Jul 2, 2020
How the Internet Has Changed The Way We Explain Ideas
There’s no way around it, the internet has revolutionized the way we live our day-to-day lives. Whether its how we communicate, share memories, research, or order a takeaway.
Equally, it has changed the way the world communicates with us. Global industry has had to adapt to a new way of explaining ideas and, perhaps it has been playing catch up ever since.
Read on to learn about how the internet has changed the ways the world explains ideas and how we consume the information.
Video guides convey ideas more clearly
What do you do when you want to learn something new? Google it of course. The internet makes everything quick and simple. And that includes education - the ultimate reason you’d listen to any idea.
But most useful of all is its ability to articulate ideas visually. Even as a bookworm you have to admit the process is more efficient online. Video guides are fantastic learning experiences, which explain ideas memorably and concisely. That’s why online learning communities like Skillshare boast millions of active users. With Skillshare, everything is explained with videos, from creative writing to eye-popping web design.
Video guides are even more likely to persuade online shoppers to commit to a purchase. With research suggesting that 80% of millennials consider watching videos before they make a purchase. This is understandable considering with e-commerce, users are basically buying blind. Therefore online businesses can bypass the sentiment of physically holding a product in brick and mortar stores, simply by communicating the same effect with video.
Social media backlash is a major concern
However, it isn’t all sunshine and roses for online businesses. In the big bad world of social media, anyone and everyone possess the ability to build an online audience. And while developing a following online is a key goal for individuals and businesses alike, you open yourself up to criticism and public backlash if you get something wrong.
The immediacy of social media changes how we’d usually explain ideas. For example, Twitter’s quick and punchy 280 character limit structure, lends itself to kneejerk reactions and hastily constructed ideas. As a result, it’s easy to come across as tone death or simply out of touch with the sentiments of the time.
There have been numerous examples of social media goofs. And corporate businesses, in particular, have deservedly received backlash online. With social media, you don’t get the luxury of drawn-out explanations of what we meant, often one sentence is all we get. Which goes some way to explaining the truly awful online campaigns we have seen over the years.
A business must understand its audience to avoid unmitigated disasters like IHop’s body image tweets, or GAP coopting the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. And where the internet takes away it can also give back. A key way the internet has changed the way we explain ideas is that it provides us with a lot of information about people - to businesses, data is king.
Businesses can echo society’s ideas by using basic empathy and a little digital technology to understand what they want. By developing an email marketing plan, businesses can obtain a direct connection with the audience. For example, collecting emails is a fantastic way to build up buyer personas, which in turn feeds into how certain businesses explain ideas and persuade customers online.
There’s a lot more contradictory information online
The internet is the world’s library, where infinite sources of information are just a click away. Whether it be for purchases, education, or to simply be heard. Our newfound digital world has given rise to new and exciting ways to convey and consume ideas. But not everything we see online is reliable. And the key is to decipher the credible from the untrustworthy.
Yet online everyone is an expert, distributing swathes of conflicting ill-researched information, which, in turn, cast clouds of doubt over the truth. The internet often becomes a land where opinion is more common than fact. Consequently, it’s making it impossible to find definitive truth in any idea.
The sheer scale of information means that ideas aren’t always scrutinized with sufficient attention. And while traditional journalism heads online, it competes with numerous blogs and social media platforms. And amidst all the noise, journalists fight a losing battle to debunk fake news and create good content of their own. (add a sentence about fighting misinformation)
Not only has the internet changed the way we explain ideas, but it also brings into question whether or not we trust what’s conveyed. While the web gives everyone a platform to express ideas; It also dilutes the checks and balances required to distribute reliable authoritative information. Therefore it’s up to users to decide the truth, based on everything they read.
Recommended reading: What happens if the Internet completely switches off?
The internet is an ever-evolving entity and its biggest and brightest moments are sure to be ahead of us. Maybe someone in the future will develop technology that allows us to communicate telepathically, and communication will change all over again. But for now, the version we have is going strong and its the most effective tool for explaining ideas we have.