Do you do a job that is internet based? Would you be able to do your work without the internet? It is amazing how many people today rely on the internet for their employment and how many more self employed people there are because of it. I was thinking about how much I rely on the internet for my day to day life and wondered what I would be doing if it wasn’t there?
When I was growing up the world wide web hadn’t even been invented so I spent my youth using pen and paper. I was taught to type on a manual typewriter. I had to count the line spacing when typing a document and used tippex when I made a mistake. This sounds like the dark ages now when I think about it. We moved onto using word processing at college which was very exciting but had to take turns and book our slots on the machines.
I worked in the hotel industry for 20 years and in my first job we used lots of faxes and had a telex machine in the corner that beeped away so we could take bookings and message people around the world. Technology was starting to improve and we had a computerised booking system but we still had to manually input all the bookings ourselves.
Where it all started
Fast forward to 1991 and the World Wide Web was born. This obviously did not have a major impact at the time but around about 1998 it was starting to evolve and become used by more and more people in their business lives. Home computer users started to get connected with dial up. As a nation we were starting to embrace the online world. I remember the first modems whirring and beeping as they tried to connect. Little did I know that in a few years we would all have broadband. At work the hotel bookings started to arrive on the computer for us to download and process. Emails were still a bit of a novelty and we used to fight over who would respond. It was a few more years before we started to get emails in any quantity and now they are bane of everyones’ lives.
The birth of Facebook in 2004 coincided with the birth of my eldest daughter. We had a reasonable internet connection at home by this time and I had my maternity leave to potter around online. I dabbled a bit with Ebay and started to sell some bits and pieces online. After the birth of my second daughter I decided not to go back to work full time and instead branched out on my own. Starting an online business back then was no where near as simple as it is now and lots of people doubted I would succeed.
I started my own online shop here at more4mums selling Maternity wear in 2007 which makes it over 10 years old. Back then there was a lot less competition and my site did really well. There was also a lot less information available on how to improve and develop your site and I needed to learn some coding skills to get on. I spent many a frustrated hour spent waiting for a page to load and the broadband to work. I tried to find a picture of my old site and was sad to see I have never kept a screen shot of it.
Over the years I have updated the site on a number of occasions and it now runs on the wordpress platform. It is super easy to use and means my blog and store are all in one place. I still sell on Ebay and also do quite a lot of business on Amazon as the global sites are becoming even more powerful. The speed of the internet has improved as well with super fast fibre broadband from www.talktalk.co.uk/business/. It is so much easier to do all the tasks I need without waiting.
Smartphones have come a long way in the last 5 years with most people now owning one. Over 50% of my traffic comes from mobiles which I would have never imagined 10 years ago. I wonder what the next big thing will be? Will virtual reality let you try on the outfits at home before you purchase? Or will we be telling Alexa “buy me a new dress”? I had better get developing my ideas for the future.
Without the Internet I would not be running my own successful business and I often wonder what I would be doing?
Would you still be doing your job without the internet? I would love to know.