The world wide web, or the internet, is a piece of technology that has revolutionized the entire world. The way that we think, conduct business, communicate, and entertain ourselves have all changed thanks to the internet. The web can be accessed just about anywhere and on all sorts of different mediums, which makes it difficult to imagine our world without the internet, but would it be better? It’s hard to truly break down the effects of the internet on society, but the best way to start is by examining all of the benefits and drawbacks that we know of.
The Pros of the Internet
1. Unlimited Access To Information
Anything you could ever imagined can be found and learned about in detail on the internet. There are millions upon millions of websites that are dedicated to all different types of topics. This wealth of information helps people to better understand things that they may have never thought or cared about before.
2. Bridging The Culture Gap
Communication has been another incredible by product of the internet. People can connect to people all over the world with just a few clicks of the mouse. This has resulted in a much better acceptance and understanding of different cultures around the world.
3. Jobs, Business, And Marketing
Ever since the commercialization of the internet, the business world has never been the same. The ability to reach wide spanning markets, collect valuable research on potential customers, and conduct business in other parts of the country or world, has created a virtual business boom that no one could have for seen. Along with the business sides of things, people now also have the ability to search and apply for jobs completely through the internet, which has opened up the world job market to many people with valuable skills to offer.
4. Endless Entertainment
Right along the economical and financial aspects of the internet, entertainment has also been forever changed. Any movie, music, game, books, or software that you could possibly think of is available right on the world wide web. It has completely shifted the way that we entertain ourselves.
5. New Connections
Dating and other social sites are a booming section of the internet, that has altered the process of finding a partner for life. Whether it be friends or a spouse, people are making new connections with people that they may have never met otherwise. It broadens the view of access to meet and mingle with new people.
The Cons of the Internet
1. A Breeding Ground For Illegal Activity
One of the unintended consequences of the internet has been the immense amount of illegal and dangerous activity that it has harbored and perpetuated. The ease of information has given insight for burglaries, terrorist attacks, kidnappings, and many other types of crimes. It also sparked a crime of a different sort, but on a monumental level. This crime is piracy, which is downloading or distributing materials such as movies or music, without the consent of the person who owns it. It is possibly the most committed crime in today’s society, because people simply do not view it as a true problem. However, artists, software developers, and producing companies would strongly disagree. Before the internet, if you wanted to hear the latest album or see the newest movie, you had to go and pay for that privilege, now they can simply be downloaded for free.
2. The World Is Becoming Dependent
All of our information is not stored with the use of the internet. This means our medical records, criminal records, educational records, and finance records are all completely dependent on the security of the sites that they reside on. Computer viruses are very common and are becoming more and more aggressive. They are transferred through the communication access of the internet and if one was designed well enough, it could shut down the economy.
3. Compromises Personal Information
Everything that you search or put onto the internet is completely traceable to the person it belongs to. While this is used for crime prevention, it also much more commonly used as a means of gaining market data. If you search something about shoes, you will suddenly begin to see ads for shoe sellers on every website you visit, and even begin to get ads from shoe stores in the mail. Much secure information is also put voluntarily into the cyber world, like bank information and social security numbers. Hackers can easily access this information and commit fraud and identity theft.
4. Children Are Vulnerable and Exposed
There is no way to truly verify age on the internet, this is a big concern because there is a wealth of content that should not be accessed by children. Pornographic material is the most prominent, and children can very easily stumble upon these types of websites and be exposed to things that they should not be. Along with finding inappropriate materials online, children are also at a great risk because of how easy it is to communicate with people. Children every day are persuaded by online “friends” to meet them or do things for them that put them at great risk.
Important Facts About The Internet
- The country of China has dedicated treatment facilities for people that are addicted to the internet.
- There is high speed internet access the entire way up Mount Everest.
- The very first website on the internet went live on August 6, 1991.
- Over 30% of all websites on the internet are pornography.
- On average, a person spends 12 percent of their entire life on the internet.
Keith Miller has over 25 years experience as a CEO and serial entrepreneur. As an entreprenuer, he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. As a writer, Keith's work has been mentioned in CIO Magazine, Workable, BizTech, and The Charlotte Observer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our content editing team a message here.