The fourth is, of course the last and the most important, the way it has changed our culture: the ways we think, learn, express and share as a society. Changes in culture are also a composite effect of the changes in the first three categories.
Before the times of the internet, humanity as a whole witnessed the emergence of first the printed medium like books, magazines and newspapers and then of the audio and video---radio and television respectively. Each of these had a profound impact on the modern way of life, but then came the internet. To properly understand the true impact of the internet, one has to realize the ways it is different from the old media.
The internet was different from these media because it made communication two-sided and interactive, at the click of a mouse. It meant that the audience could react fast, anonymously, and did not have to depend on a phone line and the mercy of a selector to express its reactions. The internet also eliminated boundaries; communication across the world became cheap. It gave the possibility for someone in Thailand to interact with another person in Sweden, and establish relationships based on common interests. The internet empowered through information, and gave equal and prompt access to a wealth of information to everyone across the world. Not only that, it made self-publishing through blogs, video-blogs and podcasts cheap and simple, making it impossible to curb the freedom of expression.
While examining the first category, namely social organization, the first factor is the individual's power to move or create opinion, or propagate a way of life, which has increased exponentially. Anonymity has meant an obvious decrease in discrimination: race, color and age are secondary to the ability to prove a point in a given context. Internet can thus be a great leveler of social hierarchy.
The ability to search for and connect with people with the same interests or points of view means the creation of strong virtual communities, which could be geographically diverse. This is radically different from earlier social communities that could be formed only by people in close physical vicinity. Online love, friendship, cybersex and searching for partners online introduce a change in social dynamics, where relationships can be formed outside real-world social occasions, thus weakening the previous role of social organization in personal relationships.
Just as with social organization, the way politics is conducted has undergone a sea-change with the advent of the internet. Blogs, podcasts and articles on the internet influence public opinion more effectively than other media, because of their interactivity and the ability to support and empower individual opinion. The internet is increasingly becoming a part of modern campaigns also because of its affordability and ability to infiltrate to a younger base of the population.
The changes brought about by the internet in the economy have been a hot topic of discussion for the past decade. It has been the biggest enabler in the creation of trans-national corporations, making cheap knowledge capital and skills accessible anywhere in the world. Internet has also spawned individual entrepreneurship, and ensured job-security. It has reduced costs across the board. An individual can now be self-employed, thanks to the millions of creative ideas that use anything from websites