Has the Internet Worsened or Improved our Daily Lives?

The+internet+is+filled+with+many+different+things.

geralt via pixabay.com

The internet is filled with many different things.

Mia Vargas-Garcia, Contributor

The internet has been around for over 35 years. It is clear that it has impacted many people’s lives in several ways. Is this impact good or bad? Has the internet worsened or improved our daily lives?

Positive Changes

Does the internet benefit us? The internet has made many positive impacts on our daily lives and changed the world in a good way.

  • Great Entertainment

Today, there are several platforms that entertain millions of people all around the world. Most of these entertaining activities can be as simple as scrolling through social media, or watching a tutorial for a new hobby to start. People can contact their friends and distant relatives. Online games are popular as well. There are many fun things made on the internet to occupy the user when bored or taking a break.

  • Better Communication

When using the internet, most social media platforms, for example, have some sort of form of messaging others. This can include people across the world. Social media is a good way to communicate with distant friends and family. Communicating with others has become faster and only takes a matter of seconds.

  • Spreading Awareness

Communication through social media has also helped in spreading awareness of what is happening in other parts of the world. This includes things like war and natural disasters. A single post can spread so much information to so many people.

Several posts that promote social justice have become quite popular. These kinds of posts talk about topics like animals’ well-being, voting rights, racism, etc. Posting about these kinds of topics leads more people to stand up for what’s right and join together as activists to raise their voice.

  • Faster Business Promotions and Payments

Today, we have tons of different ways to rapidly communicate with one another. Marketing has become easier. Advertisements just take one click and the user is provided with all of the ad’s information. These methods are definitely faster and better than posters or newspapers.

Payments have become easier as well. People now have online credit cards and online shopping is a quick and convenient way to purchase products without leaving your home. There are several apps and programs that help people get things straight to their house too, instead of picking up their items. This can be for food, groceries, and other items that are sold online and mailed. Many can agree that it makes life easier.

Negative Changes

Although there are many positive changes and impacts that the internet has made, there are still several negatives.

  • Inappropriate Use

Unfortunately, many people around the world use the internet and social media incorrectly and inappropriately. Most of the things that these kinds of people do are illegal. For example, illegal items can be sold online, and millions of people have access to them. Clicking the wrong link can lead to bad things too, like putting a virus in your device, all because someone programmed the link that way. Scammers and predators lurk the internet too. It’s all a matter of being careful about what you say and do on the internet.

We have access to thousands of things with a single tap. How can we be sure it’s safe?
(piqsels.com)
  • Psychological Effects

In a 2017 study, people who used social media more often found themselves feeling socially isolated. People who used it less did not. The studies show that reducing social media use can make the feeling of social isolation decrease.

In 2016, people discovered a link between social media and mental health issues like depression and anxiety. After making a survey, the results were that people with negative interactions on the internet were dealing with these mental illnesses. Most people can also feel uncomfortable or unsafe if others don’t use the internet properly. For example, cyberbullying is a major problem on the internet. Actions like these can hurt others far more than intended. 

  • Physical Effects

Based on several users’ experiences, using the internet on their devices for long periods can lead to eyestrain. Eyestrain is common, and can occur when your eyes have been used too intensely. Symptoms of eyestrain can include dry eyes and/or blurry vision. The main reasons for eyestrain are screen time (how long you’re on the device), screen brightness, viewing too close/far away, etc. 

Many people have a method to prevent eyestrain. This method is called the 20-20-20 rule. How it works is that when you realize that you’ve been looking at a screen for 20 minutes, look away for 20 seconds at something at least 20 feet away. Doing this will guarantee less strain on the eyes. 

Poor posture can also be an effect from using the internet. Because many people use devices, like phones or tablets, in a “down and forward” position (hunched forward and looking at the screen), it can put pressure on the neck and spine. This can lead to bad or incorrect posture. 

Sleep problems are a common effect that is caused by technology. This is because of the blue light that screens emit. Blue light has a short wavelength and produces a lot of energy. Especially when using devices late at night, the blue light tricks your eyes and brain into thinking it is daytime. This causes sleeping problems for the user. 

Conclusion

Today no one is certain whether the internet has improved or worsened our daily lives. Though many have their own opinions, the pros and cons of the internet’s impact are pretty even. What do you think? Have our lives worsened or improved because of social media?