By Princess Fatimah Tariq
Most of us know how the Internet has revolutionised the world. Communicating with family and friends has become immediate despite the distance, getting work done through the internet such as paying utility bills online have made chores easy to complete. People are now able to publish their opinions, posts, news, talent and portfolio for the world to review. The current generation and the coming generations have become so addicted to the Internet that now it seems impossible to live without the Internet.
I could go on and on about the remarkable opportunities the Internet has brought forth, however, this post aims to bring light to the “dark” side of the Internet. That side which is not visible to many people in world. A side which requires some thought and attention before it goes out of control.
To start off, I believe that the key selling point of the Internet is its ability to communicate with people especially those who live a good distance away from your houses or work places. The Internet has allowed people to send documents, files, pictures and portfolios from one country to another. It promises easy and convenient communication. Yet people fail to see how difficult this has made our lives. Being able to communicate instantly has now lead to companies requiring their employees to work from home and respond to their office emails after office hours. The easy and instant communication method has also given birth to a new trend. People find it easier to send messages on Facebook rather then call a person who lives in the same city or even speak to him if they are in the same building.
Furthermore, being so glued to our emails and social-networking sites, it is now assumed that if someone doesnt reply to your email or Facebook comment within 24 hours, it means that he or she is in trouble or not well. Now where did that come from?? The Internet has made our lives run at a speed that is hard to cope up with. We are expected to be online 24/7 responding to family, friends and businesses. It has now made it harder for us to have a day off to ourselves, without expecting to respond to anything.
Also, the Internet makes it hard to amend mistakes or take something given back. If I send an email containing important documents to someone and then realise I have sent it to the wrong email address, I have no way of taking the email back. Even if the person says he would delete it without reading my confidential information, there is no guarantee that it is going to happen. The internet makes files very easy to duplicated with perfection and store the file in multiple places. A search through the computer would also make it close to impossible to search if there has be no duplicates of the email
Moreovere, the Internet has made our life an open book especially due to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Orkut and Friendster. There is no such thing as privacy. Anyone can google my name and be able to find information about me such as my email address, date of birth or pictures of how I look like. If I ever need to hide my identity from someone, lets say a stalker. I would not be able to do that without cutting myself completely out from the medium.
Lastly, many people have been jailed, fined and/or blamed for bridging copyright laws using content available on the Internet. The fact is that many of those people don’t even intend to break copyright rules and get sued for thousands (that’s the least). Using content from the internet is mostly free, but there is no guidance or clear definition of how copyright laws are applied on the internet. I believe that for such an incredible invention, it is not that hard to come out with an application educating and warning people of the limit allowed within the copyright fences.
In conclusion, there is no doubt to what a spectacular invention the Internet has turned out to be. However, I wanted to raise awareness that this medium in not perfect. It has so many flaws and hidden dangers that many fail to recognise.