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What a Tangled (World Wide) Web We Weave
Societal Impact of the Internet
Member Name: MarcoG
Societal Impact of the Internet
Advantages: We're connected
Disadvantages: We're unconnected
Do we need the internet???
WITH THE INTERNET:
We got Greedy...
The internet is a powerful thing. We all want world domination and we can have it at our fingers tips. Quite literally. We can do pretty much anything - buy a car, listen to music, looks at our friend's photo albums, watch a film, find a lover, write a review ;) With the right knowledge of coding and HTML, we can also create our own worlds. It's a scary thought when put like that.
We got Lazy...
The internet makes it easy to spend more time sat on our bums, and not getting the same daily exercise. Prime example of this; shopping. Nowadays, I don't see the need to go to the shops so much, if I think of something I want, I automatically go and have a look online. Saves time. With cashback sites, there is more incentive to abandon the high-streets. It's like we're steering ourselves away from exercise. Look at the supermarket shop - ok, it's not like going to the gym, but generally there is a lot of activity involved...if you walk there, even better. How many of us do online because we can't be bothered to go round a supermarket? I see both sides. Personally, when it comes to supermarkets, I prefer to go - and see in my hands what I'm buying. I've had bad experiences of supermarket shopping online, especially when your muesli gets swapped for cat litter!
We got Poorer...
So many times I've seen a DVD I fancy and thought "I'll just see how much that is online", then subsequently, gone online and bought it. Online shopping is too accessible. There was a time when I would have thought "next time I'm out, I'll look for this", thus prolonging my need and dampening my craving for whichever DVD I was after. The internet makes it too tempting to buy things. When you buy online and with plastic, it doesn't feel like real money is being spent - so psychologically, the impact on your finances doesn't feel so great - uh oh - dangerous territory! And of course, online we have review sites, which has a tendancy to impact my amazon wishlist!
We got Connected...
For some people, the internet is their lifeline - I have a friend who is pretty much housebound, but gets to do whatever he wants - chat to whoever, read, listen and watch whatever he wants - thanks to his fibre optic broadband. Without it, all he'd have is Jeremy Kyle - and no one wants that! More people are connected to a social network than ever before. Personally, I've found it invaluable. When I was travelling, I uploaded any photos of my whereabouts for all to see - instead of sending out mass emails. My friends and family knew I was safe and felt involved with what I was doing - I was connected. Communications are significantly better online - thanks to software like Skype, we can see our loved ones, even if they live on the other side of the world. Home doesn't have to feel so far away.
We got Love...
With online activity, comes online communities, with that comes new friends. For those lonely folk that need some loving, there is all sorts available - dating sites, hook up sites - sex and love on demand. If you need someone in your life, there is immediate access - it's another matter altogether if you're successful, but you can look.
WITHOUT THE INTERNET
We'd be Poorer...
Surely without the web to browse, there would be more competition over prices, on the high-street. That said, it could be argued that without online, the competitiveness of prices wouldn't be so great - because retailers could bump there prices up without much complaint. Internet and high-street have always battled, with the internet winning hands down virtually every time.
We'd be Active...
We'd have to get off our sofas and into the shops. We'd have to browse in a real place and interact with real people. We'd have to walk around a supermarket and get at the very least, a minimal amount of exercise. Consumer groups are saying that the internet is the prefered option for most people, when it comes to shopping. Clearly, this has a detrimental effect on our high-streets and every day, more and more shops are closing down.
We'd Still Be Connected...
Of course, if we didn't have the internet, we'd actually have to get off our backsides and go see people! The relationships we have would probably be more meaningful, and capture more sense of engagement and involvement. However, if we went away on a trip, or to live, we'd have to settle with telephone or writing letters. Home would feel far away.
We'd be Lonely...
Well, if you don't have any friends. Without the internet, it would be harder to find them. Sure, you can join local groups and clubs, attend groups from local advertising - but the hunt wouldn't be so immediate or easy without the internet to help and guide you. If you were sat in your little bedsit at 1'o'clock in the morning and wanted to chat with someone...the pubs would be closed, the shops would be shut, so you'd just have teletext - to find a phone number for some sort of chat forum...much easier online!
The internet has changed the way we live our lives. If we want to watch a film, or listen to a song - before we'd have to wait until we could buy it in a shop, or caught it on TV - but now we can do this at the click of a few buttons on iTunes...again, this accessibility to commercial goods is undoubtedly costing us money, however the ease at which it makes our lives can surely be a good thing, right?
Thanks for reading
© MarcoG 2012
Summary: Online or offline, the internet makes our lives easier. We could get by before, but now it's better!