I recently saw a meme post that said- In the early 2000s, people used the Internet to escape from reality, and now people go out of their houses to escape the Internet. Yes, that’s how effective it has become. We often confuse our nature reality with virtual/internet reality. This proves that we are addicted to the Internet.
Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf are the ones who created the Internet. So it’s basically a network of networks that creates the other world which understands only Binary Language.
This is a great invention, but people started abusing the internet without knowing what impact it may have on others as time went on. Everything has its merits and demerits; unfortunately, the Internet has many demerits that cannot be confined to one single article.
What is Internet?
Internet, as I said before, is a network of networks. In 1980, TCP/IP, or Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol, was designed as a set of principles for data transport via packet switching by Kahn and Cerf. The TCP portion of the protocol is responsible for packaging data before it travels over the network and unpacking it once it arrives.
The IP component serves as the journey coordinator, mapping the transit of information from its starting point to its destination. While Kleinrock's experiment demonstrated the feasibility of a single network connecting two computer systems, Cerf and Kahn's TCP/IP established the foundation for an efficient and massive web of interconnected networks—hence the word "Internet." Though other protocols, such as the file transfer protocol (FTP) and network control protocol (NCP), were created and deployed before to TCP/IP (NCP). (Here)
Internet is supposed to connect us through networks, that’s what it was made for. But technology took a major turn when we were first introduced to social media. From my perspective, I think that’s when things got a little worse. Yes, social media helps us connect to each other but it also gives us unwanted attention and comments that seriously affect us.
Also Read | Internet vs Ethernet
Discussing the adverse impact of the Internet
STOA's recently published research on "harmful Internet usage" examines the harm that Internet use brings to people's health, well-being, and functioning, as well as the influence on social structures and institutions.
As stated in the blog, although the research did not seek to cover all conceivable societal ills linked with the Internet, Part I focuses on one specific cause of harm, Internet addiction, and Part II tackles a wide spectrum of harms. The research finishes with policy recommendations for avoiding and reducing them.
Addiction to using the Internet
As per the source, Internet addiction and problematic Internet use prevalence vary among research and regions. The significant discrepancies in prevalence estimates are due to a variety of factors, including the varied populations analyzed and the various endpoints and diagnostic methods utilized.
With this in mind, it appears that around 4% of European teenagers engage in pathological internet use habits that negatively impact their life and health, whereas 13% engage in improper internet usage. Adults are said to have similar numbers.
Internet users spend a significant amount of time on the Internet. People download videos and games to watch and play. Students, in particular, squander their valuable time on such activities. Crush Candy entices them, movies hold their interest, and WhatsApp keeps them occupied.
Easy Access to Obscene Material
We all know how uncomfortable it gets when we come across 18+ content. It is age-restricted, but do teenagers really follow that? According to the POCSO Act of India, it is a crime to watch anything pornographic in presence of a child. Do you know why? Because it scars a kid’s brain and it’ll affect them their entire childhood.
When youngsters are found seeing such obscene stuff, their anxiety level rises. There are several pornographic websites that contribute to societal moral bankruptcy. As a result of this immorality, there have been cases of rape, indecent assault, and so on.
Although in India many sites are banned, can you really say, that you don’t use any other means to access them? Exactly, so the Internet is good but content over our web browsers should always be protected.
Not only that, even if you do access those sites, you can never guarantee that your phone, PC, or laptop won’t be affected by computer viruses. Which is another big drawback of the Internet.
Malicious users and computer hackers can take personal information or hijack accounts that can be exploited to steal personal information and potentially damage you.
Because the Internet connects all computers, hackers can swiftly scan millions of them to discover those that are vulnerable to an attack. Furthermore, the Internet allows students to locate individuals to help them with their assignments and gives them the option to cheat on their studies.
People who use the Internet regularly may encounter abusive or trolls. Another issue that has grown in popularity over the years is cyberbullying. That’s why cybersecurity is important. On the Internet, you may be monitored by hackers or unauthorized individuals who may be damaging to you by taking your personal information.
If you spend more time on the Internet, hackers will have an easier time finding your personal information through numerous techniques. To do business without fear of being detected, the deep web and hidden areas on the internet may also be a haven for thieves.
On a Positive note:- Also Read | Ethical hacking
It keeps you away from Reality
I consider this an adverse impact from my perspective. During the lockdown, I had access to every OTT platform available. But I was addicted to watching series and movies all the time. Be it during class hours, work hours, or even during household chores.
Yes, entertainment is good, and they are excellent when we keep it under control. I started isolating myself in my own room and binge-watching series after series, not just episodes. Later, I realized how secluded I have become and away from my parents. This is just one instance that I find the internet to affect many of us.
With covid and work from home situation, kids don’t go out. Their new reality has become zoom calls and YouTube Videos.
However, they can’t get enough of it and are addicted to staying on the phone, which again isolates them from reality. Which I don’t think cannot be blamed on the internet, because education is important but due to covid kids are facing this situation.
Social distancing has made all of us reduce person-to-person interaction, which keeps us away from reality. Again, it’s just my perspective. When we didn’t have a lockdown, we also used to keep ourselves hooked to watching series.
We all know how much we have spent our time on Game of Thrones, Money Heist, and other series. Well, they are an all-time classic, but we used to spend hours after hours just to complete it.
The Internet is the finest invention for providing connections and allowing individuals to work from anywhere. As a result, everyone can expect you to be available to work at any moment, even if you are not available to work there. For example, suppose you get a crucial job-related e-mail while at home and then work on the content of that e-mail without being compensated.
The sites have the rapid satisfaction impact that we are accustomed to while using the Internet. On-demand, they also provide a vast selection of things to experience and ponder at any time. This method of gathering information might have an impact on your interactions, making you more irritable and less focused on your tasks, according to Javatpoint.
Surfing the Internet, playing games, and spending too much time on the computer may all contribute to obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle. A person who spends too much time on the computer may also get carpal tunnel syndrome since using a computer needs a lot of repetitive movement.
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity”- Albert Einstein.
A little of anything cannot harm you in any way. Even consumption of a lot of sweets can make you diabetic. So, I guess it's ok when you keep yourself corrected and see that you are not using the Internet for the wrong reasons.
However, suppose you see that you are feeling depressed, isolated, bloated, or tired because of staying in front of the screen all the time. In that case, you must immediately improve your lifestyle. And that you can do easily, by just going out once in a while, and keeping a close relation with your friends, and family.
Internet is not all bad, and here’s proof | How does Internet make education better?