The Internet was designed in the 1960’s to provide a communications network that would work even if some of the sites were destroyed by nuclear attack. If the most direct route was not available, routers would direct traffic around the network via alternate routes.
Since the Internet was initially funded by the government, it was originally limited to research, education, and government users and was sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Big changes took place when full Internet service became available in November 1992. All limitations on commercial use disappeared in May 1995 when the National Science Foundation ended its sponsorship of the Internet backbone and all traffic relied on commercial networks. AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServe came became mainstream and the internet revolution was in full swing.
So today let’s analyze the good, bad and ugly of the Internet.
1. The Internet still offers a great resource for research and education purposes. One can access many databases and periodicals for learning about nearly any topic and getting a variety of perspectives. If you want to get the inside skinny on a company large or small, just connect to your local library and choose ReferenceUSA. You can gain information on the company executives, credit rating and a summary of the mission statement of the company. Heck you could even type into any search engigne a topic that intrigues you such as the 1975 Cincinnati Reds an pick and choose the level of information you want to read about.
2. Multi faceted networking is a big bonus of the internet. If you need to find business connections, LinkedIn is a fabulous resource. If you want to connect with friends from your past, present and future why not try out Facebook. There are numerous blogging sites such as Ezines where you can target an audience and promote your ideas. Check out YouTube for some rare concert videos.
3. The development of many Internet providers and email has allowed individuals to communicate in writing much more effectively and attach key documents to if nothing else reduce the amount of paper used. Now there is a plus for the environment. Not too mention the ability for each user to run spell check and communicate at will in the coproate world. The secretary pool was put out to pasture making businesses more efficient.
1. With the advent of the Internet people spend too much time emailing and surfing the internet instead of getting off the computer and experiencing life. So many teenagers and some adults are addicted to chat rooms and playing games. Furthermore they can not leave their email account alone as they utilize blackberries to ecessively chat with friends even when they are out at an event.
2. The Internet has not been the best place for job seekers. LinkedIn as been an exception to some degree due to its networking capabilities. However job boards like Monster, CareerBuilder and Dice.com are flooded with recruiters which truly complicate one’s job search and overload Human Resources Departments.
3. The internet has not been the greatest places for online dating. There have been some matches made in Internet heaven. However, more times than not people hide behind their profile and resort to endless conversations that do not lead to a meeting. Also, many responders to dating ads are not often truthful. The basis for how you met is not always the greatest. Common interests and personal qualities are better discovered in a more public forum.
1. With all the advances that our good guy Internet Pioneers has developed there are many Bad Guy Internet gurus. They develop programs to capture credit card and social security numbers and then an innocent person is a victim of identify theft. So buyers beware when placing an order on a questionable internet site.
2. Another ugly part of the Internet is faulty advertising. Most ads on Craigslist and other sites are pretty legitimate. However there are several which encourage unsuspecting people to use their bank accounts or make wire transfers to earn a big sum of cash. When it comes down to pay, the check either never arrives or if it does, the check has insufficient funds or is a fake. In one case a Craigslist ad resulted in a murder.
3. Let’s face it there are many hate groups on the Internet. Remember the Klu Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party. Well unfortunately they are alive and well on the Internet. Go to the American Nazi Party site and you will see a very scary article depicting George Lincoln Rockwell as a great hero and non-Aryans as leeches of the world. The language used holds nothing back.
In conclusion, the Internet can be a wonderful place. The good is indeed very good and stand strong like a pure guardian angel. The drawbacks of the Internet can be as addicting as a skid row junkie. To quote Clint Eastwood, Every man has to know his limitations. And the ugly can be scarier than the horror story characters, Freddie Kruger, Jason and Carrie combined even with some Viagra thrown in for good measure. Therefore, when you enter the Internet trust in the Boy Scouts motto, “Be Prepared.”