22 May 2011
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Sides of the Internet
The amount of people that have used the internet has grown 572% from 2000 to 2010. What would the world be without internet? It is only been 20 years since its creation but yet it has affected society immensely. Internet has had both a positive and a negative influence on society. Due to the significance of both influences, internet cannot be seen entirely as good or bad, people can only have strong opinions on the matter. In this paper, I will be discussing both the positive and negative aspects that internet has in society. Before explaining all of the benefits to society the internet has had, let us start with showing that there is a good argument that the internet has had a negative impact on society.
Skeptics will argue that the internet is not beneficial to society because it limits face-to-face interactions, society most important type of interaction. The limiting factors include, but are not limited to, email based sites, like Yahoo.com, Gmail.com, and Hotmail.com, and social networking sites, like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. They limit face-to-face interactions because is it more convenient then meeting up with everyone that a person would like to talk with. According to the National School Boards Association (NSBA), who published a report on research and guidelines on online social, educational, and networking, the average teen will spend more than 9 hours a week on just a social internet site (Creating & Connecting). It is not terribly surprising that skeptics will say that spending close to two hours a day in a desk chair, on a computer, searching the web, downloading music, chatting with friends or playing internet games is a complete waste of time. They believe it should be used for studying, playing sports, being outdoors, the list goes on and on. Sadly, skeptics are complete right when they say these things are not productive, in fact, the way which most people use the internet is not productive. The NSBA’s report shows statistical figures that support the skeptic’s thoughts. Teens reported that they are on social sites, like Facebook, about 41% of the time that they are on the internet and downloading or listening to music 30% of the time they are on the internet (Creating & Connecting). Clearly not the best use of time and it only leaves 29% for the rest of the endless list of the possible things to do on the internet. They could be using the time they are on internet for more productive means. Nevertheless, it seems too hard for people to use it for something productive, or beneficial to society, like reading the daily news. However, some of the available internet sites to read and learn from leads to the next negative aspect of the internet, unreliable and falsified information
The internet has very few regulations and almost no one policing it. With the addition of anyone having the ability and access to make a website, it presents a problem. The problem, it allows them to publish whatever they would like, not matter if it is true or not. This causes unreliability, especially for students researching information and it can be very difficult to find out if the source is credible or not. For instance, according Lucy Rector, a professor at Harford Community College who published a comparison of Wikipedia and other encyclopedias for accuracy, breadth, and depth in historical articles, Wikipedia is only 80% accurate (Rector, Comparison of Wikipedia). This means that one out of every five times a person visits Wikipedia they could being reading something that is not credible, this presents an outstanding credibility problem. This has had an effect on society, as now people must always determine whether or not the information they are presented with is credible.
The creation of the internet has opened a new market in society for scammers....