The 19 advantages and disadvantages of the Internet

The birth of the Internet has revolutionized the way of life of our society, to the point of being a practically indispensable tool for a variety of tasks or even just in our social life.

There is no doubt that we are dealing with an element of great power, but the truth is that its use is not without risks and it is possible to find both positive and negative aspects. What are the main advantages and disadvantages of the Internet? Let’s see ..

    Internet and networks

    There are many uses of the Internet today, from searching for information to contact between people, including leisure, research or teaching.

    Derived from the English term for interconnected networks, this instrument appeared in the late sixties in the United States with the aim of allowing different universities and the Department of Defense to share information. Over time, this invention spread to the rest of the world and gradually incorporated functionality while advancing computing and computer programming, to become what it is today.

    But like any technological innovation or like any instrument, its creation involves both opportunities and risks depending on the use you decide to give it. In this sense, we can determine the existence of both advantages and disadvantages, some of which are highlighted below.

    Main advantages of the Internet

    Internet is a tool that creation made possible lots of innovations and changes in the way we relate to ourselves and the world, And it even seems to have affected the way we view things.

    Its creation, expansion and popularity are due to the fact that its use has many advantages that make our lives easier. Among its many advantages, we can find the following.

    1. Access to information

    One of the great advantages of the presence of the Internet in our lives is that thanks to it we can access a large amount of information from a wide variety of sources in a simple and practically immediate way.

    2. Communication

    Another of the main and most well-known advantages of the Internet is that it allows us to get in touch with people all over the world no matter how far away they are, as long as they have access to the network.

    This allows people who live in remote areas or who have to go to live or work abroad to be able to maintain fairly frequent contact with their relatives.

    3. Breaks down barriers and makes it easier to approach postures

    The existence of the network of networks is an opportunity to learn and to be able to observe different ways and perspectives of understanding, thinking and living life in relation to practically any possible subject.

    In this sense too this allows us to make our cultural barriers more flexible and learn to accept different points of view beyond your own or that of people living in a similar context. In other words, it allows you to tackle the postures

    4. Reduces the need for attendance

    The existence of the Internet has made it unnecessary to carry out in-person formalities that previously would have involved a significant investment of time and the need to travel and stay in this place. This allows us optimize our time and take the opportunity to do something else.

    So, for example, it is no longer always necessary to meet to discuss an issue, stand in long lines to book tickets, make a request or file a complaint or grievance.

    In fact, it also allows working from home or the existence of distance education courses with a certain comfort.

    5. Freedom of expression

    If depending on the country and the policies in place there will be more or less difficulties, the Internet is often a space in which very different people can show and express their position on a specific topic, At a practically anonymous level if you know how. An example of this can be seen in the case of countries living under dictatorships and totalitarian political regimes.

    6. It allows collaboration between people

    The Internet not only provides access to information or communication, but also provides a framework in which different people can work together to achieve a given goal.

    For example, at the level of studies, it makes it possible to carry out group work in which all the actors follow at the same time the state of the project.

    It also applies to the level of employmentIt can therefore be used to jointly construct some kind of action or intervention. It also now allows the creation and financing of projects for which there are no resources, such as crowdfunding.

    7. Increase learning options and pathways

    Beyond the simple search for information, networks have also made it possible to generate it new ways or alternative methods of learning.

    For example, watching a Youtube tutorial or some kind of more visual example of a task to do can make it easier to learn something that, through purely verbal reading or explanation, can be tricky. This is particularly important in the case of people with special educational needs.

    8. Facilitates management and organization

    The presence of the Internet and networks has, in part, as a side effect of all of the above, better management and organization of our time and activities. Planning and information retrieval as well as the execution of procedures and procedures are accelerated.

    9. Increase shared attention

    The Internet and information and communication technologies have an effect even at the functional level. We have seen that people who could be considered digital natives they have a greater capacity for divided careIn other words, pay attention to several types of stimulation at the same time.

    Disadvantages and risks of its use

    As we have seen, the Internet offers us many advantages and opportunities. However, that does not mean that this instrument does not have a dark side: its use comes with great risks and disadvantages.

