Let’s talk about the Pros and Cons of the Internet. The world wide web, or the internet, is a technology element that has revolutionized the whole world. Thanks to the Internet, the way we think, conduct business, interact and entertain ourselves has all changed.
The internet can be reached just about anywhere and on different media of all sorts, which makes it hard to imagine our society without the internet, but would it be better?
As the internet and technology developed, many businesses and individuals have benefited from what it provides.
Given the benefits that the internet has brought to humanity, however, there are also potential drawbacks that critics are wary of.
Being mindful of its pros and cons will help in determining whether it is a blessing or a curse.
What are the Pros of the Internet?
1. It is an Effective Platform for Advocacies and Causes
Aside from the internet being a channel to fame, where hundreds of people have already been discovered in the entertainment industry or experienced at least their 15 minutes of fame through viral videos.
Non-profit organization advocates also used the internet to send messages to the world.
There are several organizations that are fighting for a cause such as animal welfare, human rights, and even a group of individuals who want to help the sick.
By building websites and making use of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and the likes, millions of people are reached and touched.
Proponents considered it a powerful tool in modern times.
2. Easy Integration with Internal Information Systems
We can easily integrate Internet information systems deployed on the Internet with internal information systems managed with office productivity applications such as Microsoft Office.
3. Online Surveys
Traditional methods of performing surveys are often relatively slow and expensive compared to online surveys conducted on the Internet.
For example, in order to fill out various needs of customers or what they would like to see in a future product, it’s often necessary to compile a list of addresses and mail a questionnaire to many customers.
The success of such an attempt is not always guaranteed and can be very costly to mail the questionnaires and enter responses into databases and analyze them.
On the other hand, you can use the World Wide Web to automate the whole process.
For example, you can set up a CGI script to conduct online surveys.
Results of such a survey can be automatically updated to a database.
This database can then be used to keep a pulse on various opinions and needs of customers.
4. Inexhaustible Education
For example, students can gain readily available help for their homework online.
People can teach and learn in a worldwide classroom nowadays.
5. We Get More Stuff Done in Less Time
Remember when you had to go down to your bank or credit union to deposit a check?
Now you can take a picture of it with your tablet and send it to your bank through an app thanks to the internet.
You can check bank balances in real time. Instead of printing out a manuscript and mailing it, a writer can electronically submit their work via email instantly.
The internet lets us be more productive and still gives us more time to spend with our family and friends.
The capability to incorporate multimedia into Web pages is a major advantage of using the World Wide Web to publish information.
For example, many Web sites use sounds and video clips to make the content easier and more interesting to browse.
7. Provide Technical Support
You can also use the website to provide technical support to users.
Because Web pages can be updated immediately with new information, they can immediately modify various technical support literature in light of new findings and developments.
This can be accomplished without having to distribute changes to all users affected by any changes using traditional mediums of information distribution, which are often quite costly compared to the World Wide Web.
8. Information is Available Like Never Before
The internet allows us to access newspapers from all over the globe and many of them are free.
You can follow a blog to get helpful ideas from someone who has conquered a challenge you’re currently facing.
All it takes to find information is a simple keyword search on a preferred search engine.
Even an 8-year-old kid learned how to drive because of YouTube.
9. Unlimited Access to Information
Anything you could ever imagine can be found and learned about in detail on the internet.
There are millions upon millions of websites that are dedicated to all different types of topics.
This wealth of information helps people to better understand things that they may have never thought or cared about before.
10. Jobs, Business, and Marketing
Ever since the commercialization of the internet, the business world has never been the same.
The ability to reach wide-spanning markets, collect valuable research on potential customers, and conduct business in other parts of the country or world, has created a virtual business boom that no one could have foreseen.
Along with the business side of things, people now also can search and apply for jobs completely through the internet, which has opened up the world job market to many people with valuable skills to offer.
11. Distribute Product Catalogs
The World Wide Web is a very effective medium for distributing product catalogs.
In the old days, putting together a product catalog used to be very costly in terms of the time and money needed to publish and distribute it.
The World Wide Web changes all this by allowing content developers to put together a sales catalog and make it available to millions of users immediately.
Furthermore, unlike printed product catalogs that are usually updated around once a month, product catalogs on the World Wide Web can be updated as needed to respond to various changing market conditions.
12. Immediate Distribution of Information
When information is added to a Web site, it’s immediately available for browsing by millions of Internet users.
The World Wide Web is an ideal medium of information distribution because it takes away the time lag associated with publishing content and actually makes it available to users
13. Global Audience
Content published on the World Wide Web is immediately available to a global audience of users.
