The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Society turning to Internet for daily transactions, chores

By Charity Montieth/se news editor

   Society today has become increasingly dependent on the Internet; in fact, many people find it nearly impossible to function without it.
   “ I don’t know what I would do without my computer; I use it for everything. Sometimes I feel like my whole life depends on it,” SE student Melissa Parker, 27, said.
   However, it was not until recently that society’s dependence on technology became a phenomenon.
   “ I didn’t purchase a home computer until I was 47, and even then, it was mainly for my kids,” SE student Gordon Anderson, 56, said.
   The number of businesses implementing online services has greatly increased in recent years, and those enhanced services have become a major attraction for consumers.
   The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that consumers spent approximately $65 billion online. Experts speculate that figures for 2005 could reach as high as $80 billion.
   Parker, whose family is spread all over the country, said she saves time by doing her holiday shopping online and having gifts shipped directly from the retailer.
   “ A lot of the stores offer the same sale prices online. I can still get a great deal, but I avoid the holiday rush,” she said.
   Online banking is another service available to consumers. People are able to check their balances, pay bills and see what has cleared with a couple clicks of the mouse.
   “ I think the biggest use for my PC, other than school, is definitely online banking,” Parker said.
But most consumers appear to be a bit more reluctant.
   According to the Online Banking Report, only about 20 percent of Internet users accessed their accounts online in 2004.
   Anderson said he knows his bank offers online services, but he prefers not to take advantage of them.
   “ I just don’t feel safe,” he said. “These days you hear so much about identity theft; I prefer to do it manually. Besides over the years, I’ve developed a routine when it comes to paying the bills.”
   E-mails and instant messages have become more popular. Parker said online communication has become a valuable tool for her.
   “ It’s fast, and I don’t have to pay postage or long-distance fees,” she said.
   Anderson, who uses e-mail for business purposes, said she prefers to communicate with family and friends in person.
   “ I find it [e-mail] impersonal and cold,” he said. “It really makes my day to hear the voice of my loved ones. And besides, how can you relay emotions over the computer?”
   Anderson and Parker did manage to see eye to eye one thing: educational purposes.
   “ I recall having to write or type everything [on a typewriter] and going to the library, making all those photocopies. Now, I save so much time by just doing a database search,” Anderson said.
   When Parker was asked if she recalled the last time she used a typewriter, she quickly responded with her own question, “Do they still make those?”

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