Virtual Reality: the Internet Revolution

This article is concentrated on the Internet phenomenon and on the spreading of the Internet culture and its effects on people. Manuel Castells is broadly regarded as the chief analyst of the Information Age and the Network Society. The present paper reflects on Castells’ short and informative book “The Internet Galaxy”. In his book the author points out the importance of the Internet as a means of communication raising such questions as: the social dimensions of the Internet, the Internet culture, the influence of the Internet on the market, the political implications of the Internet, the digital divide and the Internet culture.
This “Internet revolution” can be valued by different factors, such as online sales, amount of Internet users, amount of host computers, and amount of domains. All these figures are unchangeable; the common feature of them is fast-paced growth. There was the growth in the amount of host computers from 1969 to 1996 (from 4 host computers in 1969 to about 10 million in 1996). The real, extraordinary growth took place in the 1990s.
While examining online sales, research companies predict unprecedented growth. For instance, Jupiter Communications declared that in 1998 Internet commerce was worth $7.8 billion in the USA, and that this figure would enlarge to $108 billion in 2003. The general value of the Internet commerce is valued unprecedentedly, for instance, hundreds of billions of dollars in 2002. For example, the USA Department of Commerce’s $825 million for the value of airline tickets bought in the USA via the Internet in 1998. It is a 300% growth from the 1996 figure (Clemente P. C. 1998, p. 32).
While studying the amount of Internet users, the Internet had 30 million users on 10 million computers linked to over 240,000 networks in about 100 states. The last figures indicate the fact that International Data Corp values that 40 million people are home web users in the USA in 1999, which consists of 15% of the population. “Le Monde” in 1998 published that 100 million people use the Internet all over the world. Jupiter Communications estimates that active Internet users – 4 to 5 million USA customers – shop regularly on the Internet by 2000, which represents 3% of grown-ups.

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