This makes the World Wide Web a very cost-effective medium to publish information.
Reaching more than 190 countries.
14. Formatting Capabilities
Content published on the World Wide Web can be richly formatted by using various HTML tags and graphic formats.
The capability to do this is a major reason for the success of the World Wide Web.
In addition to using HTML tags and various multimedia formats on Web pages, various interactive controls can also be added to a web page.
This capability allows Web site content developers to create “active” Web sites.
Various formatting capabilities, along with technologies such as Java and VBScript, make the World Wide Web a richly interactive medium that you can use to distribute information to millions of users.
15. Get Customer Feedback
The interactive nature of the World Wide Web is ideal for obtaining customer feedback.
You can easily set up a CGI script to obtain customer feedback about a product or service.
Because customer feedback submitted by customers can be read immediately, it’s possible to respond to various customer concerns in a timely manner, increasing customer satisfaction and quality of customer service.
With the World Wide Web, you can distribute various announcements to millions of users in a timely manner.
Because there is virtually no time lag from the time it takes to publish information, to making the information available to users, the Web is an ideal medium to publicize announcements.
As more people discover the virtues of the Web and get connected to the Internet, the Web will become the medium of choice for many organizations and individuals to publicize various announcements.
17. People can Connect with one Another More Often
Social media has allowed people to connect with others unlike any other time in the past.
In its early days, long-lost friends could find one another and re-establish connections.
Today, social media allows us to promote business opportunities, local sports teams, or personal causes with incredible ease.
In just seconds, you can talk with a friend and have a conversation, even if you haven’t seen them in person for 10+ years.
18. The E-commerce Marketplace
This new economic concept involves the exchange of goods and other services throughout the globe, over the internet.
There is a plethora of e-commerce sites that offer a wide gamut of products that can be purchased online.
They then deliver the products to your doorstep.
19. Freelancing is Easier
Thanks to the internet.
There are numerous tools and platforms that allow people to freelance their skills from home.
This allows people to have more control over their lives and schedules.
Amazon has even jumped on board by committing to hire 5,000 home-based customer service representatives in 2017.
20. You Can Become Active About Anything you are Passionate About
If you want to get involved in politics, the internet can guide you toward what you need to do.
Also, If you want to promote a local photography club, the internet can help you market it.
If you have a business that you’re trying to grow, the internet can help people pay attention to it.
You can follow, get involved, or criticize virtually any cause that someone has because of your connectivity.
21. Communication Happens Globally and in Real Time
Thanks to the internet, it is possible to chat with someone half a world away in real-time.
Businesses can hold global video conferences instead of paying for people to fly in for meetings.
Entrepreneurs can start with a good idea and expand it to a global audience from a home computer.
We can communicate cheaper and easier with one another than ever before in history.
22. Endless Entertainment Rights Along the Economical and Financial Aspects of the Internet
Entertainment has also been forever changed.
Any movie, music, game, book, or software that you could possibly think of is available right on the world wide web.
It has completely shifted the way that we entertain ourselves.
By using applications such as WebBoard, it’s possible to set up online discussion forums on the Web.
The internet has also made lives comfortable and the whole world now seems to be on our doorsteps or keystrokes.
Now, in the age of the internet, one doesn’t have to wait for hours in queues to pay bills, and taxes or withdraw money and buy tickets or book hotels, etc.
With the help of online services, all of these can be quite conveniently done from home.
23. It Makes it Possible for People to Earn Even from Home
Perhaps, one of the most agreeable advantages of the internet is related to employment.
By just having an internet connection, anybody can work from home with the plethora of online jobs available.
Mothers who used to stay home to take care of the household can now be employed as virtual assistants or customer care representatives.
More entrepreneurs can now open home-based businesses which can save them money because of reduced expenses like rent and gasoline, among others.
With this, the problem of employment can be partly solved and women can be empowered.
With several matrimonial sites on the internet, finding a life partner from all over the world, depending on your specific criteria and parameters, has also become very convenient.
One of the biggest advantages of the internet is ‘communication’.
With new services pouring in, communication is going to be even faster, cheaper, and more efficient with every passing day.
Nowadays, with the use of the internet, people can communicate with others, from any part of the globe, within a blink of an eye, which seemed to be a farfetched dream not too long ago.
24. Digital Payments Increase the Speed of Transactions
Thanks to companies like PayPal, it is possible to hold a digital account with digital funds, but still have access to real currency when it is needed.
