Critically examine the negative as well as positive impacts of the Internet.
The internet is the guiding technology of the IT Age just as the electrical engine was of the Industrial Age. The internet is a global network of inter-linked networks that mainly provide wireless interactive communication. Though the internet was first deployed in 1969, it was only in the 1990s that it became available to the public.
From there onwards, its use has diffused rapidly throughout the world with there being around 7 billion users of wireless devices currently that employ internet technology. With about 7.7 billion people in this world and with limited use among those under 5 years of age, it’s almost safe to say that the entire humanity is now connected to the internet! There are however variations in the bandwidths available, the efficiency and cost of its use.
It’s been postulated that about 95% of all information available has been digitized and made accessible via the internet. The internet has also led to a complete transformation in communication, availability of knowledge as well as social interaction. However, as with all major technological changes, there are positive and negative effects of the internet on the society too.
The positive impacts of the internet include the following:
- It provides effective communication using emailing and instant messaging services to any part of the world.
- It improves business interactions and transactions, saving on vital time.
- Banking and shopping online have made life less complicated.
- You can access the latest news from any part of the world without depending on the TV or newspaper.
- Education has received a huge boost as uncountable books and journals are available online from libraries across the world. This has made research easier. Students can now opt for online courses using the internet.
- Application for jobs has also become easier as most vacancies are advertised online with online applications becoming the norm.
- Professionals can now exchange information and materials online, thus enhancing research.
The negative impacts of the internet on society include:
- Easy availability of illegal or inappropriate materials online that isn’t age-suitable.
- Addiction to social networks can disrupt an individual’s life, both personally and professionally.
- Some miscreants use the internet to hack into people’s accounts for spurious activities including stealing data or banking information.
- Yet others have been known to misuse the internet for spreading hate and terrorism, two dangerously catastrophic scenarios.
However, those indulging in misusing the internet are few and far in-between. On a global scale, the internet has been the best thing to have happened to human society in recent years!