Image by None via CrunchBase
What was life like before we had mobile internet? It’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine not being able to go online on your phone whenever you need to, just as it’s hard to imagine what it’d be like to not have an internet connection. With 4G gradually being rolled out around the UK, and different deals available for mobile internet through www.dclmobile.co.uk, access and options for going online through your phone is greater than ever. How have we changed, then, in our lives since mobile internet became available?
Mobile internet is still a fairly recent phenomenon, despite the technology being available in the late 1990s; the growth of mobile internet in the mid 2000s aligned with the increasing usage of smartphone, and the more general increase of devices like tablets capable of handling internet browsing and videos. As we’ve become more used to high speed and fibre optic broadband in our homes, so we’ve come to expect mobile internet through 3G, 4G, and wireless connections to be reliable and competitive in terms of speeds with home broadband.
Before we had mobile phone internet connections, we still had access to home and work internet, which handled most of what we now take for granted on mobile devices - with the exception of apps and the integration of different messaging features through phones and other devices, we could still use the same content and handle much of our workload without needing to get onto the internet when on the go.
Mobile internet has therefore increased our expectation to be able to go online whenever and wherever we want to. According to a recent German study of mobile internet usage, 79 per cent of users now expect to be able to get online quickly and easily, and want to use social media, apps, and other sites to avoid missing out on the latest news and trends. To this end, a new generation of mobile users born in the 2000s can’t imagine not having this level of connectivity.
There are several arguments that criticise this level of access, and the increase in speeds and options for using the internet through social media and apps. Whether being online virtually all the time is good for us is debatable, with the potential there for people to become cut off and unable to interact properly without social media and other forms of communication. Child safety concerns have also been raised in recent years, with children able to easily access unsuitable content and make themselves vulnerable to potential threats and bullying through social media sites.
It does say something that a life before mobile internet, or indeed the internet at all, is going to be harder and harder to imagine for new generations. While our usage has increased, we’re still doing much of the same things - communicating with each other, sharing content, finding entertainment. What is becoming more apparent, though, is how difficult it’s becoming to switch off and not see mobile internet as an emergency luxury, but rather as a necessity. With Google Glass devices on the horizon, it might not be long before we can’t live without augmented reality.
Eva blogs about tech news, trends, and the latest smartphones. For more information on 4G, she recommends visiting www.dclmobile.co.uk. She’s not sure whether she’d be able to get by without her smartphone or tablet, although she’d be interested to see whether she could.