Scholarsstill question the positive and negative effects of the Internet to the societyuntil today.
The Internet had alwaysbeen a great help to the present generation. The population assumes it is themost notable invention man ever created. With the innovation, people all overthe world can share relevant information and opinions to others with ease.Adolescents today claimed they could not live without the Internet. A studyconducted by Al-Hariri and Al-Hattami (2017) claimed that out of the 231students they surveyed, their most-used devices are laptops (50%) and phones(42%). Medical practitioners are concerned about the matter regarding theirexcessive use of the system known as the Internet Addiction Disorder.
InternetAddiction is one of the multiple effects of misusing the Internet. The questioninvolves whether or not it is beneficial to the society, which becomes the rootof debates between scholars presently.HistoryAccordingto the Encyclopedia of questions and answers (2011), “the system was inventedduring the Cold War when it was feared that an attack might disrupt connectionswith any central point (p. 84).” Computers were once connected to each other withone link, according to TechnoHTML5, History of the Internet (2016, p. 5). Ifone is damaged, the other computers cannot share information.
During the 1960s,the United States Department of Defense established the ARPANET (AdvancedResearch Projects Agency Network) as a military project to help armed forcesshare their information with each other (“TechnoHTML5”, 2016, p. 5; Su &Lee, 2010). With the ARPANET, people can communicate with others even if acomputer is disturbed. Soon, people all over the world started connecting tothe network. Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN, invented the World Wide Web(WWW) in 1989 after realizing the ARPANET made it challenging for people toconnect “due to a range of different network protocols and a range of workstationtypes” (“TechnoHTML5”, 2016, p.
5; Su & Lee, 2010). The term ‘Internet’ wascoined because other countries started cultivating it, therefore making an InternationalNetwork of computers (“TechnoHTML5”, 2016, p. 5). Positive Effects There is no doubt that the Internetprogressively contributes to the society. The majority of the population todayare connected to the network. Scholars, technologists, and social criticsassumed it was altering the society’s economic and social state. As stated bySu and Lee (2010), people are more in contact with others even if there are distancesbetween them.
Some meet new people based on their interests. They also gainmore knowledge regarding their environment. The Internet dispensed all theinformation they needed. Several users reported that they are more involvedwith their community than those who rarely use it (Su & Lee, 2010).
Forextroverts, using the web’s features decreases loneliness and time pressure. Italso increases their self-esteem. Extroverts join chatrooms and forums tosatisfy their social need. They get to witness other people’s point of view, thereforemaking them more open-minded and reasonable (Su & Lee, 2010). For medicalstudents, however, Al-Hariri and Al-Hattami’s research (2017) concluded thereis a “significant relationship between students’ use of technology and their achievementsin health colleges”. Those who are unemployed may now begin a business in thecomfort of their homes.
“While many technologies have taken jobs away from thepublic,” as said by Su and Lee (2010), “the Internet has opened up a wealth ofopportunities and heralded an age where anyone can be published and anyone canbe an entrepreneur.” The Internet can also facilitate the elimination of povertyaccording to Su and Lee (2010). With the ‘One Child, One Laptop’ scheme inAfrica, it will give access to their education; help them climb out of poverty,and aid in the development of their country. Negative Effects The Internet may still hold thetitle of being extremely addictive even though it had helped societies both economicallyand socially. According to Su and Lee(2010), “The Internet cuts out the social interactions of their lives.
“People get preoccupied with games and social media. Based on Wallace’s report, ayoung baby girl died because of her parents’ willingness to care for a virtualonline daughter instead (2014). People who use the Internet too often becomelazy and bored. “The Internet’s social effects might resemble those of television;”as said by Su and Lee (2010), “television watching reduces social involvement,physical activity, and diminished health (mental and physical).” The Internet, asper Wallace (2014), also helps increase their narcissism and social anxiety. Every15 minutes, they check their social media to see how many likes their latestpost earned. “For people with a narcissistic bent, Facebook and Twitter maybecome cavernous time sinks as they are constantly expanding their site with’selfie’ photos and comments, and actively seeking to expand their growingaudience” (Wallace, 2014).
Heavy Internet users were the least likely to seekmedical help even though they are more prone to health problems since theyrarely have the time to satisfy their needs (Su & Lee, 2010). Theseeffects do not only occur in adults. According to Wallace (2014), they are”more widespread than just on university campuses where laptops and computerlabs are within easy reach; it is also being seen in high school and middleschool students.” Scholars and social critics were aroused by the fact that onesignificant effect, the Internet Addiction Disorder, is no longer alarming inthe 21st century.
