The Internet: Is it a good thing or a bad thing?

January 29, 2018 4:37 pm

The Internet is both good and bad and like any source of information, entertainment or services must be understood and used responsibly.

The Internet is good in that it is a readily available source of information, news, resources and material for an endless variety of topics, subjects and interests.  You can find television shows and movies to view, educational programs for children, and video tutorials or written “how-to” guides to provide instructions on how to start, complete or trouble-shoot any task you may need assistance with.  If you need recipes, dictionaries, a thesaurus, translator or currency converter, the Internet has you covered.  You can even buy or sell your own new or second-hand goods using various Internet sites and services.

If you are immobile or infirm the Internet is a resource that can help you to remain independent by giving you the ability to order and have delivered directly to your home just about anything you may need.  The Internet even serves as a directory of service providers so that hair dressers, pet groomers, grocery stores and restaurants can come directly to you.  For those who are not immobile or infirm, but simply short on time and energy, these same resources and services can be helpful and provide considerable relief from the pressure and stress of a busy life with a full schedule.

The bad side of the Internet is as readily available as the good and not always easy to identify.  Information and content can be populated by anyone and is not always accurate or factual.  It is important that news, historical facts, statistics and any information you find on the Internet is only believed and trusted if you have verified that it comes from a reputable source.  You must also take care not to share your personal information on sites that do not have appropriate levels of security and protection for consumers.

Parental controls and restrictions are also important if you’d prefer that your children or other household members not have access to pornography, specific sites or movies and games with content you have not approved.

Social Media applications and sites are wonderful tools for keeping in touch with friends and family, dating, posting reviews and receiving recommendations.  Those same applications and sites can also be used for criminal activity such as stalking, unpleasant exchanges such as bullying or shaming and for trolling by those who may take pleasure from inciting arguments and debate.

The Internet is a truly amazing tool and resource when used responsibly and with integrity.  Understanding the many ways the Internet can be used for both good and bad is your best protection and defense as you access all of the options available to you on the information superhighway.

 

By Kim Wunderlich-Cady