Advantages and Disadvantages of the Internet

Can you imagine a life without the internet? Hasn't it revolutionized and eased up our life in many ways? Read on to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the internet.
| Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Modern life and business has become easier and the world markets have shrunk thanks to the immense contribution of the internet technology to communication and information sharing. However this internet technology was not created overnight. In its initial stages of creation it facilitated communication within certain specific network stations through a central mainframe method. Eventually internet operations wherein multiple networks could be connected together was made possible. From here on internet service providers that were privately owned allowed for expansion and use of this technology and it has had a tremendous impact all over the world. The Internet not only allows for ease in communication through email but also ensures easy availability of information, images, and products among other things. Every day the internet continues to provide a new facility, something new that is immensely convenient and that makes life easier for many people. However this internet like any other technology is also like a Pandora’s Box and contains some unwanted elements or disadvantages. Following are the advantages and disadvantages of the internet.

Advantages of the Internet

  • The internet has opened up new avenues for communication. Email facility has allowed people to communicate with minimum wastage of time. It is now possible to send a message to any part of the world through a simple email address and the message is delivered in a matter of seconds. This has allowed businesses to expand and communicate with their vendors and customers located all over the world in record time. Personal communication has also become easier thanks to email. Chat rooms, video conferencing are some of the latest additions in this technology and these have allowed people to chat in real time irrespective of the location of the parties involved. The intranet allows for people within an organization to easily communicate and share information. The greatest advantage of this phenomenal creation is that it is easy to understand and simple to use.
  • Information has been made available easily because of this wonderful technology. Search engines, websites dedicated to different subjects and large amount of articles and papers are available for perusal in a matter of few seconds. Forums on a number of sites allow people to discuss and share their thoughts and information with others located at different places all over the world. Whether this information is about the latest news happenings in the world or information about your favorite celebrity, everything is available at your fingertips. A huge cache of data is available on the internet on every single subject. With this storehouse of information people can not only increase their knowledge bank but can do so without wasting their time through traditional means such as visiting libraries and conducting exhaustive research. This is particularly relevant for students who can use this wealth of information for their school projects and also to learn new things about the subjects they are interested in. In fact this internet is a boon for many schools and universities that are now able to assign projects and work to the students and follow their progress which can be easily posted on the school/ university internal websites. Online education has grown at a very fast pace since internet allows the development and use of innovative tools for imparting education.
  • The internet has also revolutionized the entertainment industry. You no longer need to go to a cinema hall to watch your favorite movie. You now have companies offering their services wherein you can just download or order your favorite movie and watch it with a fast internet connection. Likewise you can download your favorite music or other important software in a matter of few minutes. There are a number of shareware programs that allow you to share and download your favorite music and videos.The internet also allows people from different cultures and backgrounds to connect with each other. Internet gaming is a huge business and allows enthusiastic gamers to compete against each other in games even when they are located far apart. Likewise dating has also allowed people to find their prospective soul mates.
  • Shopping has also got a complete makeover thanks to the contribution of the internet. You have many websites selling a variety of products of products online and one just needs to select or bid for the desired product and entire financial transactions can be conducted through the internet. E commerce has got a facelift because of the internet and entire global business deals can be conducted over the internet. Transfer of money is also no longer a time consuming job and with just a click of a button you can easily transfer funds to anyplace you wish. Some of these services of course come at a price.
  • A variety of other services are also available through the internet including booking of tickets whether they are for traveling, hotel reservations or for your favorite movies. Medical support and guidance is also available through the internet and there are many websites catering to this and a horde of other services.

Disadvantages of the Internet

  • While the internet has made life easier for people in many ways it is also reflecting an uglier side to its existence through a number of problems that it has thrown up for its users. With a large amount of information freely available on the internet theft and misuse of this information is a likely possibility. Time and again you see cases of people using someone else’s information and research and passing it off as their own.
  • Another problem or disadvantage of the internet is that it has allowed a great deal of anonymity to a large number of people who may access the different websites, forums and chat rooms available. This has allowed perverted individuals to at times take advantage of innocent people and abuse their trust.
  • Since business dealings and financial transactions have become easier because of the internet another problem that has arisen is that people can now misuse your private information including financial details such as the credit card number. There have been cases of financial frauds and other problems that people have experienced following misuse of such sensitive information. Some unscrupulous individuals have been successful in creating viruses and links that once clicked can automatically transmit your personal email addresses and other details to certain parties and even your bank account details in some extreme cases. The case where funds are withdrawn or where sensitive data are obtained is called phishing.
  • One of the biggest problems that the internet has created is that of spamming. Spamming refers to the activity wherein unwanted emails and other links are sent in bulk to people. These emails may pertain to advertising or random bulk emails and these may contain viruses that may corrupt the system and even if they don’t cause any harm these can be plain annoying.
  • The internet has also given birth to viruses that can wreck havoc in the system and cause a lot of damage. Many websites are notorious for sending adware, viruses and also other malicious software that can slow the computer and in some cases even harm it considerably.
  • The internet is particularly attractive for a child since it has so much to offer in terms of entertainment. However pornography is a serious threat in today’s world and this can cause a lot of problems in terms of emotional and mental well being of the child. There are practically millions of pornographic sites and without supervision a child can easily fall into the trap of accessing such sites. Even though a number of informative sites are available there is also a darker side to the internet with the availability of a large number of other problematic sites that can cause serious effects on a child during these impressionable ages.
  • Even though the internet has in many ways brought the world closer together it has in many other ways caused a lot of damage to relationships and growth of individuals. This is because the internet can have a huge addictive pull and people are at times known to surf the internet for up to 15 or 16 hours a day. Chat rooms and forums or other ways of interactivity cannot really replace real life socializing and if that takes place internet can be quite detrimental.
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