Does the Internet Today Brings Good or Harm?
- Pages: 5
- Word count: 1224
- Category: Internet
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The Internet is a network connecting computers across the world. “It has its origins in military and academic projects dating back to the 1960s, but began to be more widely available from the end of the 1980s. The creation of the World Wide Web (1989) and web browsers (early 1990s) gave ordinary people easy ways of getting around the Internet.” Over the past fifteen years, millions of different websites have been set up, giving people the chance to shop, create businesses, play, learn and communicate online. Over the same period it has become much easier, cheaper and faster to get online in order to do these things (This House Believes the Internet Brings More Harm than Good). However, the question is: Does the internet today bring good or harm? It has been discussed and debated that the internet still brings good throughout the world. “The Internet has brought greater prosperity, allowing not only established business more distribution channels over a wider geographical area but it has also allowed individuals through e-bay, for example, and small independent businesses to flourish.”
This has brought a lot more choice to ordinary people, and also driven down prices as people find it easier to compare different companies’ products. The main advantage to small businesses is that they can cheaply set up online and find a global market for their goods and services. By making it easier to work anywhere with an Internet connection, the internet has also abled many more people to work from home and to share projects with co-workers across the whole world which has been abled for greater economic efficiencies ( Britons Spend Nearly ‘One Day a Month Online’). In addition, the Internet has also provided a cheap and wide-reaching platform for independent creative people to share and distribute their work throughout the world. This is accomplished via self-promotion similar to small business, in the form of digital portfolios and self-hosted blogs as well as sharing content more generally, take for example the vast array of independent movies gets regularly posted to video-hosting websites such as Vimeo. The Internet has given anyone creative equal footing by which to compete as everyone has the potential to reach the same global audience.
Taking classes online is a popular way for working professionals to have the chance to earn a degree at their own pace. “People who take online classes usually are looking for career advancement, career changes, or just want to finish a degree program they started at another college. There are hundreds of online programs and online schools to choose from, making it easier than ever before for prospective students to find the right one”. Earning a degree from an online college can possibly lead to a promotion and/or salary increase, or prepare you for a new career. Even though classroom learning may be considered more traditional, online education is beneficial in its own right (10 Advantages to Taking Online Classes.). Students will be able to plan their study time around the rest of their day instead of the other way around. Having to work and attend classes at the same time can be very stressful. Online classes remove the stress by allowing students to learn when it is convenient for them. People often complain that their opinions are ultimately pointless as nothing will change. This trend can be demonstrated with the numbers of people going out to vote consistently falling, however with the rise of the Internet this trend could reverse.
“What the Internet has enabled is for everyone, in one way or another, to have the chance to truly have their voice heard. It has given them the ability to fully engage in topics that matter to them on a personal level. As this website and this very debate show, people can debate, share opinions, and start petitions in ways that were never truly available before” (Is the Internet Driving the Revolutions of the Arab Spring?). Not only is democracy being revived, it is also being demanded in countries that do not have democracy due to Internet access. This can be seen in what has been described as the Arab Spring, whereby the Internet was used as a tool to organize pro-democracy protest in a number of Middle-Eastern countries including Tunisia, Egypt and Syria, to name a but a few. With the ability for anybody to easily and quickly share rich information online, via a whole host of tools, the Internet serves bring people together. “Firstly take for example social networks. Friends can remain connected to each other when miles apart.
People can maintain and even create friendships without the barrier of geography. Additionally, social networks have a capacity to distribute news in a timely and targeted manner, directed at the people whom it mostly concerns, that is far greater than that of traditional media cannot compete. Secondly there are many instances of hyper-local news communities springing up online in which people can truly engage in their community, and help improve it.” This model can and is extended to bigger areas, helping to engage society for its greater good (This House Believes the Internet Brings More Harm than Good). Most of the news that everyone hears nowadays, are seen from the statuses of others in any social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr. Also, these networking sites can remain friends connected and can be educational. Although some people argue that internet is a threat to privacy; however, an educated citizen can navigate the Internet in a safe and sensible manner with minimal privacy issues, although as with being offline, the threat of crime can never be entirely eliminated.
When we go online no-one forces the user to share private information, it is volunteered by the user in exchange for a free service, and it is often a small price to pay for the services that can be received in return, such as free e-mail or free web space. Of course privacy can be infringed in other ways, by unlawful access to personal files for example, but if protection such as firewalls are setup and users are careful about what they download privacy online can be easily maintained. It is misleading to say we are sleeping walking into a big brother existence, it gives in impression that the effect the Internet is having on society is conspiratorial, this is clearly not the case, people like the way the Internet can bring people all over the world together.
Privacy is no more of a problem online than privacy is in the offline world, the issue is being overstated by the proposition. In conclusion, Internet brings more good than harm to everyone. It maintains connection with other people; internet can be used as a campaigning tool, helping everyone to speak up in politics; and online education can help people get a degree easily with their own time. Although there are people opposing to propositions about the internet, undoubtedly, it is solved and can be solvable. Throughout the research about the internet, it is a person’s choice to use the internet in a harmful way or in a safe and helpful way.
“This House Believes the Internet Brings More Harm than Good.” Idebate.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2012. <http://idebate.org/debatabase/debates/science-technology/house-believes-internet-brings-more-harm-good>. “10 Advantages to Taking Online Classes.”