We enjoy the internet in our everyday life. Be it from surfing the website, connecting with our loved ones, doing work, or using it to access our finance; it’s hard to deny how much it positively impacts our lives.
The funny thing is, most people don’t realize how much we rely on it. Even behind the scenes work done by companies and important establishments are achieved by using the Internet, and more recently, using the power of the cloud.
The Power of the Cloud
Most people still haven’t heard of the cloud- yet it’s embedded deep within most of the daily conveniences we enjoy. But what is the cloud really? It basically means utilizing the internet to connect to a datacenter running supercomputer to store your files or process tasks for you.
This technology allows for advanced computation on relatively weak hardware, and combined with the power of the Internet, allows us access to a large library of data. No longer do we have to rent a movie from the video store, instead, we can access a wide catalog of films simply through the touch of our fingertips. We don’t have to visit a library and spend hours looking for specific information as well, as we have search engines connecting to websites dedicated to data gathering and storage. This is the power of the Internet and the cloud: it connects us to information we would not have access to otherwise.
The Everyday Impacts of the Cloud
While the example provided above does an okay job in covering the basic idea of the cloud, it does way much more than that. The conveniences and much of what’s normal in modern society hinges on the Cloud, and below are some ways it affects our everyday life.
Financial Technology and Online Banking
A couple of years ago, a trip to the bank meant half a day waiting in line. If you were applying for a loan, you wouldn’t know if you were accepted till they contacted you- and that can take a while. Banking processes and operations normally took a lot of time, making the phrase “in five to ten business days” relatively common.
Thanks to the advances in financial technology, also known as fintech, we regularly reap the benefits of real-time banking. We can check our banking details with a few clicks and swipe, we can make transactions such as sending money, paying bills, or even ordering online with such ease never before thought possible. Much of modern commerce relies on online banking so much, that we often take it for granted, forgetting that such conveniences were almost impossible a few decades ago.
Personal Data Storage
The age of diskettes are long past, and even at this point, it’s pretty rare to see a USB flash drive. Data storage and transfer are mostly done in the cloud now, taking full advantage of its efficiency. As long as you have the information necessary, you can access your data on any device, anywhere.
Of course, as this technology deals with personal data, many people are apprehensive at first. But as personal cloud backup technology improves, it becomes more secure to the point where you don’t have to worry about your data getting stolen.
Communication Across the Globe
Those born before the turn of the millennium remember needing to pay more for long-distance calls. And if we ever dared using the phone to contact someone else from another part of the world, our parents will be more than angry for having incurred an inordinate amount of phone bill.
No longer do we have to worry about that as the Internet provides a platform where we can talk to anyone from any part of the world. Websites and applications such as Skype, Zoom, Discord, Facebook, and many others connect people from different parts of the world, allowing for conversations, discussions, and debates. Truly the world is closer than ever before.
Access to Libraries of all Kinds
The greatest ability the cloud has provided us is access to almost all of the information available to man. Thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of books are available online. From resource materials to textbooks, from fiction to history, all kinds of informative tools are available for free use.
Thanks to this, there’s an increase in environmental awareness, social and psychological issues, and political awareness. The internet has enabled discourse and information sharing at such a rapid rate that we can develop ideas faster than ever. This is one of the ways the cloud not only impacts our lives but also our future.