With a PayPal debit card, you can withdraw money from an ATM.
You can also use it wherever branded cards are accepted.
Some stores, such as Home Depot, allow you to access your PayPal balance directly from a payment terminal.
This is all possible because of the internet.
25. Relatively Inexpensive
It is relatively inexpensive to publish information on the Internet.
At a fraction of the cost to publish information by traditional methods, various organizations and individuals can now distribute information to millions of users.
It costs only a few thousand dollars to establish an Internet presence and publish content on the Internet.
26. New Connections Dating and Other Social Sites
Are a booming section of the internet, that has altered the process of finding a partner for life.
Whether it be friends or a spouse, people are making new connections with people that they may have never met otherwise.
It broadens the view of access to meet and mingle with new people.
27. Virtual Meetings
With the power of the internet, important activities in a company such as meetings are more convenient now through teleconferencing.
Today, employees who can be in several parts of the world or in their homes can join company meetings without having to commute to the office.
With the use of VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol, meeting participants can communicate with each other without having to travel.
This can be a big saving for businesses as well as they can cut down on their travel expenses.
28. Product Advertising
You can use the World Wide Web to advertise various products.
Before purchasing a product, customers will be able to look up various product specification sheets and find out additional information.
You can use the multimedia capabilities of the World Wide Web to make available not only various product specification sheets but also audio files, images, and even video clips of products in action.
The beauty of the Web is that it allows customers to explore products in as much detail as they desire.
If the client just wants a general overview, he or she can look at the advertising information.
For those wanting more in-depth information, you can provide white papers and product descriptions for download.
The Web allows a business to provide timely information, you can simply place the information on the Web page and it is available immediately for your customers.
29. Information is Readily Available
With an internet connection, people can now get hold to information on almost anything with the use of a computer or even a smartphone.
There are search engines like Google and Bing which hold tons of information for a computer user can access.
By just typing a keyword, results connected to it can be found in seconds.
Even Human Resources can use the internet to learn about prospective employees.
Individuals looking for employment can also make use of the internet to apply online.
30. Operates 24 Hours, 7 Days a Week
You don’t need to wait until resources are available to conduct business.
From a consumer’s perspective as well as a provider’s business can be consummated at any time.
The fact that the Internet is operational at all times makes it the most efficient business machine to date.
31. It is an Effective Tool for Building Company Image and Branding
The business sector is one of the groups that directly and conveniently benefit from the internet.
It helps start-up businesses and existing ones to reach out to their clients and offer their products or services.
With a web presence, businesses can operate online, allowing customers to order and pay online.
They can also let consumers know about their new products and services. With an interesting website that is user-friendly and responsive in design, it will be easier for them to establish authority in the industry they belong to.
32. Powerful Content Publishing Tools
A new breed of Internet-aware applications will start emerging in software stores by the time you read this.
These applications will enable users to develop content for the World Wide Web by simply saving it as an HTML file.
In addition to software developers making existing applications Internet aware, various new, powerful, and easy-to-use Internet content publishing applications are also being developed.
These applications will make the task of publishing content on the Internet even easier.
They develop most of these applications for Windows users.
33. Bridging the Culture Gap
Communication has been another incredible by-product of the internet.
People can connect to people all over the world with just a few clicks of the mouse.
This has resulted in a much better acceptance and understanding of different cultures around the world.
34. It Makes Shopping and Banking Convenient for Customers
Nowadays, the buying public can now shop for almost anything they want from the convenience of their homes, 24/7.
Some shoppers prefer this technology advancement because they not only save time but also money.
With online shopping, they don’t have to spend on gasoline and be caught in traffic.
Also, payments and bank transactions can now be done online, a convenience gladly embraced by more and more consumers every day.
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What are the Cons of the Internet?
1. Great Threat to Personal Data
As people use online banking and other transaction services, there is a great risk of stolen account details, credit card numbers, etc being stolen, through unsecured connections.
Spyware and hacking software are responsible for many credit card frauds which have become a common occurrence nowadays.
They cheat “Cheater” sites: Some frauds open website to spread out their business on the internet.
Hackers can hijack Your email, social account, or website.
Sometimes it can happen for easy and common passwords and maybe for sharing information.
2. Internet Dependence can Lessen Productivity
If your business operations are based on internet access, then what happens if the ISP goes down?
In March 2017, one key piece of equipment owned by Comcast caused a complete internet and cellular outage on Whidbey Island, Washington.
For over 4 hours, there were no data connections of any type.
