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Internet - advantages and disadvantages

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By Jayashree Pakhare
During his evolutionary journey from Neanderthal to Homo erectus and then to Homo sapiens, man has come a long way. Because of his continuous quest for more and more amenities and facilities, he has been able to invent many new things. The nineties have seen a major turn around with the invention of computers. Until, a few years back, the term Internet was practically anonymous to most of the people. But today, Internet has become the most powerful communication tool for people throughout the world. With the advent of Internet, our earth has virtually reduced and has attained the form of a global village.



Internet is defined as a collection of various services and resources. Although, many people still think e-mail and World Wide Web as the principle constituents of Internet, there is a lot more in store than e-mail, chat rooms, celebrity web sites and search engines. It has also become the best business tool in the modern scenario. Today, Internet has brought a globe in a single room. Right from getting news across the corner of the world to accessing knowledge resources to shopping, everything is at your fingertips. Internet has tremendous potential and a lot to offer in terms of services. However, like every single innovation in science and technology, Internet has its own advantages and disadvantages.



Advantages



Faster Communication

The foremost target of Internet has always been speedy communication and it has excelled way beyond the expectations. Newer innovations are only going to make it faster and more reliable. Now, you can communicate in a fraction of second with a person who is sitting in the other part of the world. For more personal and interactive communication, you can avail the facilities of chat services, video conferencing and so on. Besides, there are plenty of messenger services in offering. With the help of such services, it has become very easy to establish a kind of global friendship where you can share your thoughts and explore other cultures.



Information Resources

Information is probably the biggest advantage that Internet offers. Internet is a virtual treasure trove of information. Any kind of information on any topic under the sun is available on the Internet. The search engines like Google, Yahoo are at your service on the Internet. There is a huge amount of information available on the Internet for just about every subject known to man, ranging from government law and services, trade fairs and conferences, market information, new ideas and technical support, the list is simply endless.



Students and children are among the top users who surf the Internet for research. Today, it is almost required that students should use it for research or the purpose of gathering resources. Even teachers have started giving assignments that require extensive research on the Internet. Besides, you can have an access to latest researches in the field of medicine, technology and so on. Numerous web sites such as America's Doctor also allow you to talk to the doctors online.



Entertainment

Entertainment is another popular raison d'être why many people prefer to surf the Internet. In fact, the Internet has become quite successful in trapping the multifaceted entertainment industry. Downloading games or just surfing the celebrity websites are some of the uses people have discovered. Even celebrities are using the Internet effectively for promotional campaigns. Besides, there are numerous games that can be downloaded for free. The industry of online gaming has tasted dramatic and phenomenal attention by game lovers.



Social Networking

One cannot imagine an online life without Facebook or Twitter. Social networking has become so popular amongst youth that it might one day replace physical networking. It has evolved as a great medium to connect with millions of people with similar interests. Apart from finding long-lost friends, you can also look for job, business opportunities on forums, communities etc. Besides, there are chat rooms where users can meet new and interesting people. Some of them may even end up finding their life partners.



Online Services

The Internet has made life very convenient. With numerous online services you can now perform all your transactions online. You can book tickets for a movie, transfer funds, pay utility bills, taxes etc., right from your home. Some travel websites even plan an Itinerary as per your preferences and take care of airline tickets, hotel reservations etc.



e-commerce

The concept of e-commerce is used for any type of commercial maneuvering or business deals that involves the transfer of information across the globe via the Internet. It has become a phenomenon associated with any kind of shopping, business deal etc. You name a service, and e-commerce with its giant tentacles engulfing every single product and service will make it available at your doorstep. Websites such as eBay allow you to even bid for homes, buy, sell or auction stuff online.



Disadvantages



Theft of Personal Information

If you use the Internet for online banking, social networking or other services, you may risk a theft to your personal information such as name, address, credit card number etc. Unscrupulous people can access this information through unsecured connections or by planting software and then use your personal details for their benefit. Needless to say, this may land you in serious trouble.



Spamming

Spamming refers to sending unwanted e-mails in bulk, which provide no purpose and needlessly obstruct the entire system. Such illegal activities can be very frustrating for you as it makes your Internet slower and less reliable.



Virus Threat

Internet users are often plagued by virus attacks on their systems. Virus programs are inconspicuous and may get activated if you click a seemingly harmless link. Computers connected to the Internet are very prone to targeted virus attacks and may end up crashing.



Pornography

Pornography is perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Internet. Internet allows you to access and download millions of pornographic photos, videos and other X-rated stuff. Such unrestricted access to porn can be detrimental for children and teenagers. It can even play a havoc in marital and social lives of adults.



Social Disconnect

Thanks to the Internet, people now only meet on social networks. More and more people are getting engulfed in virtual world and drifting apart from their friends and family. Even children prefer to play online games rather than going out and mingling with other kids. This may hamper a healthy social development in children.



Thus, the Internet has the potential to make your life simple and convenient, as well as wreak havoc in your life. Its influence is mostly dictated by the choices you make while you are online. With clever use, you can manage to harness its unlimited potential.


By Jayashree Pakhare

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