Every day people all across the world log on to their computers and pull up the Internet. Google is one of the most frequently visited sites – no matter what country you’re logging on from. Whether it is Google in English, in German, in Japanese, what have you … this site has become the center of many people’s daily lives. But why is it so popular? Why so many people use it? What has “googling” become a widely used and accepted verb in so many languages? The “push for relevance” has motivated so many business ideas.
Amazon.com is another great example. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com wanted to bring back the relevance of books into people’s lives. “[He] was one of the first people to realize that you could harness the power of relevance to make a few billion dollars” (page 25). He took the idea of a small bookstore, threw in some convenience for people and was able to bring about a revolutionary idea in the Internet world. Their focus on personalizing their website to further enhance the user’s experience has launched them into a multimillion if not billion dollar company.
Additionally, these Internet executives are using this relevant information from their users and pushing it to conform their product. As quoted in the beginning of chapter two of Pariser’s book, “The technology will be so good, it will be very hard for people to watch or consume something that has not in some sense been tailored for them. – Eric Schmidt, Google CEO” This revolution in Internet has launched our society into a new realm of possible. Could anyone have predicted that one day books would not be sold in bookstores, but rather online? Or that there would be a website that is basically an encyclopedia for people. The way people broadcast their lives on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace is something that our parents’ generation would never have even thought about.
So my question for you is … does our generation put to must trust in the Internet? Do we allow it to work for us in too many ways? With the freedom to upload anything to the Internet, to download and use any information, and alter things that are not yours, does our generation put too must trust in humanity to not protect ourselves from the dangers of the Internet? Are we allowing the “push of relevance” to take over our actions as Internet users?
– Caitlin Spinweber