Top 10 Disadvantages of the Internet

In this article, we are going to discuss one of the biggest issue/crises of the decade: Disadvantages of the Internet. As they say, necessity is the mother of inventions. And the human being is never short of needs. Since need something new every now and then. Humans wanted something to travel things smoothly, we invented tires. We wanted to make ourselves travel quickly, we invented cars. Human wanted to fly, they invented Airplane. And in the latest, we wanted to see the world right at our home, we invented the Internet.

 

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No doubt, the Internet is the biggest and brightest creation of the human history. Due to the law of nature, nothing is perfect. Even this marvelous creation of humans have some flaws. Or as we have discussed further in this article, Disadvantages of the Internet. But before discussing the disadvantages of the Internet, let us have a brief introduction to what Internet really is.

 

Introduction to the Internet

You probably already know this one, but just for the sake of this article let’s talk about the net in more depth. Internet’s basically a combination of two words, INTERnational NETwork. The Internet is a globally used system of computer networks interconnected, with each other, and it uses Internet Protocol Suite (IP) to link devices present worldwide. It is considered as the mother of all the networks, the network of networks that include public, private, academics, business and government networks of locals ones to the global level, which is linked by a magnificent and broad array of electronic, wireless and optical networking technologies.

The Internet originates back to the research ordered by Govt. of US in the year the 1960s to create a robust, fault-tolerant communication with computer networks. The first one the Internet, ARPANET, initially was used for interconnection of regional military and academic networks in the 1980s. After the 1980s, the private sector was more interested in this new technology and by 1990s, the Internet was available for everyone to use. And it is today, that the Internet, virtually affects every aspect of modern life that we are living that exists in almost every household throughout the world.

 

How is the Internet used?

Being practical, the internet is a vast field of resources that can be accessed by anyone present at any corner of the globe. Globally, the internet is used for research purposes, but on the other hand, it is also used for the following points in majestic quantity. Here are a few applications of the Internet.

  1. Communication
  2. Education
  3. Leisure
  4. Job Search
  5. Research
  6. Online Bookings
  7. Shopping
  8. Real-time updates
  9. Financial Transactions
  10. Blogging

And the list goes on..

 

Disadvantages of the Internet

Nothing in the world is perfect, everything and everyone has it’s own pros and cons. Similarly, contrary to popular belief the Internet isn’t just full of advantages. There exists many disadvantages that many people still aren’t aware of or refuse to talk about. We will be discussing the disadvantages of the Internet further.

 

1. Cyber Bullying

If you’ve been on the Internet long enough, chances are you’ve been victim to cyber bullying at least once or more in your lifetime. Cyber bullying is a serious crime that is usually ignored by most, due to the simple fact that it is “virtual” and not physical. But little do people know it almost has the same consequences as physical bullying, as it is the most common cause linked to depression, leading to suicide. Everyone has a smartphone these days that allow them to stay connected to the Internet all the time, which makes it very easy to be exposed to Cyber Bullying. Here are some ways it can take form in:

  1. Defamation
  2. Discrimination
  3. Manipulation
  4. Abusive language

Cyber Bullying usually takes place on social network platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, AskFM, YouTube etc. where you’d easily be able find people who won’t miss a chance to bully someone.

 

2. Being exposed to hackers, viruses & identity theft

 

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As not everyone in the world is technical, it can be easy for hackers to hack a non-technical person without him or her noticing at all. You may have already been told before, being present on the Internet is a very risky job and may sometime result in some mishappenings where hackers can manipulate you into downloading a fishy file and gain access to all your private data. In order to beat a hacker, it’s important that you learn a bit about cyber security and how you can protect yourself from it. One of the most common hacking that is done is on Facebook or other social networks, to gain access to personal data or conversations to learn more about the victim – with the ultimate desire to steal their identity.

Before downloading any file or opening a suspicious link, make sure to verify it’s authenticity. Sometimes that can be hard to do, hence to be safe make sure you’ve a good anti-virus installed on your computer. If you want to be extra safe, make sure you’ve 2-3 anti-viruses installed.

