The impact of the Internet on our life is obvious and cannot be sidelined. It is used in almost each and every domain of business. How difficult our life would have been if there was no Internet. Think about it. To find some information, we all have acquired the habit of 'Googling' it on the web; within a few seconds the screen displays the desired information. You want to book tickets for a movie night with friends, and you can book them at the click of a button. Many of us cannot imagine life without the social networking sites. The Internet has indeed made the world a small place and living life easier. And the rapid progress of technology has made it possible to access the Internet from anywhere through plenty of means. It has such a plethora of uses that we use it for one purpose or the other daily.
For a layman, it is nothing but a collection of websites. And there are innumerable websites that serve a variety of purposes. There are news websites, social networking websites, websites that provide information and websites of various businesses and organizations. These websites are updated frequently to provide information to the user. You can find everything of anything on the web just by browsing through a few websites. You can also use emails, blogs, IM chat, social networking websites and communication software for sharing your information with the world. It has made access to information cheaper and easier and this is its most common use.
Business & Advertising:
Almost all the businesses these days have websites, through which they promote and advertise themselves. This medium these days has been used extensively for promotional campaigns. Not only promoting your business but you can also effectively advertise your event or any cause on this medium. There are many businesses that depend on the Internet for their survival like stocks and call centers, to name a few. It has promoted faster access to necessary information which strengthens the business processes.
It also is a popular medium used by students. Many students use it for educational purposes, like for finding study material or for applying to some college or university. It is now a virtual world and all the applications are done online through the website of the concerned educational body. Students use websites for these and many other purposes like checking exam results, exam schedule, application procedure to any course, etc. Students also take the help of the Internet for project help and for obtaining the required images. Everything is a click away from us.
Communication & Networking:
The use of the Internet for networking is very popular among all age groups. There are many good social networking websites that are used by people for communication. These websites provide an effective and easy platform that facilitates interaction. It is widely used as a means of communication through means like networking websites, chat websites, blogs, etc. Through these websites you can also share your photographs with your near and dear ones. It is widely used by job seekers for job applications and job searching. Facilities like video conferencing has made it possible to conduct interviews online.
Another popular use of the Internet is for entertainment. Facilities like listening to online music, downloading music and movies provides a platform for entertainment. There are plenty of other ways through which you can entertain yourselves. You can play online games, view sports matches, or watch videos of your choice. It is a trusted means of entertainment for these kinds of purposes and is extensively used for the same.
Other Popular Uses:
It is popularly used for banking. Almost all the banking transactions are possible through this medium. Apart from these common uses, it can also be used for shopping. Online shopping is very popular among masses and on the Internet you can buy anything and get it delivered at home. There are also many people who use it to work from home.
These were some of the chief common uses. It is a boon for us and has made our life easy by facilitating so many uses. But it is also prone to attacks of many kinds that threaten safety. To protect the Internet from these attacks we should all use it carefully and also protect ourselves from various privacy intrusions. Its use as a tool for communication will always remain its most powerful use. The array of uses of the Internet is vast and with the progress of technology new uses will get added to the list of uses continuously.
Internet has been perhaps the most outstanding innovation in the field of communication in the history of mankind. As with every single innovation, internet has its own advantages and disadvantages. Nonetheless, the greater magnitude of its advantages outweighs its disadvantages.
During our evolutionary journey from Homo erectus to Neanderthal and then to Homo sapiens, we have come a long way. Because of our continuous quest for more amenities and better standard of living, we have been able to invent and discover many new things. The nineties witnessed a major revolution with the invention of the first electronic digital computers. Till then, the term Internet was practically unknown to most people. However, today, the Internet has become the most powerful tool for people around the world. With the advent of Internet, our earth has virtually reduced in size and has attained the form of a global village.
The Internet can be explained as a network of computers, designed to receive and send data in the form of e-mails, blogs, webcasts, etc. To put it simply, it can be likened to a super-massive server, armed with a plethora of information which is used by billions of people simultaneously. The Internet is basically a network that connects other, smaller networks. All modern technologies are connected by the Internet, thereby leaving no stone unturned. This digital world can be a playground for some and a battlefield for others.
The Internet has become an indispensable business tool, which has helped bring the world closer. Receiving news from across the world, accessing knowledge resources, and shopping online are simply a click away. The Internet has tremendous potential and a lot to offer in terms of services. However, like every other innovation in science and technology, the Internet comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, which have been discussed in this Buzzle article.
Advantages of the Internet
The Internet has been mankind's greatest means of communication yet. Newer innovations are only making it faster and more reliable. Today, we can initiate real-time communication with someone who is in another part of the world.
For more personal and interactive communication, it is possible to avail the facilities of video conferencing, chat and messenger services. With the help of these services, the geographically fragmented countries have come together to form a community that is able to share its thoughts on global issues, that affect each and every one of us. The Internet has given us a common platform and medium through which we are able to explore other cultures and ideologies.
Abundant Information Resources
The Internet is a treasure trove of information; which offers knowledge on any given topic under the sun. Search engines make information accessible on various subject matters such as, government law and services, trade fairs and conferences, market information, new innovations and technical support, and even dispense advice on love and relationships matters.
It has become common practice to seek assistance from the web in order to research and gather resources for homework, office presentations, and supplement ones own research. The web also updates news about the latest breakthroughs in the field of medicine, technology, and other domains of science. Numerous websites such as America's Doctor, have made it possible to seek online advice from specialist doctors without having to actually fix an appointment.
