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  • James Skinner

An Internet of Opportunities

Taking The First Step

They say that the first (and most important) step in the 12-step program is admitting that you have a problem. So I’m going to take the first step and say this, “I am addicted to the Internet.” I believe that I have used the Internet in some capacity at least a hundred times today – and it’s only noon. How bad is my habit? Let’s see here… I started off my day by rolling around my bed browsing Facebook for at least thirty minutes before going to the bathroom and spending more time checking news updates on Twitter. I remember taking a snap of my dog doing something extremely normal before getting into my car and streaming Apple Music all of the way to my job where I use the Internet to research best marketing practices in order to connect more people to the Internet. I’ve gone full circle. Not only am I an addict – I’m an enabler too.

Living Life with the Internet

My thesis is actually really simple: Millennials hold a seemingly inseparable relationship with the Internet. There is nothing wrong with that. For many of us, particularly those born in the Western world, the Internet has become a function of our lives. We connect this way. In fact, many of the daily functions of your life revolve around the Internet. For my millennial peers, the Internet can be seen as our childhood friend. Of course, our friend has grown more mature over the years. It used to hog our phone line and scream and yell when booting up. It’s now our high-speed mobile companion. The Internet either directly or indirectly caused the collapse, transformation, and birth of several industries. The Internet keeps evolving and creating new opportunities for innovative ideas – ideas that we should be capitalizing. I’m not asking my fellow National Millennial Community (NMC) members to drop their current aspirations to look for these opportunities. Rather, I’m asking all of you to always look for ways to better connect people and things.

Looking for an Opportunity

Smart people utilize the Internet to disrupt markets with groundbreaking business models. Millennials like us seem particularly good at doing this. Using the Internet, we can leverage goods and services like never before. Facebook transformed into a media company, but it doesn’t produce content. Airbnb doesn’t own hospitality property, Uber doesn’t own any cars, and both companies still fulfill their respective missions. These companies are all successful at taking ownership of the Internet and its potential. What exactly is the potential? It’s connecting people and things in new ways. Taking it further, the Internet at its best empowers individuals to find and create opportunities. My latest opportunity involves being an Internet of Things (IoT) consultant. Lately, I’ve been convincing people to cut the cord and stream their favorite programs. I do believe that cable TV providers operate under antiquated business models. More and more people each day discover new ways to enjoy their TV programing (Over-the-top TV), or rediscover one particularly fantastic TV resource (Over-the-air TV). It’s difficult to imagine business sustainability without the ongoing adoption of better technology.

It’s certainly true that many of us feel like the Internet has made our lives a little more hectic. You may want to take a few days every now and again to step away from the connectedness of the Internet. I guarantee, though, that you will come to appreciate the Internet as much as I do. With a little reflection, you’ll see how it has impacted our generation and how it can continue to benefit everyone in the future.

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