 

3. Exposure to negative content on the Internet

 

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The Internet is a very powerful weapon for research and learning. But no weapon should be given to someone who doesn’t know how to use it yet. People may exploit themselves on the Internet intentionally or unintentionally by exposing themselves to negative content on the web, such as graphic image or video of someone getting killed or pornographic material. This can be a very big issue for parents especially, hence it’s best to install a spying or a social media monitoring app on their device to make sure you know what they’re upto at all times.

 

4. Being prone to Spam & Advertisements

The best thing about the Internet is that it allows you to connect with everything and everyone in the world, which is great for businesses to reach their audience easily. Due to this, people have already start misusing the Internet with spam messages and selling data to other companies, which in return – send unwanted promotional offers which can fill up your email’s inbox with spam, possibly preventing you from missing out the important email.

This can be very annoying and very hard to avoid, as most websites or businesses urge you to give up your email in order to use their services. Hence it’s best to create a secondary email that you will use only to sign up, where as your main email will be used for personal & important tasks.

 

5. Health issues

Too much of anything always has a side effect, where as in this case – sitting all day in front of your computer or using your mobile phone to access the Internet can cause a lot of health issues which include heart problems, obesity, skin problems, eye problem, backpain etc.

If you’re a frequent user of smartphone & computer and haven’t faced any of the health issues mentioned above, then you’re probably lying as 94% of frequent users have reported experiencing one of these issues at least once in their life time.

Best way to avoid these health issues is to take breaks often when using these devices or strengthen your core muscles by going to the gym to avoid these issues at all. If you’re still not able to do that, you can take advantage of technology to help you get fit by installing a fitness app on your smartphone device.

 

6. Distraction

The biggest disadvantage of the Internet is that it’s easy to get distracted from it and spend hours without realizing, which could’ve been utilized in a more productive way. The best way to combat this is to set your phone on silent or airplane mode whenever you’re doing a task or install app blocking apps to stay focused. Another way is to uninstall the apps that are distracting you, such as social network apps and those addicting android games that you can’t wait to play as soon as you’re done reading this article.

 

7. Addiction

 

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Addiction to the net is known to be the biggest factor contributing to the Disadvantages of the Internet. Once you are connected to the Internet, you can not disconnect yourself from the Internet. You are stuck to the world of media and endless information. Let’s be honest, what’s the first question that you ask when you go to a restaurant or to a friend’s house? It’s probably the WiFi password.

 

8. Less focus & tolerance

According to a survey conducted, it is observed that many people who use Internet on regular basis tend to lose their focus and are generally less patient/tolerating. This is a disadvantage of the Internet that is mostly ignored, which in return can affect a person’s personal and career life deeply. Hence it’s best to recognize and take actions as early as possible. 

 

9. Over spending

A larger aspect of the internet is e-commerce. No doubt it has a lot of benefits, such as more conveniency – the ability to buy and have it delivered to your doorstep, without you having to move a single inch. But there is one disadvantage of the Internet that outclasses them all, and that is over-buying. We tend to shop things that we don’t really need, with all those coupons, discounts, mega sales available.

 

10. Social Isolation

Usage of the Internet, especially using many social media has been linked with depression & anxiety. People give less time to the people who are present near them physically and give more time on the Internet. Even though they may have 500 friends on Facebook, they still feel lonely and depressed due to lack of physical contact. Hence it’s best to get out once in a while, no matter how great your virtual life is going.

If you’re having difficulty finding friends, you can find them virtually and ask them to hangout. Great places to meet friends would be on social networks or online chatrooms.

Even during social gatherings, you’d find majority of the people involved using their phone. One creative way to combat this is to ask everyone to put their phone down on the table, the first one to pick it up has to pay for food!

 


 

Hope you enjoyed this article, do make sure to let me know your views and how these disadvantages of the Internet can be avoided!

Mursal Furqan

A Computer System Engineering Student at MUET, Jamshoro.

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