Although the internet is a very useful tool that can make people's lives in modern society much more convenient, it also has negative effects. For people who want to be productive, the internet offers various opportunities to pursue this goal. But there are also malicious individuals who want to exploit the internet for their selfish motives. The article below lists the positive as well as the negative effects of the internet.
The development of information technology particularly the internet has brought with it both positive and negative effects to society. These effects are enumerated below:
5 Positive Effects of the Internet
1. It is easier to do research
Before electronic means of gathering information, students or researchers needed to pay a visit to libraries to access materials relevant to their research topics. Nowadays, it will take just a subscription to a journal online or just browsing online to search for literature required to develop one’s conceptual framework. Preparing the review of literature is easier and faster. Thus, more research gets published and knowledge generation is greatly facilitated.
As time moves on, there is more and more information that is put onto the internet, and this information is added to daily. People can now review medical studies, medical articles, business articles, scientific articles, hobbies, videos, and find the answer to about any topic. In addition, we can all watch TV shows, movies, music videos, podcasts from all sources, watch sporting events, keep up with sport scores, and even talk with your doctor or boss right on the internet.
For those looking for a new job, the internet is great to research companies and job offers, plus applying for a new job.
2. Communication with family, friends and relatives is faster
Gone are the homesick days because a son or daughter can now easily contact their parents online. Services such as that of Skype and Gmail enable a loved one to communicate with another in almost any part of the globe where internet services are available.
It is now common for kids at college to communicate with their parents every day. Keep up with relatives after they move to another state and talk to them easily with Skype. Moving away from the home town can be stressful, but being able to keep up with relatives all over the country and world, makes it as if you never left. Send pictures, emails and face to face communication makes moving away from home much easier to keep in contact.
3. There is a great possibility to earn while working from home
It is now possible to earn online through writing, filling up forms, or even just clicking away on advertisements in the internet. Information is a valuable thing that people are willing to pay. Through advertisements posted online, manufacturers and sellers are able to increase the possibility of having their products purchased.
Since the economic crash of 2008, more and more Americans have started their own home business. With the internet this has all become a great opportunity, with websites like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon. In addition to this, many companies now allow employees to work from home, which is great because a person can work from home without having the hassle of commuting.
4. Faster business transactions and cheaper products
Sellers and buyers can now transact through online paying facilities like Paypal or credit cards. Buyers can surf online and select the products they want to buy. There is no need to have a physical store to maintain as the products can be shipped directly from the factory.
Brick and mortar stores all have their own website now so customers can order products easily and either pick them up at their local store without shipping charges in many cases, or if they do not have a local store, have the products mailed right to their home. And more and more businesses have abandoned the brick and mortar concept and just have internet stores, making it easy for all customers to purchase products, and in many cases, all around the world.
Banking online, managing your investments and paying your bills online is now the normal. Getting instant notifications of bills due or transactions at your bank is a great way to keep your mind at ease, no more waiting for the regular mail. PayPal has made it very easy to get paid for your home business and to buy products online.
5. Savings on travel cost
Through the use of the internet, it is possible for executives or business managers to do teleconferencing. They do not need to meet physically just to discuss matters. This could save a lot on travel cost.
No more expensive airline costs to travel to meeting after meeting. With the ease of sitting in the conference room, using the internet, it is as easy as being there across the country or world. This convenience stays a lot of time and travel costs.
5. Negative Effects of the Internet
1. Children, young adults and even adults get addicted to games online
Online games can be addictive to children, young adults and even adults. This can rob away precious time which otherwise should have been used for something more productive (see Opportunity Cost).
The internet has been recently accused of part of the cause of childhood obesity. So many children have decided to spend all of their time in front of the computer playing games instead of playing outside.
2. Pornography is rampant
Anybody can easily upload pornographic material for commercial purposes or just for fun. The young minds of children will be corrupted through their exposure to things which are reserved for adults. Many well-known personalities are also victimized by opportunistic and malicious people who want to discredit others using their personal encounters.
This is probably one of the biggest negative of the internet. There are people out there that try and lure underage children, plus people that put illegal pictures on the internet. Many marriages have problems because of pornography addictions, meeting other people, and hooking up with old girlfriends or boyfriends.
3. Loss of the human touch
People absorbed in their activities online tend to forget that there are real people in their surroundings who need their attention or have socialization needs. Social networking gives more importance to virtual friends than real ones.
People that are so involved in the internet, they have forgotten how to interact with their family, friends and coworkers, not to mention meeting strangers. Everyone seems to walk around staring at the cell phones not even noticing those around them.
4. Criminal elements use information to advance their malicious intents
Unsuspecting internet users can fall victim to criminal elements that meddle with their emails or do something nasty with their credit card information. Phishing or fooling other people into believing that criminal-owned websites are legitimate led to millions of money lost to misleading business transactions.
This has become one of the largest problems because of the internet. Every day, we all read about another bank, company or credit reporting agency being hacked where criminals get all of our information. This leads to fraud and the stealing of our social security numbers and bank and credit card numbers.
5. Abandonment of family
In one instance, a couple in Korea was preoccupied with their virtual baby forgetting to feed their real baby who died of hunger. People become insensitive as they are absorbed by the hidden hand of the internet into its lair.
As mentioned above in the pornography section, a spouse can become so involved in gaming or other online activities, that they are completely withdrawn from the spouse and family. This problem or addiction can affect both men and women.
Considering that the effects of the internet to people can be both positive and negative, there is a need to manage this technology for man’s overall benefit. Of foremost concern is the need to make sure that internet security is well in place to prevent the negative effects of the internet to innocent people.
© 22 July 2012 Patrick A. Regoniel Effects of the Internet