course).
Healthcare is even turning online. With the inception of websites like WebMD in 1996, people are able to go online and check their symptoms prior to going to the local Walgreens or making an appointment with their doctor. Other services include ordering prescription drugs and even online consultations from companies like Angels Health Pvt. Ltd. One that stands out to me is offering online medical certifications. While you cannot yet earn your medical degree online (although you can earn a law degree online), companies such as National Health Care Provider Solutions (NHCPS) offer online medical certification and recertification for life saving courses such as Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS). As opposed to sitting through a two-day class with a boring instructor, NHCPS allows students to take the course and certification tests online.
Speaking of higher degrees, there are now hundreds of educational institutions that are solely online. Kaplan University and the University of Phoenix are two of the most popular all online schools. Technology is also catching up with the Ivy League schools as Harvard and Princeton also offer online classes. While higher education is not new to the online world, high school and grade school are. States such as Indiana are now on pilot programs that allow children to enroll and attend school from the comfort of their own homes. This means that your child could actually go to school from kindergarten all the way through college without having to leave the house.
I could go on for days talking about the various services that we can now get online, but I would be better off spending my time perusing the Internet for something more interesting. Whether you believe we are in the digital world or not, looking around you can convince you that we are. From groceries to drugs, the way we do things has shifted from personal experiences to an online world.
Author Bio: Beth Rommey is a blogger for numerous online magazines. She spends her time in forums and posting articles about how technology is changing the world.