How Is Technology Changing The Way We Interact Online?

As we spend more and more time in online worlds, technology is changing the way we communicate. Here are some of the most impactful developments of the last few years.

The internet has become a huge part of our lives since the invention of the World Wide Web in 1990, connecting people around the world. It has become a major part of how we work, play and communicate, and technology is evolving along with it to change the way we interact with each other.

Worldwide, we spend an average of over six and a half hours online each day. Some countries are more absorbed in the internet than others, with Japanese users averaging just three hours 51 minutes per day online while South Africa’s average is almost nine and a half hours.

With so much time spent online, it’s no wonder new technologies are springing up every day to supplement this major part of our lives. While some – like Mark Zuckerberg’s PR Metaverse – seem to have been short-lived before fizzling out, others have had impressive staying power.

Of course, not every technology involves a massive change, and often small developments can end up having big impacts. Here are some of the main ways technology is changing the way we interact online.

Online Gaming

From hi-tech shooters to the simpler pleasures of online bingo, gaming is one of the main causes to go online for many around the world. The games themselves are wonders of technology; however, as they become more impressive and capable of greater feats, developers have to be more creative to keep up with the community.

For example, the game Call of Duty: Warzone allows as many as 150 people to all play at once over an online connection. However, with that many players there is a higher chance of being in the same game as someone using a program to cheat, and if a cheater ends up winning then it can be disappointing for a large number of people at once.

Developers therefore are in a constant arms race with cheating players, as if something is not done then the fanbase will sour on the game and play something else. The technology being developed keeps the games fair and fun for as many people as possible, for example by recognising cheaters’ computers to prevent them setting up new accounts if one gets banned.

Social Media

If asked to name the main way we interact with each other online, most people would say social media. We spend an average of two and a half hours on social media every day, with Facebook alone having almost 3 billion monthly active users.

Many of the social networks are simple technologically, but there have still been major developments recently. The clearest example of this is TikTok, where users can edit their videos with the tap of a button in ways that would have taken hours of work only a few years ago.

TikTok uses alternate reality and even AI to provide users with filters that can be put over their videos, changing the image in ways that can be extremely striking or subtle enough not to be noticed. Videos can be changed into different styles of art using AI, or simply brightened up.

This is not without its own challenges, as TikTok’s Bold Glamour filter has come under fire for creating unrealistic beauty expectations. However, many of the filters enhance user experience through incredible technology and change the way people communicate on the social network.


Perhaps the most important change to how we interact online is with whom we’re actually talking. While up until recently all our conversations were with other humans, new technology has allowed us to talk to artificial intelligences as well, with many customer service options being powered by AI.

AI chatbots are all the rage, and many are simple tools that allow you to chat to fictionalised versions of people from history or media. However, they can also be used to create articles, essays and more, raising the serious issue of plagiarism.

The way these tools work is by analysing millions of words of other people’s work; for example, someone could feed the complete works of Jane Austen into an AI and have it create a story in the same style. While many people consent to having their works used to train these machines, others don’t.

However, there are plenty of ethical uses for chatbots. For example, businesses have been using simplified versions of the tech for years to answer customer service queries, providing customers with quick answers to their questions without having to spend any time on the phone.

For decades now, the way we communicate with each other has been moulded by technology, and this trend shows little sign of stopping. It’s exciting to think about what new innovations will appear in the years to come.