Apparently the UK government is aiming to get 80,000 new people online this week. The benefits of using the internet, according to the website, include getting instant access to news and other information. The website also makes the point that the internet means that staying in touch with family and friends easier than ever before. Do you think? No I’m serious. Do you think it’s a wholly good idea?
I’m all for instant access and keeping in touch with people, but we shouldn’t forget that there’s a dark side too. The internet can suck the life out of you. For example, computers are addictive. According to research from the US and South Korea, between 5% and 10% of computer users become addicted. This means less time interacting physically with family and friends. It also means less time reading books and less time developing deep knowledge. There is also the argument that constant connectivity is distorting reality and reducing empathy.
As for instant news that’s great. But don’t forget that there is generally no short cut to any place worth going. In other words, if it’s easy we should resist it.
Hey, if you’re not online already give it a go. The internet is fantastic on many levels. It makes life easier, you can save yourself some money and you can find some things that are not generally available anywhere else. But beware.
The internet, digitalization and mobile devices are helping to create a world that’s out of balance. A world where people feel that their life is somehow out of control. A world of declining privacy, increasing peer pressure, cyber-bullying, identity theft, voyeurism, exhibitionism and ego-inflation.
Still thinking of going online? Sure. But remember to disconnect from time to time. Already online and feeling that your life is getting out of control? I suggest that you use the web 2.0 Suicide Machine (suicidemachine.org). This is nothing sinister. Just a smart way to meet your real friends again and to wipe your online history clean.
Have a nice day.