Although the internet is a very useful tool that can make peopleâ€™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 need 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
4. Criminal elements use information to advance their malicious intents
Unsuspecting internet users can fall victim to criminal elements who 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.
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.
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