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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The “Bidirectional” Internet

            Chapter five of The Shallows tells all about the gadgets and gizmos of the internet which make it as popular as it is today.  Although Carr explains that all of the things that the internet can do can also be done on other devices, he mentions one thing which separates the internet from everything else.  The internet is “bidirectional.”  When Carr says this he is simply stating that with the internet communication is back and forth instead of one-way.  With other types of media or other gadgets there is two-way communication available sometimes, but to do this it usually means that you have to go through the whole process of mailing into the company, waiting to hear back, and this this whole process can take weeks.  With the internet you can make a comment or suggestion about something and get a response or even see results immediately.  As a consumer when given the choice the answer becomes clear which one will be chosen.
            The desire to have back and forth communication is only natural for people.  For years people would either be reading books or using new devices and to talk with people about their interests or receive help from experts they would have to travel great distances, wait long times, and quite simply just have to deal with a hassle which people nowadays find to be quick and easy.  This is the real reason why the internet is so successful.  The internet has become accessible to almost anyone and as a result we are able to communicate with anyone, anywhere, and any time that we want to.
            This idea of bidirectional communication is not a new one that the internet is presenting.  For years newspaper have encouraged their readers to write to different editorials and express their opinions on certain matters, but as a reader there was no guarantee that your question would even be addressed let alone answered so this method was very limited.  The wide scope of the internet allows your question to be seen and answered by millions, so the only problem that you ever really have is receiving too many answers.
            Another way that this idea has been utilized is for businesses who are trying to sell their inventory online.  People no longer have to travel long distances to find the different items that they want and need they simply need to log onto their computer and they have the largest shopping center that they could ever access in their own home.  Consumers are able to make purchases electronically over the internet and businesses receive their order and are able to ship these items out to their customers.  If they desired, a person could actually stay in their home their entire life and they could receive everything that they want and need by using the internet.
            Bidirectional communication is probably one of the most important ideas that have come to fruition over the past thirty years, and with the continued development of communication people’s lives could experience unbelievable changes for years to come.
By: Martin Gray

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