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As much as the internet is an essential tool that aims at making the way people live in a modern society much easier, it also has its downside. The internet offers various opportunities for people who want to be productive to pursue this goal. On the other hand, there are ill-motivated individuals whose objectives are to use the internet for their selfish needs. This article examines the benefits as well as the drawbacks associated with the internet use. The effects are listed as follows:
Positive Effects of the Internet
Doing Research Has Been Made Easier
It has eradicated old times where students and researchers were required to visit libraries to access materials in relating to their research topics before electronic means of gathering information was in place. In the internet era, persons subscribe to an online journal or browse over the internet to search for the literature review needed in developing one’s conceptual framework. At the end of the day, we get publications of more research as well as enhancement of knowledge. Studies show that, “The social network sites (SNSs) are increasingly attracting the attention of… researchers intrigued by their affordances and reach,” (Guru et al. 166).
It Is a Faster Mode of Communication
The Internet is used globally thus easing communication for everyone and more so those who have relatives abroad. Through the use of Facebook, Whatsapp, and Skype among other social media tools, it is easier to make live video calls thereby removing the homesick nag that used to be there in dark days. It is easier to send media files like videos and pictures directly over the internet through the use of social media and emails. Thus, “…online sharing of information also promotes the increase in the communication skills among the people…” (Baruah 1)
Earning While Working from Home Has Been Enabled
The Internet has made life easier to an extent it is easier to work comfortably from home without having to go to the office. Online jobs like proofreading, articles writing and even academic writing among others can be handled while one is at home. Bloggers can manage and complete their work from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection. Through social media, “business persons can reach customer can be reached easily and cheaply as well with just a click of the button,” (Oyza and Agwu 1). They can also host advertisements on their websites hence earning extra income (Mazalin 44).
Business Transactions Have Been Made Faster and Cheaper
The Internet has enabled sellers and buyers to conduct their businesses through online paying facilities like PayPal, Skrill or credit cards. It has also facilitated online shopping where buyers can surf through online marketing platforms and shop without going through the hassle of commuting to shopping centers. With online marketing, physical store is not needed as the items may be moved from one manufacturer or the supplier and delivered directly to the buyer. Buyers just order their goods and get them delivered to their doorstep for a small fee. Banking too has gone online. Individuals do not need to withstand lengthy queues at the bank to make a deposit or withdrawal since they can make payments or get paid through the bank account using Skrill or even PayPal. Thus, “Internet is a tool that propagates products and promotes their sale,” (Drahošová 1005).
Savings on Travel Cost
Meetings can be convened online by use of teleconference by business partners or in large companies by managers (Baruah 9). There is no need for them to meet in person just to discuss matters hence saving time and cost of travel. There is no longer use of expensive airline to travel to meeting after meeting. Trisha Baruah also argues that, “it is cheaper to use online social networking site for business because most of it is usually free,” (Baruah 9). Through using the internet, having to sit in the conference room has been made easy as being present physically at the venue across the country or world (Kavitha and Bhuvanezwari 80).
Negative Effects of the Internet
Children, Young Adults, and Even Adults Get Addicted To Games Online
Through the use internet, people have become addicted to online games more especially children and young adults or even adults themselves hence robbing them of their time which they would have engaged in doing more productive work. According to Guru et al., “…users face health risk… because they become addicted in a virtual world,” (170). Recent studies have indicated that being addicted to the internet can lead to obesity since internet addicted people do not find time to engage in body exercises hence accumulation of fats in their bodies resulting in them becoming obese.
Pornography is Rampant
The Internet has enabled people to upload even pornographic materials to the website which has made young people and children become addicted to the internet and have eroded their morality (Mazalin 44). They get exposed to sexual matters at a tender age influencing them to engage in the same hence unwanted pregnancies and even contracting of sexually related diseases. Addiction to pornographic sites has resulted in broken marriages.
Loss of the Human Touch
Engaging so much in online activities alienates people from the real world and makes some to forget their responsibilities (Mazalin 45). Through the use of social media, people have accumulated virtual friends ignoring real friends hence eroding the social fabric. Parents do not have time for their families; there is no interaction at work by coworkers as they are engrossed on the internet. In most cases, the only kind of friends people have today is their phones. Mazalin argues that, “There was a positive and significant relationship between the amount of time reportedly spent on the Internet and ‘development of new friendships and strengthening of face-to-face friendships”, (Mazalin 45). That is why persons can find people walking staring at screens of their phones without concentrating on their surroundings hence accidents.
Baruah, Trisha. "Effectiveness of Social Media as a tool of communication and its potential for technology enabled connections: A micro-level study." International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, vol. 2, no. 5 (2012): pp. 1-10.
Drahošová, Martina. "The analysis of advantages and disadvantages of use of social media in European Union." Procedia Computer Science, 109 (2017): pp. 1005-1009.
Guru, M., Kumar, M, Devanoor, G. and Rajeev, K. "Impact of social media on society." Peer Reviewed and Indexed Journal, vol. 1, no. 1 (2016): pp. 166-171.
Kavitha, S., and Bhuvanezwari, R. "Impact of social media on millennials." KaviApeejay Journal of Management Sciences and Technology, 4(1) (2016): pp. 80-85: http://www.apeejay.edu/aitsm/journal/docs/issue-oct-2016/ajmst040108.pdf.
Mazalin, Dennis. "Social Anxiety and the Internet: Positive and Negative Effects." E-Journal of Applied Psychology (2008): 43-50.
Oyza, I. and Agwu, E. "Effectiveness of Social Media Networks as a Strategic Tool for Organizational Marketing Management." Journal of internet banking and commerce (2015): 1-23.
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