One of the most important marvels of modern technology is the Internet, which has not just revolutionized the process of information retrieval, but also, dramatically changed the way people seek information. If in the past, people often had to spend so much time and energy going through many pages or sheets of printed media only to seek for specific information, now with the aid of the internet; information retrieval can be much easier and time-saving.
The revolutionary way which the internet offers triggers an intriguing question whether it will replace books or printed media as the main source of information. From my observation, I tend to believe that it will. My main reason is because it has so many advantages over printed media, which make the former (the internet) more preferable, more interesting, more attractive, and even more reliable than the latter (printed media). As a result, more and more people turn to the internet every time they need to seek for information. Here are some of the advantages which I can list to support my belief.
First, the kinds of information which the internet provides are almost unlimited. We can find almost any topics from a single computer equipped with a good connection to the internet, while it is impossible to find such a large number of topics only from a single book or a single newspaper. As a result, when people need almost any information, ranging from the latest news, house rentals, car sales, to public transport schedules and fares, they rely on the internet rather than printed media.
Second, the information stored in the internet can be updated at very short intervals, enabling its users to always get the latest progress or development. This kind of updating can’t be applied to printed media and thus, printed media always lags behind the internet.
Third, the internet also provides other facilities that printed media can’t provide. For example, it enables its users to perform multitasking or interactivity, so that they can communicate with other people, play online games, download or upload pictures, and so on, while seeking for information.
Fourth, the optimization of internet usage can reduce paper consumption significantly. Since the environmental awareness is on the rise, people are encouraged to reduce paper consumption. More paper consumption can lead to more deforestation because the raw materials for making paper basically come from forests. As a result, paperless office and “going paperless” are being intensively promoted, and here in this context, the internet has proved to be supportive.
Looking at the rapidly widespread use of the internet and people’s increasing reliance on it, I believe that someday the internet will triumph over printed media. The first signs of it have shown. For example, the number of internet users is increasing so dramatically, while the sale of printed media is decreasing.