How Connected is too Connected

We are living in an age of connectivity. No matter where we go or what we do, being connected is only the press of a button away. If someone needs to transfer information to us, they only have to choose by which device to do so. We can be called, chatted, emailed, texted and even Skyped. This change in communication has proven beneficial in many respects, though in lots of ways excessive communication can be negative. What does it mean to live in a world of almost constant connectivity? Read on for a number of of the pros and cons of always being available.

The Pros

  • Being connected means increased safety. There was a day when breaking down on a dark highway was a life or death situation. Now, thanks to high range cell phones, help is only a phone call away. Doctor appointments can be made online, routes to emergency rooms can be Googled and there’s an app for figuring out minor ailments.
  • Connectivity makes staying in touch easier. A current example of this benefit is international communication.  With the help of an Internet connection and a web cam, soldiers deployed overseas can communicate with their families, face–to-face.
  • Technology has made offices portable. Everyone knows at times the travel to work can be challenging. Thanks to telecommuting, working from home while sick or on personal leave is as simple as opening up your laptop.

The Cons

  • Turning your phone off is difficult. Being constantly connected migh result in a decrease of personal space. With communication barriers being redefined, finding alone time is now more problematic than ever. Remember, it’s important to disconnect and relax.
  • Technology has made it more difficult to leave work at the office. It’s increasingly hard to walk away from a long day of work, knowing that simply opening up your computer can effortlessly access any project you left unfinished. While connectivity continues to be a great productivity tool, it also enables people to become workaholics.
  • While connectivity can be hard to break, it can also encourage us to disconnect from those close around us. While technology has helped to make communication possible at a remote distance, it’s also made personal connections easy to ignore.

The age of connectivity has transformed the way we communicate. The key to keeping ourselves in check is remembering to interact with these new experiences with moderation. We all have to strike the balance between inadequate and too much connectivity.

For more information on connectivity, as well as an interesting look at unplugging yourself from technology, take a look at this article

Spam, the net, and the future

Spammers made a large amount of money during the early days of the Internet. However, if some tech-savvy delinquent thought to earn some extra money via spam on today’s Internet, they might want to consider a new line of work. The truth is, since the all time high of spamming hits in 1997, spam filters have become just too good. Simple mathematics make spamming an un-profitable business, thanks to the increasing amount of hardware and time needed to spam effectively. In fact, spam is currently at its all time lowest levels since 2008. The question is, why has spamming decreased, and how will spamming accommodate new Internet changes?


    There were a few high profile arrests in 2010 that made a obvious dent in the spamming industry. However, more than increased monitoring, spammers have noticed a decline in earnings. For a time, with each increase in spam filters, spammers would also increase the number of sites attacked. Though with increased efforts, the amount of money that can be made through spamming is at record low levels. It’s just not worth it for most professional spammers.

    Though spamming is now a money-losing business, spammers are known for adapting to new security updates. How can we expect spamming to change along with the changes being made to the Internet?

Smart Spam

    Spammers are getting crafty. Instead of overloading an inbox with traditional spam messages, personal email accounts are being hacked, allowing spam messages to be sent from more reputable accounts. The same can be said for social media mediums like Facebook and Twitter. Fairly recently, actor Simon Pegg had his twitter account hacked. Spammers then sent a link to spyware to over 1 million of his followers. Spammers have combined their skills with hacking in order to overcome a more secure Internet.

    To protect yourself, remember to always be wary of odd-looking links, even if they are sent from friends. Being diligent of suspicious activity will help keep you safe in a future of more subversive spamming. For more information, take a look at this article.

Pop Quiz: Define the Internet

Um… It’s where I Google stuff? It’s how I update my Facebook page? It’s where I buy music and books? It’s that thing Al Gore invented?

We live in the ethereal world of the Internet. More than 75 percent of U.S. adults are online, according the Pew Internet and American Life Project. For the average American household, Internet use (12 hours per week) is starting to rival television viewing (13 hours per week), according to Forrester.

But I’d wager that few among us really understand the basic principles behind the Internet. That’s not because we Americans are stupid. Rather, it’s because we’re really good at adapting to new technologies and incorporating them into our lives without understanding how they work. We just understand that they do work, which is good enough.

(This is rational behavior. Ask any economist, they’ll agree.)

But if you’re looking to gain a basic, cocktail-party-ready understanding of the Internet, we suggest starting with this handy guide from Business Insider (BI), which is bluntly titled “What the heck is the Internet?”

Here’s what you need to know about the Internet:

  • The Internet is an interconnected network. It’s a network of networks. The mother network, you might say.
  • BI: “In its simplest form, the Internet is a bunch of computers spread throughout the world that are connected to each other and swap information.” There are two basic computer types that make up the Internet: (1) servers, which store and serve information, and (2) clients (e.g. desktops, laptops, iPads, smartphones), which access the information stored on servers.
  • The World Wide Web, or web, is just one of several ‘layers’ of the Internet. Other layers include POP and IMAP, which govern the transmission of email across the Internet. The web layer, officially known as HTTP, was invented in the late 1980s by American Tim Berners-Lee. BI: “The web is all the pages that can be accessed using Web browsers [e.g. Explorer, Firefox].” Often used interchangeably, the Internet and the web aren’t the same thing. The web is a small slice of the larger Internet pie.