Without that access, an online business suddenly can’t do business.
You must be familiar with spam mail and agree with me that this is the most annoying.
Spamming is the most annoying disadvantage of the internet.
3. Computer Viruses
Computer viruses are malignant programs that can cause malfunctioning of your systems and may even lead to loss of data.
Though there is anti-virus software available in the market, the rate at which the viruses are getting more and more complex is alarming.
4. Time Wasting
Most young people use the internet only for social networking sites, and downloading songs and games.
It’s a waste of time and it can be harmful to their career. It also hampers their study and health.
Once attracted by the many amazing things provided by the Internet, they spend less time with people in real life.
Less interaction and face-to-face communication, in reality, may result in a decrease in networking abilities.
As a result, social and family ties are getting thinner by the day.
With the growing popularity of online games, children hardly take part in physical activities and games which can be extremely detrimental to their all-round development.
Our laws have not caught up with our levels of connection with the internet.
Actions like revenge porn can be very damaging to its victims, but as of 2017, there are still 15 states in the US that have no laws regarding that kind of conduct.
Ransomware is another growing threat, where hackers gain control of specific files and refuse to release them without paying a ransom and only California has sought to address the issue.
This means exploitation can happen in a wide variety of ways and victims may have no way to counter such conduct.
To benefit from this innovation, business owners and private individuals need to invest in computer systems, internet connections, and web hosting.
Moreover, businesses also need to upgrade at one time or another and train personnel to automate their system.
Individuals also need to apply for an internet connection and pay extra monthly fees.
All these entail expenses.
Time Magazine reported in 2015 that the average cost of a broadband connection in the United States was $50 per month.
Even basic dial-up services can be $10 per month.
If you want a website, then you’ll have domain registration and web hosting fees to pay. There are ISP fees, taxes, and data use charges that need to be paid.
8. Wrong Information
There is some website where anyone can easily publish an article.
And all writers are not experts so, you can be provided wrong information.
When you search for information search engine will provide your quantity number of information.
Sometimes it can be confusing.
9. It Makes Private Individuals Easy Targets of Identity Theft
One of the downsides of the internet is also related to information.
Opponents say that having to share personal information makes it easier for hackers to get information from internet users.
They can eventually use it to steal credit card information, etc.
Another controversial issue is the use of Wi-Fi hotspots wherein the software used can automatically get information about any individual who connects to the internet through free Wi-Fi connections.
10. Bad Effects on Business Operations
Despite the convenience of smooth transactions from automation, using the internet and technology to run the business can also have a negative effect on the business.
Especially when the computer systems break down.
Operations will be put on hold if the system is down, especially if the business uses the internet to operate.
Loss of internet connection can slow down business processes and affect productivity.
Internet addiction is an impulse control disorder.
It can cause some people to develop an emotional attachment to online friends, activities, or idea exchanges.
This addiction can be so great that people become preoccupied with the internet.
Thereby, risking their jobs in real life and significant personal relationships for the chance to connect with others online.
There are a lot of unscrupulous businesses that have sprung up on the internet to take advantage of people.
12. Encourages Societal Vices
With the surge in the internet’s use, the reading habit of the current generation is also on a steep decline.
Previously, reading used to be a significant source of amusement and knowledge but the internet, with its many distractions, has turned into a bane of leisurely reading.
In the era of Facebook and Twitter people are engaged virtually so, face-to-face communication is in danger.
It is true that Facebook and Twitter virtually connect us on social media but in the real world, we are getting lonely day by day.
13. Decreased Personal Privacy
The amount of personal information being shared on the internet is so enormous that personal privacy is at risk.
It’s not just identity theft that is an issue.
Kim Kardashian West had jewelry stolen from her in Paris because of the amount of information that was being shared.
A group of 17 people got together, tracked her movements, and struck because of the information freely shared.
14. It Encourages Pornography
One of the setbacks of the internet is the proliferation of pornography and other cybercrimes.
With just any individual capable to upload images and videos online, scrupulous individuals can use this to earn money and take advantage of innocent men, women, and children to take part in explicit sexual activities online.
The Internet has no restrictions to enter any website so a child can go to an inappropriate website.
And there are lots of child inappropriate websites.
The Internet’s benefits far outweigh its disadvantages but it doesn’t automatically mean it’s good for people.
The goal here is to have a closer look not only at the number of benefits it provides but also at the effect it has on people.
It is indeed an effective tool but if used incorrectly it can also cause harm.
Users should learn, so to speak, to reap from their advantages and use their strengths for the good of humanity.