The Future of The Internet

Pew Internet & American Life have released a 62-page study entitled The Future of the Internet

This lengthy report discusses the impact the internet will have on various aspects of society, as well as how it will change in the next ten years. Below are some interesting excerpts:

On Family Life

“The context for family interactions has already changed dramatically. The ease with which children and grandparents can communicate; the ability to message instantly will change the nature of our interfamily relations – and thereby change the dynamics of our personal lives.”

On Information Quality

“The dissemination of information will increasingly become the dissemination of drivel. As more and more ‘data’ is posted on the internet, there will be increasingly less ‘information’…This will affect everything from politics, to science/pseudoscience, to education. The only vestige of hope may be in the development of integrity, whether mandated by law, developed by private labels, or in the most unlikely of scenarios, the nascence of personal integrity.”

“The internet won’t change most institutions and human endeavors too much, because it’s increasingly a cesspool of spam, porn, phishing, and other distracting and annoying commodities, discouraging more intensive and productive use.”

On Privacy

Prediction: As computing devices become embedded in everything from clothes to appliances to cars to phones, these networked devices will allow greater surveillance by governments and businesses. By 2014, there will be increasing numbers of arrests based on this kind of surveillance by democratic governments as well as by authoritarian regimes.

On Entertainment

Prediction: By 2014, all media, including audio, video, print, and voice, will stream in and out of the home or office via the internet. Computers that coordinate and control video games, audio, and video will become the centerpiece of the living room and will link to networked devices around the household, replacing the television’s central place in the home.

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