Sunday, Aug. 5 marked the 27th birthday of the internet, which was first launched and given access to the public on August 6, 1991, according to History.com.
Nowadays, the internet can be accessed for anything. From Justin Timberlake’s half-eaten french toast to someone you pay to wait in line for you, you can buy pretty much anything within a few seconds. The Internet has slowly crept into almost any and every aspect of our lives, and it’s almost impossible to find something that isn’t somehow affected/related to the internet.
The world wide web has revolutionized our everyday lives through advances in both accessibility and connectivity. The net has made things such as shopping, communication, and information accessible through only a few clicks.
You can now communicate with someone halfway across the world through phone, video, text, or even email. And with just a few strokes of the keyboard, you can find anything your heart desires, hence the phrase “just google it.”
In result of these technological advances, older generations have been known to say that the lives of millennials are far easier then their lives were. That somehow, since we were born with the internet, we had a much easier time, supposedly.
However, in this new age of internet dominance the way we live has been drastically changed because of the environment we grew up in.
The internet has always been known as a faster way to accomplish things, but with every shortcut comes obstacles. The obstacles that come with the net are nothing but serious.
For one, social networking sites and pretty much anything you register for online requires some sort of personal information. Often times, people even tend to overshare about their lives on social media. Our information is on display for anyone and everyone on a variety of platforms such as Whitepages, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. This leaves us in a very vulnerable position in terms of identity theft and personal security.
Back in the day, newspapers were our primary news source. Big names such as the L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post were considered the most reliable news outlets. However, now news first breaks on the Internet, and people can read the news that suits their personal biases, which often leads to people reading so-called “fake news.” This is when people read a version of events where important details have been purposely left out. There are many hoaxes on the internet that try to convince readers of anything but the truth which is why it’s important to always rely on credible sources.
The internet also, unfortunately, not does have a “delete key.” Meaning that anything you post will follow you for the rest of your life. Things that you have shared on the internet in your younger years, may come back to haunt you and be the deciding factor in important instances such as in the eyes of employers.
Cyberbullying, online predators, intense gaming addictions, “catfishing,” scams, and the ever-popular cryptocurrency are all also results of the internet.
Though the Internet has transformed our society in terms of accessibility and connectivity, it has also come with various major side effects, some of which are extremely dangerous. With the internet, it has become very easy to inflict harm, both indirectly and directly, upon others anonymously from behind a screen. Which is why we need to rethink the way we utilize the Internet and reform our ways so that we are cyber-safe and keep ourselves out of harm’s way.