Negative Effects of the Internet
Almost everyone is aware of how strong and rapid the internet has developed the media, making human connection and interaction more effective and efficient than ever before. The position taken by the internet is continuing to grow due to the development and integration, a trend in the current century. It is true that internet is very vital in enabling us capture very detailed and critical information on every event occurring at any part of the world within the shortest time possible time and at a comfortable manner (Schumacher and Morahan-Martin 2001). Nevertheless, even with all these beneficial aspects, it is proven than the use of internet is increasingly causing undesirable effects not only to the users but also to the common people. This has been caused by many factors inclusive of the abuse by the users who tend to do undesirable things that are harmful to them and others. In this regard, mention needs to be made about the satirical essay “Mad About You” by Greg Gutfield in which he has scathingly criticized triviality connected with the web content and the need to do away with this tendency. In fact, along with positivities associated with the internet, the usage of internet carries some inherent negative impacts with it which are of varied nature and have diverse implications.
In the recent years, online gaming has made many internet users addictive, especially the youth. Most children, teenagers and even adults are in the habit of using the internet for online gaming, which though is professed to be just a hobby, is actually inasmuch a serious addiction according to technology and internet researchers. Another key area of addiction, in as far as the internet is concerned, is social networking. A large number of those who use the internet are engaging at some stage in social networking for such reasons as creating and expanding connections and sharing and receiving trending pieces of ideas and information. However, with time, most of them unknowingly and gradually get addicted to these social networking sites and services to the extent that a substantial amount of their time is wasted accessing those social sites. Gambling also comes out as another form of addiction brought about by the use of internet (Meena 1997). It occurs that presently, people of all ages, from children to the youth to adults actively participate in one or the other form of online gambling, ranging from game betting to casinos to several other forms of gambling. The outcomes of this extreme online gambling addiction are not pleasant since it often leads to instances of crime, depression, time-wastage, laziness and even broken relationships. It hardly needs to be emphasized that internet addiction is not good for any person, especially given that it disrupts the development of their minds and character to a great extent.
Erosion in Efficiency of Students and Employees
The existence of the internet technology has made a lot of children and adults have expectation of getting quick gratification. Accessing any kind of information has been made a lot easier by internet, and people today can quickly get online, information they need, e.g. assignment answers, television shows, video and audio music, and images. The internet makes the information available within the shortest time possible and with least of efforts (Mansour 2004). This is very unfortunate for schools and institutions, which expect at that the students will read their notes and work for their results. The negative implication of this is that students’ ability of understanding and comprehending problems is significantly reduced due to the short-cut available from the internet use. The same applies to the work scenario where most of the employees depend largely on the internet to seek solutions to the respective tasks they are supposed to do instead of using the knowledge, skills and abilities they attained in line with their careers. It cannot be doubted that such misuse of the internet in the workplace can highly reduce the employee’s efficiency in terms of time and output.
Emergence of Cyber Crimes
Cyber crimes are one of the most common negative offshoots of internet as a technology. Innocent and unsuspicious users have often found themselves to be gullible victims of fraudulent and criminal activities by others who try interfering with their emails and personal information such as credit card details for their selfish ends (Philip and Howard 2001). Millions of people are fooled to believe that some websites operated by these criminals are actually legitimate, making them lose huge amount, collaterally in fraudulent business transactions made possible by the internet. With the ever increasing use of internet, especially in the third world countries, this threat is poised to intensify only more in the coming times.
Severance of Family Relationships
Excessive usage of anything, including the internet, comes with various consequences. Overindulgence in the internet tends to make people insensitive to importance of familial bondage. A good example of this phenomenon is drawn from Korea where a couple completely forgot to give their real child food in the name of a virtual baby in the internet, to the extent that their real baby unfortunately succumbed to hunger (Moody 2001). Besides, excessive indulgence and concentration in the internet and social networking sites, people usually get very isolated with the internet as their only friend, having abandoned close friends and relatives to pursue those who are online. To these people, the internet world is more valuable than having conversations and connections with their real-loved ones. Such people gradually withdraw to their self-created virtual world thereby leading to occasional relapse to psychological disorders.
