The Internet is a phenomenon that has changed our world in many ways. We communicate, conduct commerce, and obtain information globally…all good things. However, it also has it’s dark side that we contend with too.
The use of the Internet has globalized our communication and information gathering by allowing us to email, blog, and message text with people and business partners in almost every country in the world. This has increased our productivity and everyone’s ability to compete in the global economy. Our schools are able to compare teaching techniques and strategy with schools in other countries and help each other increase effectiveness. Our businesses, large and small, have the ability to buy and sell products in countries previously not possible because of logistical restrictions. Consumers have the ability to shop the world for goods and services previously not possible because of geographic boundaries.
Considering all the good things mentioned above, we tend to ask ourselves what we ever did without the Internet. However, considering the “dark side” of the Internet, we wonder how long we’ll be able to continue to use it.
When listing the Internets list of warts, the proliferation of pornography comes to mind first. Despite the efforts of law enforcement around the world; you can access any genre of porn in photographs and video very easily.
Another wart on the list is criminal activity in cyber space. There are organized crime groups in many countries whose sole objective is to use the Internet to steal our money.
Spam and Junk email are next on my list of objectionable features on the Internet. We are inundated with a huge volume of malicious email that has doubled in the past year. Most of it a nuisance, some of which is an insult to our sensibilities.
Finally, the proliferation of destructive viruses that harm our computers and cause us to lose our ability to use them until we remove the offenders. These malicious programs are created by two categories of criminals: the hacker; a programmer who wants recognition among the growing herd of hackers…there are conventions where they meet to brag on their accomplishments and obtain new skills; and the other group is the criminal faction mentioned above.
All in all, I’d say that in spite of the list of dark side attributes, there is far more positive value we derive from the Internet. However, the lesson we must take from this phenomenon is that we need to educate ourselves on the downside problems of the Internet so that we are able to enjoy the positive attributes safely and securely in the future.
Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.