Internet is a communication network of global reach that allows the interconnection between computers for the exchange of information.
The ease of accessing information and content of various topics and formats seems to be a great opportunity, but at the same time it can be counterproductive in some cases. Therefore, it is important to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the internet to understand how we can take better advantage of it.
Thanks to the internet, it is possible to take advantage of and enjoy content on the web. These are some other advantages of its use:
1. Speed in communication
Although the speed of the internet depends on technical factors inherent to the levels of technological development of each country, the reality is that the speed with which we can access information has progressively increased over time.
This broadens the communication possibilities, which have gone from traditional mail to email, or from telegrams to video calls. This new way of interacting has had a profound impact on daily and organizational dynamics, which are now influenced by immediacy.
2. Access to multiple content
Internet allows access to content on various topics through the web. From news information to highly specialized topics, scientific, humorous, cultural, entertainment, educational, playful content, etc.
This expands the available options and makes users have much more freedom to choose what interests them, which marks an important difference with respect to past times, when traditional media set the standard with respect to the content that could be to receive.
3. Dissemination of own content
Another advantage of the internet is the ability to share your own content. With the invention of the web in the 1990s, the possibility of generating and transmitting hypertexts prompted a series of communicational changes that gave users the power to create and disseminate their content.
From the first blogging platform called Blogger, to Instagram stories or YouTube channels, the internet helped users abandon the role of passive recipients to become senders and receivers of messages, simultaneously.
4. Process simplification
The Internet has contributed to substantially improve everyday and organizational processes that have an impact on quality of life and social evolution.
For example, the possibility of making purchases online, doing business or hiring staff remotely, having management systems in the cloud that allow having company data updated in real time, etc.
5. Massification of knowledge
One of the most significant advantages of the internet has to do with the fact that it allows access to knowledge without geographical limits.
At this time, a person with a computer or mobile phone with an internet connection can learn about multiple topics, generating new skills or improving the ones they already have no matter where they are.
With the Internet, it is possible to receive or teach remotely, have access to remote libraries, tutorials, manuals, technical or scientific reports, etc. This advantage has been used as a tool that is now indispensable in educational processes, especially in places with difficult geographic access.
6. Collaborative spirit
The Internet has promoted the creation of projects that require the work of groups of people around the world, who are motivated by a common goal.
One of the most significant examples of this type of initiative is Wikipedia, which brings together the work of thousands of people who create and edit the content that is housed in this emblematic free online encyclopaedia.
7. Interaction with stakeholders
The ability to interact in real time with people from anywhere in the world has generated thousands of groups with multiple interests. From animal aid organizations to technical discussion groups, through clubs of various kinds (anime, video games, etc.).
8. Generation of new jobs
Advances in technology, driven by the creation and evolution of the internet, have driven the creation of new jobs, which broadens the possibilities of training and specialization, in addition to making the job market grow in general terms.
Profiles related to programming, Big Data analysis , user experience design, SEO and digital marketing are highly valued today, and have become new academic alternatives with respect to traditional professions.
9. Access to new entertainment formats
From television, radio and the written press, we have moved to streaming content , podcasts and online news, the transmission of which is possible thanks to the evolution of the internet.
Although these formats are created on the web, they depend on the internet to be shared.
10. New social dynamics
The possibility of holding a work meeting by video call and remote work ( home office ) are just two of the most visible possibilities that the internet has generated, and that have an impact not only on the organizational environment, but on the quality of life of people.
These changes have generated new social and labor dynamics that are highly influenced by the use of the internet.
Disadvantages of the internet
The violation of privacy and digital insecurity are two new problems created by the use of the internet and new technologies, as detailed below:
1. Use of personal data for unknown purposes
Currently, most of the applications that we use on a daily basis, ask for a large amount of data in exchange for optimal operation (access to the microphone, to the location, to the photo gallery, phone data, messages, etc.).
However, in most cases there are no clear guidelines regarding the use that companies make of users' personal data.
Many times this information is sold or used without the authorization of the users, which implies a clear violation of privacy.
2. Stimulates sedentary lifestyle
Today, the internet is a means of work, entertainment and shopping, among other uses. This encourages social isolation and sedentary lifestyle, since it is not necessary to leave home to have access to goods or services that previously required a minimum of travel.
3. Digital crime
With the internet, new forms of crime also evolved, hence the stories of internet scams are very common today.
One of the oldest techniques that is still used today is pishing , which consists of sending emails or instant messages that seem reliable to obtain confidential data, especially bank passwords.
4. Online harassment
One of the disadvantages of the internet that has become more evident in recent years is online harassment, or cyberbullying .
Today, practically anyone is susceptible to harassment, which can consist of insults, threats or exposure of personal data over the internet.
However, it is much more evident in school-age boys and girls, who are subjected to public derision by classmates or close friends. It is a practice that can have very serious consequences for those who suffer from it, as it can lead to emotional, psychological and even physical disorders.
5. Invasive advertising
Invasive advertising is an annoying practice for Internet users, but it is also detrimental to the web pages that allow it, since it can lead to a considerable drop in traffic (users stop visiting the page to avoid advertising), not to mention that they could be penalized by search engines.
Another disadvantage of the internet has to do with spam , which are unsolicited emails or messages, and which are generally repetitive. The spam is used by some companies or individuals as advertising strategy, but it is also a means to transmit viruses or phishing .
7. Fake news
The news fake or false news is information that has been manipulated, distorted and even fabricated with a specific goal.
With the use of the internet, it has become very easy not only to create fake news, but also to transmit it, which is why it is very common for content of this type to go viral in a few hours or days.
And although you can try to reverse its effect (denying the facts that are stated in the alleged news or correcting it), the truth is that this measure does not usually have the same impact that the false news generated.
8. Exposure to inappropriate content
Today, users can find any type of content on the internet, and that includes material of a violent, degrading or inappropriate nature that may be available to minors.
Although each platform has its own policies to try to regulate this type of content on the internet, the reality is that the amount of content of this type that is generated every day is so large that it is very difficult to control its dissemination in real time.
9. Can generate addiction
The Internet, with all the facilities it offers, can make users develop dependency.
This is highly damaging because it isolates the person from the real context, affecting their work, family and personal environment. In addition, this situation can stimulate the appearance of other conditions, such as depression.
10. Limit interpersonal communication
Although one of the most outstanding advantages of the internet has to do with the ability to allow the exchange of information instantaneously, at the same time the excessive use of this resource is generating a decrease and even absence of fluid communication in the offline world .
In many cases, the use of devices such as mobile phones generate a kind of self-absorption in individuals that prevents them from communicating efficiently with the outside world. And this can lead to family, work or relationship problems, since communication with others in digital form is put before face-to-face contact with the immediate environment.