The internet is one of the greatest inventions of our time. It has completely transformed how people live, communicate, and do business. There’s no question that the overall impact of the internet has been positive, but there are also some problems that go along with it.
As with most things, there are always positives and negatives. This article will discuss the biggest problems with the internet that can’t be ignored today.
Mental health impact
The internet is still relatively new in the grand scheme of things. A few decades is not a long time to go from, but studies have already shown some negative mental health impacts the internet has on society.
Social media, in particular, can have terrible consequences, especially for teens and young adults. People constantly compare themselves to their peers, and how people communicate has shifted from in-person to the screen. There’s nothing wrong with texting, but humans are social creatures and need those face-to-face conversations to feel good.
People also suffer from internet addiction, which often leads to depression, eyestrain, insomnia, and other issues. Overusing anything can lead to problems, the internet included. It’s best to limit internet use to only when necessary, such as to communicate with friends or colleagues, learn, or work. These are the things that make the internet great. Memes, video games, and social media also have their benefits but are also incredibly addictive.
Poor information security
The internet is, by design, not the ideal place for information security. Yet, its other benefits, such as the ease of transferring information and data, have made it the go-to place for people and businesses to exchange information.
Billions of people use the internet daily, and there are bound to be some bad apples. Cybercriminals have made a fortune exploiting the lack of security awareness and system vulnerabilities on the internet. People and organizations must use strong encryption to protect critical files.
Although not all information security risks can be resolved, they can be reduced with an increase in cyber threat awareness. People must protect their accounts with strong passwords and enable multi-factor authentication, adapt zero-knowledge encryption to important files, and other security features to maximize data protection.
Fake news, misused influence, and manipulation
The internet, including social media, is the most powerful weapon for influencing public opinion. People in power and with a platform can use this to steer the public perception of events in whichever way fits their agenda. Over the years, we’ve seen many examples of fake news and story manipulation. Some of them have had real consequences and influenced important decisions.
Large, influential organizations must be more responsible for the information they share, regardless of whether it fits their agenda. Social media platforms have already started making changes to their content policies. But, they must remain neutral to ensure that accurate information gets to the people.
From aggressive porn to gore and violence, the internet is full of inappropriate content that can shock even the toughest audience. Where inappropriate content really gets concerning is how accessible it is for children. People of all ages, including pre-teens, can access sites they have no business seeing, and many parents aren’t doing anything to stop them.
Monitoring what children see online is very challenging due to the accessibility of all types of content on the internet. That’s a big part of the problem. One way to limit children’s exposure to these things is limiting their time on the internet. Apart from doing homework and playing the occasional age-appropriate video game, there’s no reason for children to surf the internet for hours on end.
As great as the internet is for enabling easy communication and simplifying many everyday tasks, it includes several problems. Luckily, the pros far outweigh the cons, but the problems shouldn’t be ignored, especially if they can be improved upon.
Large media companies and social media platforms must ensure the credibility of information being shared online. Parents must do their best to protect children from inappropriate content on the internet.
The internet is still in its early stages, so it’s important to start steering it in the right direction to maintain its positive impact on humanity.