The Negative Side of the Internet
Yes, the Internet does have a negative side to it - just like everything else. Don't stop going online, instead use this information to simply become more aware so you can protect yourself.
- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
- Loss of Privacy and Scams
- Loss of Integrity
- Blurring the Lines Between Work and Private Life
- Final Thought
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Ironically, the negative side of the Internet is brought on by the same factors that make it positive as well. Those factors are speed, easy access, worldwide availability, and instant transmission of data. It is all in how you use it, and the people that would normally take advantage of other situations now find they can do so quite easily with the Internet.
Loss of Privacy and Scams
The most negative side is loss of privacy. While you can look up old classmates and friends on other continents that you lost touch with, others can locate you as well with more sinister motives in mind. Who hasn't heard about the phishing e-mails from countries half a globe away telling you that you inherited some estate or won a lottery?
The sad thing is, these things work and people submit the personal information asked for because they expect people to be honest. What makes it worse that with the technology available most of these people who run scams usually do not get found, as the same technology allows them to remain anonymous.
Loss of Integrity
This leads to another negative side of the Internet, that you can pretend to be anyone you want to be. In the right context this can be a positive thing. For example, on a forum you go by a nickname so no one can look you up and stalk you. However, for people with ill intentions they can use this to their advantage. Many friendships have been formed over the Internet where one person was genuine and the other was not.
The person without integrity can now use what they learned about their supposed friend. This breech of trust can include everything from simply hurting their feelings to stealing their identity.
Also, while the Internet allows people in relationships to stay in touch in case one of them has to go away for job issues or otherwise, this can turn into a bad thing once the relationship is over. The same ease that allowed them to stay in touch with the Internet now intrudes. Especially when one person decides the relationship is over and wants to move on, but the other person can not and decides to keep contacting them. It makes it very easy to stalk someone.
Blurring the Lines Between Work and Private Life
Another negative side of the Internet is that people can find it hard to separate their work from their private lives. They are one instant keystroke away from their boss - twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. If they don't like their job to begin with, it can now intrude on their family time if they are not careful.
However, as with all things in life it is up to the individual to find the balance between both, the negative and positive aspects. Awareness and education are the key to dealing with the negative factors of the Internet.