The Internet has come a long way from only being accessible on computers. While people are accessing the Net on all kinds of devices nowadays, is that necessarily a good thing?
Image via Flickr by LGEPR
Being the closest thing in appearance to the computer, your TV can now let you see the Internet at an extreme level of detail and hear it to a level of sound quality that rivals a movie theater. One might even question if this is a bit of overkill considering how much detail a computer or even a phone already offers, but people love having the ability to check their email during commercial breaks. The payment structure also makes sense because people are used to paying for cable anyway.
There was a time when phones just made and received calls. If you can remember this time, you can consider yourself old without much irony. To an entire generation of young people, phones have always been used to text, to watch movies and TV and for just about every other type of online activity you can think of. Since phones almost always feature some type of monthly plan, paying for the Internet as an extra just makes sense.
The unusual thing about the smart phones more and more people are using to get online is that these phones have dramatically altered the way a lot of websites are designed. While large blocks of text and equally large images used to be a big deal, nowadays extreme brevity and a de-emphasis on images are major characteristics of mobile sites, which are themselves a significant subgenre of websites in general.
Tablet PCs are a strange hybrid that almost nobody actually needs. For most people they are little more than an attractive toy, but they are becoming more pervasive by the day. With the advent and widespread usage of tablet PCs, the way some websites are put together has changed yet again. With widely varying aspect ratios, tablets tend to twist the notion of how a site is supposed to be designed into a very different place than even a phone takes it.
Another issue about tablets is whether it is worthwhile to hit up DSL.com and set up access to the Internet or not. This is a completely individual measure that only you can answer. Do you really go online all that often, or do you primarily have your phone, laptop, desktop or other device nearby while you read books on your tablet?
The computer will always be used to access the Internet, but its role is being downright marginalized lately. With so many options available nowadays, the computer is becoming a less used “one trick pony” of the online world, and more users are neglecting to even buy a computer because there seems to be no need for one.
The Internet is available on almost everything but your kitchen toaster. While the jury will forever be out on how many devices is too many, most people love having options available to them.