There is an ever-growing need to work for a free, open Internet. We used to live in an age where if a child received a laptop, it was enough to learn with. However, even though that need is still apparent today, it is a growing need; a need that expands into interactivity. Each day, technology evolves to be faster and smaller. With this evolution comes the devolution of complex, specialized things.
Websites used to be viewed by most as simply magic. Today, websites are being released constantly and those without personal ones are left out in the cold. “Consumers” have become “Prosumers,” allowing for a whole new world of interaction between producers and their audience. Without free and open Internet, this connection would not be possible. That means everyone who has grown up accustomed to the “Burger King lifestyle” of having things “your way” will become turned off by the “Henry Ford plan” of only having the color black as an option.
Having a free Internet is good for businesses. Without it, advertising would have to rely on print, video and guerrilla ads. Businesses would not be able to reach hundreds of people through online advertisements if users weren’t allowed to get online for free and visit the sites they go to every day, because those sites expose users to the ads hidden around the site.
Being online also allows businesses to tell consumers what they want, when they want. They don’t have to solely depend on advertisements getting the message across to people. Instead, they can send out newsletters through e-mail or even have an “About” page on their website, allowing users to read up on the product they are using. Not only can businesses connect with their customers, but there are even whole business models built around the Internet.
That is why the free, open Internet is important to us.
Submitted by Jordan Yost, a student in Elon University’s Interactive Media Master’s Program.