Living the virtual life: why working online is the best job ever

Due to modern developments in social media and the way we communicate with one another online, most of us live a portion of both our personal and professional lives online. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have allowed us to create our own personal online presence, presenting ourselves in the light which we feel most comfortable with and connecting with those who we may never have connected with upon meeting them in a ‘real-life’ social setting.

Those who were brought up without the Internet or see the Internet as a poisonous entity can often be heard criticizing the way in which is has taken over our lives and how it remains a prominent and constantly developing segment of culture in the digital age we are living in. Yet, how do we reassure the skeptics that having ‘the world at your fingertips’ is a positive rather than a negative? It has never been easier to find out about news on a global scale, and upon hearing about certain events such as the fight against MS or cancer, the Internet has brought the world together as a union and created phenomenal online campaigns to raise awareness of these issues.

Regardless of those amongst us who insist that the Internet is unnecessary, it cannot be denied that our lives are all somehow affected by the development of technology and media. Upon thinking about the way in which we live our lives through a mediated spotlight, whether that’s to an audience of our 300 Facebook friends, or stood next to Brad Pitt on the red carpet at The Oscars, we encounter those who are ‘living the virtual life,’ living and breathing technology.

Technological advancements appear to have worked as a pandemic over the past ten years; dynamically evolving and creating jobs that may never have existed without the creation of the Internet. Those who work online are the pinnacles of the modern-day job ladder, working closely with the ever changing and almost enchanted movements that happen online, whilst they are happening. These movements can often be confusing to those who are oblivious to what is going on across the World Wide Web, yet those who work online embrace the advancements and use them to their advantage in both personal and professional settings.

The understanding of how the world works online is becoming more and more important and as we move rapidly deeper into the digital age, an online presence is almost necessary in order to be accepted into any sort of virtual community. It has been proven very recently that the Internet can separate those who possess and online presence with those who don’t.

Just last week we experienced ‘dressgate’ which saw Twitter explode with responses to the debate over whether a dress was black and blue, or white and gold. The buzz around the topic had worked its way into the ‘real-life’ community over night, and one of two responses were heard upon mention of the dress. Those who had an online presence reacted quickly and excitedly, offering their opinion on the matter, whilst those without an online presence were taken aback, usually with a look of utter confusion on their faces.

This is an example of how society is splitting into two different communities, whom soon enough may have less and less to discuss, due to the Internets leading presence around the world. Now this isn’t to say that traditional values and activities shouldn’t be appreciated, but achieving a balance between basic knowledge and acceptance of the influence which the Internet so clearly has over our lives, and having a break from perfecting your online presence to appreciate the simpler things in life could be something which everyone would benefit from – not just those who work online.

Sooner rather than later, it would be extremely easy to assume that the current hierarchy of education is due to change, with academic subjects such as Maths, History and English being undoubtedly over take by subjects which offer more of an insight into the digital world such as Business Studies, Communications and Marketing. The latter are sometimes looked upon as subjects which offer skills less transferable that those which offer a classical and historical insight, yet what could be more transferable that something which you use every single day, in both personal and professional situations.

No matter how we live our lives, both online and offline, it can’t be disputed that technological advancements are established in our lives, whichever way that may be. The decision we have to make, whether that be personal or professional, is whether to embrace or ignore the amazing opportunities which we now have due to the development of the phenomenon which is the Internet.

Author: Steph Caldecott 

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