The internet is one of the major modes of communication in the world today. It is has totally transformed the world and the communication industry. Currently the internet is used by over one billion people all over the world. This shows that the internet is a very important tool in the communication and information industry. It is an example of technology improving the welfare of human beings through communication and information. The internet has supplemented other forms of communication and promoted human relations all over the world. Despite its many advantages, the internet has its own negative effects on human life. The positive effects of the internet and its demerits are there to be seen in society.
Before the internet, the main modes of communication were mail, telegrams, phone calls and even messengers. These were relatively slow modes of communication. For instance, a letter sent from London to Washington DC would take an average time of three days to be delivered. With the introduction of internet, communication became quick and convenient at the same time. Using an E-mail, sending a mail from London to Washington DC would take a maximum of five minutes to be delivered. That is the amazing power of the internet. It has helped people who transact international business, politicians, friends and relatives to communicate. The internet is cheaper than other modes of communication since it is cheaper. Sending e-mails does not cost anything as long as the individual has access to internet facilities. A mail or phone call will require funds to pay for sending costs and phone call bills respectively.
The internet has also benefited people though facilitation of advertising business activities and products. People are currently transacting businesses on the internet. This is cheap and effective because not many resources are required to do this. For example, tourists are able to book flights and hotel reservations online. Political activities also take place on the internet. Politicians use internet facilities to reach for supporters. People can also store information on the internet. Organizations keep their archives in soft copies. For example, the Federal Reserve has most of its information on its official website.
However, the internet has its own disadvantages. First, there is addiction. People who over-use the internet, especially the social networks are prone to addiction. Addiction will cause people to browse during work hours leading to unproductiveness. Then there is the risk of children getting exposed to negative material on the internet such as pornography. Internet material is accessible to anyone. There is no mode of discriminating under age people from accessing some of the explicit content websites. This is a danger because it is likely to spoil the character of children.
Then there is the big issue of internet crime. The internet has opened up new opportunities to criminals who have an easy time in committing crimes. There have been increasing cases of theft where people channel electronic money from other company and individual accounts. This has a bad effect on the economy of any country. Then there are cases of kidnappers using the internet to accomplish their crimes. They target social site users, lead them into traps then kidnap them. Finally, there are hackers who hack into company and organization websites and steal vital information. Such cases have been on the increase recently. An example is Wiki leaks, a hacking organization which access major country and company websites and takes away sensitive information which they make public. This is likely to cause international security instability because national intelligence information is crucial in ensuring peaceful coexistence between nations.
Therefore, the internet is a major invention which is very effective in enhancing social and economic welfare to human beings. It can be utilized to perform tasks which could not be accomplished earlier on when there was no internet. It has made communication easy as well as enhancing business, politics and other social human activities. However, if not well regulated and handled, the internet can cause adverse effects on human welfare and social life. It can promote criminal activities, spoil the morals of children and cause addiction. Measures should be implemented to ensure that the internet is only used to better the life of human beings. Laws should be made to ensure that those who misuse the internet are punished, for example jail sentences for internet criminals. This will help reduce internet crimes and enhance proper use of the internet.