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Monday, 2 July 2007

Five years ago

Sam 2.07.07

Five years ago I was studying a New Media module at university and, as part of the coursework, was asked to complete was an essay with the title: ‘Does the internet change our lives?’

Back then, email, online shopping and net dating were all in full swing, and community portals like FriendsReunited had become a very popular new way for people to keep in touch with one another.

But what struck me at the time was that the internet hadn’t really changed human life. In my view, the advent of web technology had certainly enhanced our lives – communication was vastly simpler, goods were available at a cheaper price and information was much easier to come by – but it hadn’t significantly altered the things we do, only how we do them.

But now, with my introduction into the corporate world complete and Web 2.0 upon us, I’m compelled to reconsider my position on whether the internet is, in fact, a ‘life-changing’ development.

In the financial services arena, too, the web has played a part in influencing public behaviour. Online campaigns by the likes of Motley Fool and MoneySavingExpert – both positioning themselves as ‘consumer champions’ – have prompted huge numbers of people to reclaim bank charges. And the upshot of this, we’re told, is that free banking in the UK may soon come to an end: something that will impact on almost the entire adult population.

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