In the present society, it is undeniable that the changes in the world are linked to technological advancement particularly with the rise of the internet. Technology has evolved and deeply rooted in the society that conveniences of the internet are no longer a luxury but a necessity. The rise of the internet has changed the way humans live and has even changed the way people interact or how things work. The growth of the internet has led to the boom of smartphones and portable personal computers like tablets and laptops with easy access to the web. These devices have revolutionized access to the internet because they can be used anywhere in the world as long as there's web connectivity. Unfortunately, the internet technology that sought to improve people's lives is changing into a destructive force in the society. According to Dennis-Tiwary, smartphones have destroyed millennials and led to increased cases of teenage suicide and anxiety in the United States. The essay aims at evaluating the impact of internet technology on people by analyzing the pros and cons. In my opinion, internet usage has a very high detrimental or negative effect on people, especially teenagers and young adults.
According to Alan Greenblatt in his article "Impact of the Internet on Thinking", the author addresses the issue of whether the internet (World Wide Web) is altering how people think and their perception about the world in general. Greenblatt, a CQ Researcher stipulates that the internet is evolving into a broader web which is the only source for everything. The article also dwells in-depth on the matter and illustrates how handheld devices (e.g. smartphones) and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have become accustomed to the daily life of humans. The article quotes Nicholas Carr, a journalist who states that advancement in technology and the internet will damage the human brain. As a result, Greenblatt endorses the view that the internet has not only shortened out attention span but worsened it in many people. In summation, Greenblatt concludes that he cannot predict the future of technology and that the internet and handheld devices will connect more people. However, people will gain a broader sense of viewing things if they stop overusing the internet, handheld devices, and computers.
The addiction to the internet, smartphones, and computers has a negative impact especially in the young generations because it is linked to depression, anxiety, and suicidal impulses. According to Dennis-Tiwary, Apple introduced new software aimed at restricting the time users spend on their smartphones. The move was welcomed by parents who are concerned about the habits of their teenagers addicted to the screen (Dennis-Tiwary Para. 1). The excessive use of smartphones is correlated with depression and anxiety leading to a public mental health problem. However, some teenagers live with anxiety and use the smartphone and the internet to escape into a world that makes sense. However, the outcome is more negative because of the addictive nature of digital media (Dennis-Tiwary).
On the other hand, the internet creates an opportunity for radicalization and hate speech due to the anonymity and privacy offered by various social media sites. The internet technology is a double-edged sword whose monstrous negative impacts outweigh the positive. The wrongful usage of the internet sows enmity and terrorism because people can access all manner of information leading to misinformation. It is sad that people misuse the freedom of speech and expression through the web by spreading hate and negative energy. Dylann Roof used the internet to research about white supremacy and used his evil mentality to promote violence by fatally shooting nine black parishioners in Charleston, S.C in June 2015 (Bruni Para. 7). Likewise, Robert Bowers used Gab, a social media site to foster his anti-Semitic, xenophobic and racist attitude and was accused of murdering 11 American Jews (Bruni Para. 6).
Lastly, the internet technology affects personal relationships negatively and leads to serious miscommunication as well as unhappiness. According to a Stamford University study carried out to evaluate the impact of technology on happiness and emotional development, young girls aged 8-12 reported being unhappy and less socially comfortable than their peers who spent less time on digital gadgets (Richtel Para. 3). Furthermore, researchers in the study stipulated that heavy media usage contributes to social challenges in girls. As such, girls need to learn about communication such as understanding body and verbal cues in face-to-face conversations. In addition, digital devices connected to the web have destroyed personal relationships because they have eliminated physical human interaction. For example, gaming apps and social media addiction have been so deeply engraved inhuman way of life that they cannot construct personal relationships in the right way anymore (Issitt).
In conclusion, the internet has the ability to enrich human lives by fostering better connectivity with other people, access to a pool of knowledge, and entertainment. However, instead of enriching human life, internet technology has evolved to be a destructive force to reckon. The internet and digital gadget addiction has led to the epidemic of anxiety and depression in the young generation, abuse of free speech and expression, as well as being a source of spreading hate, misinformation, terrorism, and radicalization. Therefore, internet usage should be censored and people educated on how best to reap benefits from the technology instead of ravaging in its destructive properties.
Bruni, Frank. "The Internet Will Be the Death of Us." The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Oct. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/10/30/opinion/internet-violence-hate-prejudice.html.
Dennis-Tiwary, Tracy A. "Taking Away the Phones Won't Solve Our Teenagers' Problems." The New York Times, The New York Times, 14 July 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/07/14/opinion/sunday/smartphone-addiction-teenagers-stress.html?module=inline.
Greenblatt, Alan. "Impact of the Internet on Thinking." CQ Researcher, 24 Sept. 2010, pp. 773-96, library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2010092400.
Issitt, Micah. "The Effect of Mobile Devices on Personal Relationships: Overview." Points of View: The Effect of Mobile Devices on Personal Relationships, Mar. 2016, p. 1. EBSCOhost, proxy.lib.miamioh.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pwh&AN=101841444&site=pov-live&scope=site.
Richtel, Matt. "Does Technology Affect Happiness?" The New York Times, the New York Times, 25 Jan. 2012, bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/does-technology-affect-happiness/.
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