We now live in a world where our interaction with computers is increasing in a rapid pace. Computers are used to assist us with our personal and professional tasks on a daily basis.
Here are a few ways that computers play an important role in our lives:
- Email: Email is the most commonly used form of digital communication today. It’s now possible to send a message to anyone in the world in seconds. In 2015 there were over 4 billion email accounts worldwide and 201.4 billion emails sent each day. 76% of email accounts in the world are for personal use. It’s no surprise that email accounts and communication are growing at a rapid pace.
Email is a cornerstone of the online experience. An email account is required to use almost any service online. An email account is required to sign up for social sites such as Twitter and Facebook and to use online shopping sites such as Amazon and eBay.
- Social Media: Social media has changed the way we communicate and interact with each other drastically. Communications that once took place through land-line telephones, in person, and through the mail now took place through texting, instant messaging, and online video phones.
Social networking sites have become major online hubs for people to stay connected to their community. Facebook is at the forefront of this movement. The social behemoth now boasts over 1.39 billion active monthly users.
If Facebook were a country, it would be the most populated nation in the world. Sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ also have world wide appeal and combined have over 1 billion registered users.
- Gaming: Computers have changed the face of gaming. In its early infancy the gaming industry was dominated by arcade machines, the Atari, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis. Computers and the internet have brought gaming to computer users around the world.
In 2010 the gaming industry raked in an annual 25.1 billion dollars. High performance graphic cards, sound cards, 3D graphic accelerators, and faster CPUs have advanced the industry rapidly and allow computer users to play high-definition games at a pace and speed that was never before possible. The internet has also allowed gamers from across the globe to play with each other.
- Online Banking: Computers have allowed consumers to manage their finances from their cell phones or using their desktop PCs in the comfort of their own homes.
Customers of banks no longer need to physically enter a bank to conduct business. Consumers can trade stocks, transfer money, and even apply for loans while sitting in front of their computers. Banks that don’t even have physical locations are now commonplace. Banks such as Ally, Green Dot GoBank, and BankMobile offer banking services solely online.
- Email: The majority of traffic from email stems is from business email. There are over 100 billion business emails received and sent every day. Email is the most widely used form of communication in business today.
- Cloud Computing: Cloud computing is revolutionizing the business world. Cloud computing enables on-demand, convenient network access to a pool of computing resources such as applications, servers, storage, networks, and other services.
With cloud computing these resources can be used and managed with very little effort or interaction from the service provider. Cloud computing is allowing businesses and teams to work remotely from all over the globe.
Meetings, presentations, and conferences no longer need to be held in-person. Cloud computing can connect users to documents, resources, and each other from anywhere they may be as long as they have an internet connection.
- Accounting: Accounting without the use of a computer allows a high risk of error by humans. Accounting software such as Quicken, QuickBooks, and Wave accounting are used to easily input their financial data and have the computer do all of the heavy lifting.
Computers are almost exclusively used for filing and calculating taxes. Once the correct data is entered all necessary tax reports are available immediately. Computers are also used to calculate payroll, manage expenses, and create invoices.
- Documents & Reports: Most businesses have some type of software that resembles a spreadsheet or word processing application. These two types of computer programs can be used in business to create tutorials, memos, reports, and even ads to promote a company’s event.
Spreadsheet applications allow a business to manage, organize, and run calculations on alphabetical and numerical data. Text based data can be translated to visual reports.
- Storage: Filing cabinets have been replaced by servers and computers that can store millions of pieces of data. This data can be stored in an organized format that allows for easy access and use.
Storing data in a computer saves space and is a way more efficient way to stay organized. Online storage can also contain password and encryption features to keep your data secure.
- Teaching: Teachers can now use computers to instruct and help students learn more easily. PowerPoint slides, web pages, and presentation software can be used to give lectures to students whether they are in a lecture hall or on the other end of the globe.
Video conferencing, chat, and email helps students and teachers improve communication and concept clarity. Custom software can give students relevant practice material to help them understand concepts learned in class.
- Resources and Libraries: Documents can be stored on cloud platforms to offer students and faculty access to these resources from wherever they may be. Entire books, magazines, journals, articles, videos, and lectures can all be stored and accessed on the internet or on an institution’s intranet.
- Testing and Evaluation: Tests, quizzes, and exams can be given and taken online. Student scores and records can be stored on cloud platforms. Students can review their answers and highlight specific parts of exams where they may need to spend more time studying. Exams from previous years can be stored and accessed by both students and teachers.
Computers have changed the way we view and interpret the world in our professional and personal life. Computer technology shows no signs of slowing down either. Each year technology is getting faster, more advanced, and more efficient.