    1. Cybercrime and fraudulent use

    One of the disadvantages of the Internet is that while it offers many opportunities to make our lives easier, it also allows other people to try and take advantage of this tool to obtaining an advantage or gratuity at the expense of others by this means.

    Examples of this can be found in cases of cyberbullying, threats, harassment, identity theft, phishing, scams, theft of information and bank accounts or even grooming or attempted grooming. sexual assault on minors by deception.

      2. Information oversaturation

      We said above that one of the great advantages of the Internet is that it provides access to a large amount of information.

      However, this aspect in turn has a negative reading, which in turn becomes a downside of the internet: there is a huge amount of information that we can turn to, with sources that can be wrong and even offer contradictory data between them.

      In this way, finding genuinely reliable information on networks is a challenge and implies the need to train in the search for genuinely valid and reliable information.

      Also, this large amount of information can become saturated, not knowing what to use or what to do with it.

      3. Threat to privacy

      The internet allows us to connect with each other and share a multitude of thoughts, data, photos and information with others. But if at first it may seem desirable, too it can even be a window to the outside eyes for violating our life private.

      Without going any further, our data is trafficked between a large number of companies which use it, among other things, to offer us their products in the most attractive way possible or to know our position concerning certain aspects. Even at the job level, many companies search the net (including social media) for information on job applicants.

      And not to mention that interested and unknown third parties can know a lot more about us than we would allow in real life.

      4. Distant, cold and impersonal contact

      If as an advantage we have pointed out that the Internet facilitates communication between people, the truth is that on the other hand, this contact is generally much colder and more distant than what would take place face to face. this promotes much more superficial contact with othersThis can then hinder the development of social skills in the real world.

      5. It can be used as an avoidance method

      A possible disadvantage of the use of the Internet is that since it allows the realization of activities or contact with others in an immediate way and the supposed security of our homes.

      This convenience can cause problems or difficulties for people, like social phobia, you don’t have to expose yourself directly to a feared situationSomething that, if held over time, maintains the problem of being able to become an avoidance mechanism, making it difficult to overcome their fears.

      6. 24/7 contact

      Another downside is that the internet is available in more and more devices (computers, cell phones, televisions … even clocks and refrigerators) that we constantly use in our daily lives. Although it is not impossible, most of us are constantly connected to the net.

      This means, especially in the case of social networks, that we can be requested or contacted anytime and anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In other words, unless they are specifically searched, there is very little possibility of being “offline”.

      7. Decreases tolerance for frustration

      As we mentioned earlier, the internet facilitates the creation of understanding between different perspectives and can increase the ability to respond to multiple stimuli at once or perform multiple operations at the same time, it should also be noted that immediacy which he has internet it makes us used to having it all here and now.

      This implies that we are not used to waiting, which means that, for example, in the case of digital natives, there is a tendency to have an ability to tolerate frustration and deferred gratification diminished compared to previous generations.

      8. It depends on the state of the network

      In addition to the above, we can find another drawback in the fact that its use depends largely on the state of the network, the connection, the speed of loading or downloading data or the presence of electricity.

      Any failure of any of these can make comfortable and efficient use difficult or even impossible.

      9. Addictive potential

      An increasingly common problem of the period in which we find ourselves is the increasing prevalence of dependence or dependence on new technologies, mainly based on the use of the network. In this sense, a pathological need can be created to use the networks (especially social) to check if something has happened, they have spoken to us or we can find a way to entertain ourselves, and that in case of not be able to access it. it can cause us anxiety and withdrawal symptoms.

      It is not that the Internet or its use is harmful or addictive per se, but the way we use it can encourage network addiction.

      10. Decreases physical activity

      Finally, another element to emphasize is the fact that the predominance of the Internet in all areas of life and the fact that its use does not require a rather sedentary posture it causes a sharp decrease in the level of physical activity that we practice, which can have many implications in terms of physical and mental health.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Teixó, E. (2013). How the Internet reinforces inequalities in the real world. Atlantic.
      • Comer, D. (2006). The Internet Book. Prentice Hall.

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