The Internet has become an essential propagator of knowledge, both through free as well as paid services. The credibility of this form of education and whether it is safe, secure, and trustworthy, is usually proven through the quality and authenticity of content presented by each website. The World Wide Web has become a remarkable avenue for the academically unprivileged, to amass greater knowledge and know-how on subjects.
The entire scope of homeschooling has expanded because of increased accessibility to videos of teachers giving lectures, showing diagrams and explaining concepts, much like a real classroom. Nonprofit organizations too have opened websites that seek volunteers and donations in order to help the ones in need. There are also sites like Wikipedia, Coursera, Babbel, Archive, and Teachertube, among others, that have dedicated themselves to the art of imparting knowledge to people of all age groups.
Entertainment for Everyone
Entertainment is one of the foremost reasons why people prefer surfing the Web. In fact, the Internet has gained much success by marketing for several multifaceted entertainment industries. Finding the latest updates about celebrities and exploring lifestyle websites have become day-to-day activities of many Internet consumers. On the other hand, even celebrities are using the Internet effectively for promoting their cause and for keeping their fans happy.
There are innumerable games that can be download, either for a price or for free. Indeed, online gaming has tasted dramatic and phenomenal success because of its ever-increasing demand throughout the world.
Social Networking and Staying Connected
One cannot imagine a social life without Facebook or Twitter. These portals have become our means to stay connected with friends and family, and stay in touch with the latest happenings in the world. Social networking has also evolved as a great medium to connect with like-minded individuals and become a part of interesting groups and communities.
Apart from finding long-lost friends, the Internet also makes it easier to search and apply for jobs and business opportunities on forums and communities. There are public chat rooms where users can meet new people. For those who are single, the Internet also provides the option to select a suitable dating partner through secure online profiles, that can be filtered as per personal preferences.
Online Services and E-commerce
Thanks to numerous monetary services, we can perform all our financial transactions online. We can book tickets for a movie, transfer funds, pay utility bills and taxes without having to leave our homes or offices. Travel websites for instance, offer quick booking schemes and plan itineraries as per the preferences of their clients.
E-commerce is used for all type of business dealing that involves the transfer of money through the Internet. Online transaction of money has become the norm with almost all kinds of business. E-commerce, with its vast reach over a variety of products and services, makes it possible to have the client's orders delivered at their doorsteps. Websites such as eBay allow customers to bid, buy, sell, and even auction products online.
Disadvantages of the Internet
Theft of Personal Information
The use of Internet for banking, social networking, or other services, often makes our personal information vulnerable to theft. There are no fail-proof ways to securing names, account numbers, addresses, photos, and credit card numbers from being stolen or misused by thieving websites and individuals.
Unscrupulous hackers can access our sensitive information through unsecured connections by planting phishing software. Needless to say, the damage caused by having our identities misused and our accounts broken into, is often irreparable and most of all, embarrassing.
Spamming refers to sending unwanted e-mails, which serve no purpose and needlessly obstruct the computer system. Such illegal activities can be very frustrating as it makes it slower to access our email accounts and makes the entire service unreliable for consumers.
Spammers usually use bots that bombard the receiver with an endless line of advertisements. This can prove to be increasingly perplexing, as it keeps getting mixed with our more important emails. Fortunately, email service providers often have security systems in place to guard against spamming. Fortunately, it is possible to report an email as spam, so that all emails from the same email id or IP address, are blocked.
One of the most annoying problems with the Internet is the ease with which any malware can infect our computers. Internet users are often plagued by virus attacks that harm their computers and important files. Virus programs are inconspicuous and may get activated simply by clicking a seemingly harmless link. Computers connected to the Internet are extremely prone to IP targeted virus attacks that may end up crashing the system completely.
Internet virus can be of three types. The first type of virus affects files and goes directly for a particular file or file type. The second type harms system and executable boot files. These can be particularly nasty, as they can effectively stop the computer from starting again. Lastly, there's the macro virus, which is the most common as well as the most harmless of them all. The macro virus simply keep changing things like symbols on word files. The type of virus that can replicate and spread itself is known as worms. When a virus is disguised as something else, it's known as a trojan.
Pornography and age-inappropriate content is perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Internet. The worst being underage porn, which is largely rampant in the deeper parts of the web. It is the lack of control over the distribution and unrestricted access of pornographic material, that is detrimental to children. All that parents can do, is lock harmful sites and monitor the sites viewed by their children.
Pornography is not just frowned upon by most societies, it's also banned by some. The Internet makes uploading shocking content so easy, that we end up coming across inappropriate words and images, despite not wanting to.
Social Isolation, Obesity, and Depression
The biggest problem with having the Internet is, its ability to create rifts between the real and virtual world. The virtual world can often seem so alluring that once hooked, going back to real life seems daunting.
There is an addiction for everything that pertains to the web and that includes excessive surfing, online gambling, social networking, and gaming addiction. There are now psychiatric clinics and doctors that specifically cater to resolving the problems created by the Internet. These addictions create both physical as well as mental issues that can lead to health complications if left unattended. It is ironic that, while it is easy to find plenty of online support for agoraphobia, the Internet itself can be a big cause or trigger for it.
The link between obesity and the Internet is rather easy to understand. The more one sits in front of the computer, the lesser one exercises. At the end of the longish list of physical and emotional maladies, is depression. Since all problems are so deeply linked with one another and with the Internet, it isn't uncommon for people to be afflicted with multiple issues. Recent studies and research have gone deep enough to actually differentiate between compulsive Internet use and excessive Internet use. Furthermore, thanks to smartphones, holding a simple face-to-face conversation seems out of the ordinary as compared to chatting online.