Technology touches every aspect of our lives, from the way we communicate to the way we think and learn. The invention of the internet in the late ’60s has been instrumental in engineering the 24/7 information age. Due to the advances, learning has become more interactive, collaborative, and convenient. In the same breath, the introduction of innovative apps on the phones has increased access to information and awareness of issues such as health and finances. In the area of communication, the internet has given rise to email, social networking, and video conferencing. On the downside, the platform has received a lot of bad press lately due to privacy scandals, security breaches, cyber-bullying, cyber theft, child pornography, internet addiction, and the proliferation of fake news. Here’s an in-depth look at the positive and negative effects of the internet on our daily lives:
The internet is a global networking platform and the guiding light of today’s technology. Over 7 billion wireless device users use internet technology to perform various tasks. Due to its massive growth, gadgets like laptops, tablets, and smartphones have become commonplace. The US mobile internet patterns show people spend more time on their devices sending instant messaging, visiting social media sites, web browsing, and listening to music. Using instant messaging services and video calls, one can easily connect with family, friends, and acquaintances living thousands of miles away.
The emergence of the internet as a communication tool has had a multifarious effect. Most people use the platform for socializing, accessing information, and for career and commerce. Popular information includes political stories, health tips, and government services. Also, people across the world use social media Apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp to communicate with family and friends. The Apps are very engaging and easy to use. It takes only a few minutes to write and share a meaningful text. On top of these benefits, both small and large businesses can publish their information. With expanded internet access, you can easily find a pizza place, an automated car wash when on a road trip, a NOMOS authorized dealer near you when planning to buy a watch, and evidently everything else.
The internet has made education more fun and convenient. Students can now access tons of study materials and video tutorials without breaking a sweat. With platforms like Google, you can ask any question and receive instant feedback. People interested in pursuing various careers and e-commerce are also turning to the internet to apply for jobs, attend online classes, and make payments remotely.
Social life problems
Studies show the internet has had a net positive impact on education but has been negative when it comes to morality and politics. Also, people who spend excessive amounts of time on social media platforms tend to be lonely and socially isolated. Excessive internet engagement can also impact self-esteem. A report published in 2017 indicates up to 60% of social media users reported suffering from negative self-esteem issues, while 80% said it was easier to be deceived by others using the information they share online.
The popularity of the internet has also attracted the attention of bad elements in society. Crimes that take place over and around the internet are described as cybercrimes. These crimes are often manifested through identity theft, phishing, fraud, and hacking. With these revelations, the dark web has become a popular platform to trade stolen data and materials. Other vices perpetrated over the internet include cyber-bullying, cyber-stalking, internet predation, child pornography, and spreading hate. Individual and corporate users also stand a risk of being attacked by computer viruses and ransomware. All these factors can lead to loss of money, valuable information, and damage to hardware infrastructure.
The child’s normal growth and development can be impacted negatively by excessive internet use. And, this is mostly attributed to easy access to illegal or age-inappropriate materials. Studies show excessive internet use among children can negatively impact their attention span, critical reasoning, and language acquisition skills. Children addicted to mobile-supported games like video games may also be pushed to lead sedentary lifestyles and forgo healthy exercises and other outdoor activities. If left unchecked, extended screen time can also cause several health problems, including stress, chronic insomnia and feelings of anxiety in adults.
The emergence of the internet has made it possible for people to access tons of digitized information at their convenience. This has enhanced communication, improved business transactions, and expanded access to information. In the education space, students can work interactively and unrestricted without worrying about time and the usual physical constraints. Another critical development is the emergence of cultural globalization, which is quickly taking root as the conventional meaning of space, time, and distance becomes ever distorted. At the other end of the spectrum, the internet has made it easier for children to access unsuitable materials. Other cons include internet addiction and the proliferation of cyber-crimes.