The debate over social media and its privacy can be seen as quite provincial – it is seen as a new threat to privacy for many individuals. For others, social media allows individuals to explore their private sphere. The privacy settings on social media sites help create this private sphere. According to Goffman (1959), his dramaturgical model reveals that in today’s society, social media platforms are private forms of communication. These platforms uncover ‘back stage’ types of information as users construct their profile by choosing which aspects of their life they wish to share online, which evidently is the positive aspects. This is the power of social media, where individuals can hide behind a screen and potentially become someone who they are not. Clearly, there are complications between the public and private sphere. Every person should have a right to privacy and social media is slowly diminishing that.
Moreover, the internet offers another way for businesses to operate. With society becoming more and more digitally connected, most businesses have implemented some form of the internet into their companies. Unsurprisingly, the internet is crucial to the creation of e-commerce. E-commerce is the leading platform for many businesses where consumers buy and sell goods online. Where time is an essence, e-commerce gives businesses strategic advantages as customers can use any desktop, tablet or smartphone device at any location to make transfers. Online shopping is dominating the way we shop, with a huge influx of digital fashion businesses, including retailers such as Boohoo, PrettyLittleThing and Missguided. These online fashion retailers do not have retail stores to focus on as they can quickly grow nationally through the use of advertisements and social media sites. Additionally, many leading supermarkets such as Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s offer online supermarket shopping.
The creation of online banking offers consumers access to their bank accounts from any device with an internet connection using bank apps such as HSBC and Santander. The convenience created from online banking is indisputable as consumers are no longer limited to going into their local bank branch, they can make electronic transactions, paying bills or even simply checking and monitoring their money through a press of a button.
Online shopping seems to be dominating internet usage as many services which can be performed without the user changing location. the internet allows consumers to compare prices of products from other countries such as China through sites such as Amazon and Ebay. This shows the internet has removed geographical distances in the trading market, allowing SMEs and large corporations to reach other countries more easily. However, the internet has produced unethical and concerning activities such as hacking, phishing and spamming.
Without a doubt, the internet is the fuel of the world. It has shaped and continually reshapes society. With the continuous inventions of new platforms, this creates difficulties between the public and private sphere. Truly, the internet has deprived humanity of personal contact, with minimal face-to-face interactions and an increase of visual content. Hence, the internet has transformed the world into a small ‘global village.’