The Importance of the Internet in Everyday Life
Technological advancements have brought changes that shaped and continue to define modern living. From machines introduced during the Industrial Revolution to computer programs that keep the cyber landscape in flux, technologies of all forms and sizes have contributed towards human, social and economic development, and paved the way for many more innovations that characterize modern living. One such innovation is the Internet – a communication tool which has been tapped and harnessed beyond the imagination of its creators, and without which there are is no e-mail, e-commerce, e-banking, e-learning, etc. The Internet has become important to individuals, communities and governments alike because of its impact on education, governance, and trade.
Benefits of using the Internet and visiting websites
A lot of information is created, gathered, stored, retrieved, and shared through the Internet. Research and educational institutions, as well as governments and business take advantage of this feature to access and share information, advance their respective agenda and promote their causes. Students likewise make the most of education-related websites to help them finish certain academic tasks.
The connectivity via Internet has also made possible sharing of media files such as photos, music and books, and allowed for social networking to shift from face-to-face to online interactions. Joining a community, albeit a virtual one, and hopping from one group to another, have never been so easy, as is gaining new “friends” via platforms like chatrooms and social/professional networking sites.
The virtual space available is so vast that it can cater to everyone and every activity imaginable: selling, shopping, gaming, completing a computer-based training, disseminating research results, maintaining a journal, sharing photos, updating a playlist, swapping books, profiling celebrities, mobilizing people, advertising a product, launching campaigns, and promoting advocacies. There are websites devoted to each of these activities.
The Internet has truly shrunk the world into one village connected and reachable via cable wires, and navigable using a computer.
Disadvantages of the Internet, and the opportunity they present
But the Internet is not all good; it has a dark side, too.
Many people now realize some disadvantages of using the Internet. One of these is too much dependence by many on the Internet such that traditional (pre-Internet) interactions have already been set aside: people now read the news on their websites and not paper; families and friends now rarely bond through picnics or games, but engage in online gaming instead; conversations are sometimes limited to online chats; and search engines have made going to the library for research seem like a difficult task.
Also, with cyberspace being a free-for-all landscape, it is difficult (if not impossible) to police everyone. Scheming individuals have launched scams that rob people of their money, viruses that destroy computer files, and mechanisms that lure the young and innocent into illegal activities. These cybercrimes are violations of people’s security and right to privacy; these represent a real threat despite the space being a virtual one.
These issues, however, present an opportunity for government and global leaders to craft and implement policies that will guarantee people’s safety against unscrupulous Internet users. These are calls for lasting partnerships and meaningful laws for the people.