ART85 Paper#2-Michele Schablin

Printing Press or Internet?

Which has had a bigger impact on society, the printing press or the internet? Both of these inventions changed society so its hard to choose. The printing press educated people and turned the subject of education away from only religious topics so now you could learn about math and science as well. This allowed for society as a whole to continue to grow. The internet took this idea of spreading information and educating, and blew it up to proportions that seemed impossible in a short amount of time. The Internet was able to build off of what the printing press had started and make a lasting impact that would change everything.

Before the printing press, there was block printing where characters or pictures were carved into wooden blocks, which were then inked and transferred onto paper. Unfortunately this was a very time consuming and costly form of production because the blocks weren’t reusable. This form of production only allowed the rich to benefit and be educated. This caused a demand for a more cost efficient method for reproducing the written word.

A German goldsmith, Johannes Gutenberg came up with the answer in 1450 with the invention of the printing press. He developed this printing system by “both adapting existing technologies and making inventions of his own. His newly devised hand mold made possible the rapid creation of movable metal type in large quantities. The printing press displaced earlier methods of printing and led to the first assembly line-style mass production of books.” (Wikipedia) It made a lasting impact on society by allowing for the spread of ideas and for the exact same version of a book to be printed an endless amount of times. Anyone could get their hands on a book now and learn to read. The printing press, by educating people, was the first to change the society we live in today. But everything can always be improved and many years later a new way of communicating was born, the Internet.

The internet was invented by DARPA in the 1960’s and quickly became a constant in our everyday lives. It is hard to believe that something that is only a few decades old has changed the way we function as a society. The main impact that the internet has had is the widespread streaming of information globally. It is also the main source for sharing information, whether it is a conversation over Facebook only meant for a small audience, or a blog that is written for the whole world to see. It has allowed information to travel faster then a physical book was ever capable of. The internet has changed the way we bank, socialize, shop, work, and educate. It has become the main center of leisure life with the numerous websites and games available. There isn’t any aspect of daily life that the internet hasn’t had an impact on, and its possibilities seem endless.

The printing press was the first to change society, but it wasn’t as big an impact in comparison to the internet. The internet is able to reach anyone at any time from various devices in a matter of seconds. It continues to grow and seems to have limitless possibilities at its young age. The printing press was the greatest invention of its time no doubt, but was limited in the fact that it only reached a small amount of the world unlike the internet which is able to reach everyone. The internet’s limitless possibilities and access to information are what allows it to have such a large impact on society.

Works Cited

“History.”       Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. <;.

“Internet – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. <;.

“The Impact of the Internet – Yahoo Voices –” Yahoo Voices – N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2013. <;.

“The Printing Press.” The History Guide — Main. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. <;.

“Printing press – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Oct. 2013. <;.


One comment

  1. Michele,
    Good writing for what is here but limited in thought. You have good sources but have very limited use of them. There is a much bigger issue here that could have been discussed however the writing is very usable and the argument pretty much defined.

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