The Impact Of The Internet On Society: A Global Perspective
“The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people, it is a complete substitute for life. “– Andrew Brown
The Internet has turned our existence upside down. It has revolutionized communications to such an extent that it is now our preferred medium for everyday communication. The Internet is one medium that allows any person to access the world.
Earlier the Internet was designed as a static network to shuttle short messages between two terminals; it was a repository of information. However, Nowadays, immense quantities of data are uploaded and downloaded over this electronic leviathan. The content is very much our own; for now, we are all commentators, publishers, and creators.
Today, the Internet has such a significant impact on everybody that one becomes handicapped if he/she is unable to access it even for a day. The Internet is no less than a drug, which has made everyone addicted to it. A drug has the potential to both help and harm. The same is the case with the Internet through addiction is never beneficial for anyone.
The Internet does not isolate people, nor does it reduce their sociability; it increases sociability. We live in a network society, and since networks are global and have no boundaries, the network society is the global network society. Therefore, sociability is now reconstructed as networked individualism and community through a hunt for like-minded individuals in a process that combines online interaction with offline interaction, cyberspace, and social space.
The Good Side Of Internet
The Internet has a positive effect on happiness and personal well-being as it empowers people by increasing their feeling of security, own freedom, and influence. Also, as women are at the centre of the network for their families, the Internet helps them to organize their lives and even overcome their isolation (particularly in patriarchal societies).
The Internet has contributed to the rise of a culture of autonomy i.e., self-directing freedom and especially moral independence. There is a direct relationship between the Internet and the growth of social autonomy. The Internet is bringing culture closer to many people, making it more easily and quickly accessible; it is also nurturing the rise of new forms of expression for art and the spread of knowledge.
Social Network Sites
The socio-technical revolution has given rise to social network sites where now all human activities are present, from personal interaction to business, to work, to culture, to communication, to social movements, and politics. Social Networking Sites have become a chosen platform for all kinds of activities, not just personal friendships and chatting, but marketing, e-commerce, education, cultural creativity, media and entertainment, health applications, etc.
This gives rise to a self-constructed society by networking connecting to other networks. People build systems to be with others and to be with others they want to be with based on criteria that include those people who they already know i.e., a selected sub-segment. Therefore, there is a dramatic increase in sociability facilitated and dynamized by permanent connectivity and social networking on the web.
The ongoing transformation of communication technology in the digital age extends the reach of communication media to all domains of social life in a network that is at the same time global and local, generic and customized, in an ever-changing pattern. Education has received a considerable boost as uncountable books and journals are available online from libraries across the world, making research more accessible. New systems, called Virtual Schools, allows students who are unable to attend class in person or aren’t offered the program in their area to take accredited courses online.
The Bad Side Of Internet
But addiction to social networks can disrupt an individual’s life both personally and professionally. Some black hats use the Internet to hack into people’s accounts for spurious activities, thus invading their privacy. Though ease of the use of the Internet has allowed young students to locate the information with ease, the easy availability of illegal and inappropriate materials online that isn’t age suitable is harmful. And, the Internet is becoming a platform to share copyrighted or illicit material, music, videos, and other documents.
Computer viruses, phishing, Trojans, etc. are increasing rapidly, creating several crimes which you can shove away using this wifi login page. Financial Crimes are also growing at a steady pace, which requires attention amongst all Internet users. Also, false information can be found on the Internet, which can lead to a lot of confusion.
Recent trends show that publicizing the personal life and information on social network websites is increasing and the tendency of considering the virtual online world as real life is expanding very rapidly.
Without the Internet, we would not have seen the large-scale development of networking as the fundamental mechanism of social structuring and social change in every domain of social life. As a social construction, a technological system is an open-ended form of social organization that conveys the best and the worst in humankind. The Internet is like a double-edged sword that can be used for both positive and negative purposes. Therefore, we must learn to avoid the negatives, and it will become the best mentor.