Hindrance to Physical Development
It goes without saying that both the mind and the body need to be exercised to maintain a complete healthy life. For the children, the form of education they get is supposed to support the enhancement of both their bodies and minds equally. However, with a lot of hours spent on the internet, social networking, and online gaming and gambling, the proper physical development of these children and adults is greatly inhibited. One such health issue arising from the constant use of mouse and key board leading to ailment in fingers is only too known to mention about. There are a lot of outdoor games available for children to play with, which are efficient at improving their physical well-being, as opposed to the online games and pastimes, which are normally played at a very relaxed posture.
Cyberbullying is simply a kind of internet bullying in which the vulnerable victims get bullied after being trapped cunningly. A lot of exploration of the internet and social sites on a regular basis by unsuspecting users, at times, makes them vulnerable to fall prey to cyberbullies. Cyberstalking is one such form of this menace that can make the victim nervous and panicky. These may sometimes lead to committing self-harm by the hapless victim as the bullies keep harassing their trapped victims with the latter desisting from sharing their embarrassing experience with others. Cyberbullying occurs almost on a daily basis in most of the countries with appreciable internet usage, and bring about undesirable outcomes to the society as a whole.
Encroachment of Privacy
Another negative aspect of the internet and social networking sites is that it is very easy to upload and even exchange various things over them. Majority of the internet users fail to evaluate their action and innocently engage in sharing and exchange of personal information, including images, through one-on-one messaging, which consequently leads to compromise with their privacy. Morphing is a live example of seriousness involved in incidences of privacy encroachment. The most awful part of this negative impact is unauthorized people gaining access to one’s private details and information and misuse the same to the latter’s disadvantage, meaning that it is very necessary for those using the internet to take uttermost care in this regard (Klein 2001).
Dishonesty and Cheating in Academic Matters
With the internet being considered the global storehouse of knowledge, many students and researchers resort to going the easy way of seeking the real answers and solutions concerning any discipline from the web. And the fact that the internet can potentially provide the correct and proven solutions to many academic problems, this many times gives rise to adoption of academic malpractices such as plagiarism, exam-cheating and fraud. Even though a number of experts have come up with websites that are capable of checking such malpractices, some students are still able to circumvent these strategies by sharing the academic information through their social media communication platforms as well as online message boards. This has given rise to prevalence of academic culture based on spuriousness with lack of originality, which needs to be curbed.
Reduced Creativity and Increased Dependence
It is common to hear people say they have the whole world in their palms thanks to the internet. Today, if one is interested to find information on any topic, all one has to do is search on Google, and all details on the subject will become available instantly (Abdul Ghany 2003). Google, and the internet as a whole, have deprived people of the initial capacity of thinking and self-knowing by making everything available just through a single click. Today, people’s creative skills and thinking capacity have significantly gone down because they opt to go the easier way without having to think on their own. Instead of doing thorough researches on their projects, the contemporary students just tend to search the internet for an already done project, and do the copy-paste job for securing marks. This is definitely is not good for the future of the students or the society as a whole because the level of creativity is going down day-by-day.
Since its discovery, the internet has grown rapidly and captured almost all corners of the world. It has proved very useful in many areas of life what has resulted in its quick penetration. Nevertheless, the proliferation of internet has also been accompanied by several negative impacts leading to undesirable consequences. Every single internet user is therefore required to be very careful on how, when, where they use the internet so as to avoid being caught at the wrong side of internet usage. Additionally, they need to keep themselves updated with information on various safety measures to any breach of security and minimize untoward incidences.
Abdul Ghany, H. (2003). “The Effect of Using the Internet for the Youth: The Ninth Scientific Conference for Media College Media Ethics: Theory and Application.” Media College, Cairo.
Klein, B. (2001). “User Perceptions of Data Quality: Internet and Traditional Text Sources.” Journal of Computer Information Systems, 41(4), pp. 9-15.
Mansour, T. B. (2004). “The Motives of Using the Internet for the Students of Bahrain University Field Study.” The Arab Journal for Human Science (Kuwait University), 86(22), pp. 167-96.
Meena, S. (1997). “The Internet and Foreign Language Education: Benefits and Challenges.” The Internet TESL Journal, 3(6).
Moody, E. J. (2001). “Internet Use and Its Relationship to Loneliness.” Cyber Psychology &