Internet Addiction Internet Addiction appears more likea routine rather than a concern. It is an impulse control disorder, which issimilar to pathological gambling without the involvement of drugs that “causesneurological complications, psychological disturbances, and social problems”(Cash, Rae, Steel & Winkler, 2012). It is more common in males rather thanfemales. Some classified the disorder as “a symptom of another disorder …rather than a separate entity” according to Cash, Rae, Steel and Winkler (2012).Basedon Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery (n.d.), there are several warningsigns of Internet addiction: (1) the person is always preoccupied with theInternet; (2) he or she needs to use the Internet with increased amounts oftime in order to achieve satisfaction; (3) he or she has made unsuccessfulefforts to control, reduce, or impede Internet use; (4) he or she is restless,moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internetuse; (5) they had stayed online longer than originally intended; (6) he or shehas risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or careeropportunity because of the Internet; (7) they have lied to family members,therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet;(8) they use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving adysphoric mood. Medical practitioners have developed surveys, like the InternetAddiction Test (IAT), to certify that their patients have indeed had theInternet addiction disorder.
InternetAddiction Disorder affects the patient’s real-life relationships due toarguments. They desire solitary seclusion and are viewed as socially awkward.People with IAD create online personas to hide their real identity from othersdue to their low-esteem and fear of disapproval.
According to Wallace (2014),”compulsive Internet users show different activity patterns in regions of thebrain that have been implicated in reward and emotion processing. They alsoshow decreased grey matter volume in several regions.” This may affect theirbrain functional connectivity. Those who have tried cutting down their use mayexperience anger, relief, mood swings, fear, irritability, sadness, loneliness,boredom, restlessness, procrastination, and upset stomach. InternetAddiction can either be the cause or the effect of depression. As per Misky andHolk (2002), depression is “associated with poor scholastic performance,fear of school, eating disorders, panic attacks, increased anxiety,delinquency, and other conduct disorders.” Depression is not well recognizedby parents on their teenage children due to the fact that adolescentsexperience mood swings more often than adults. It is best that parents shouldbe with their children more if they suspect a significant change in their mood,interest, attitude and their physical body (Misky & Holk, 2002).
The negative outcomes of using the Internet excessively areunfavorable. IAD and several other effects may miserablyaffect the person’s life. There are various treatment strategies to treat IADand reduce the probabilities of obtaining it based on Cash,Rae, Steel and Winkler’s report (2012): (1) specialists may first discover the patient’spatterns of Internet use and disrupt these patterns by suggesting new schedules;(2) the patient may attend social and active activities to encourage them tolog off; (3) the patient can write their goals on paper, with regard to theamount of time they have to accomplish them; (4) specialists may aid thepatient attempt to disregard certain applications they could not control; (5)specialists may create cue cards to remind the patient the costs of IAD andbenefits of breaking it; (6) specialists may help the patient develop apersonal inventory that shows all the activities that the patient used toengage in; (7) the patient may join support groups, if the patient displayslack in confidence; (8) the patient mayparticipate family therapy sessions with their specialists. The 21stcentury may have lost significant values and practices. Their way of living dependson the technology today. This issue was always feared by the elderly, who livedduring the modest eras. They assumed the Internet is always a constant risk tothe millennials by explicitly sharing their private or confidentialinformation. Children, on the other hand, receive inappropriate materialsonline.
One solution, based on Reader’s Digest books, “1001 Computer Hints andTips” (2001), is installing filtering tools on devices. Children today areought to learn by using the Internet due to its convenience. As for thesecurity, it is best to check if the site is free from unauthorized access(“1001 Computer Hints and Tips,” 2001). Although some may have used theInternet for dubious motives, computer experts and technologists are alwaysthere to assist those in need. The Internetwas made to unite all the people in this world, providing them with all thenecessary information. Internet Addiction would not exist if people learned howto limit themselves.
Social problems, such as cyber-bullying, would not existif people learned how to respect one another. Narcissism would not exist ifpeople learned how to be humble. Too much of anything is harmful to a person’smental and physical health. The Internet itself is not detrimental to thesociety.
If people used it negatively, then maybe the Internet tempted them todo so; but, if people used it positively, then maybe the Internet helped themeven more. It is not the object’s responsibility but the people’s. As thesaying goes, “a self-absorbed person only can see the faults of others. But,they are often color blind to their own.”