Advantages and Disadvantages of the Internet
Ten years ago, the Internet was practically unheard of by most people. Today, the Internet is one of the most powerful tools throughout the world. The Internet is a collection of various services and resources. According to Russ Brock, a director and consultant at the Center for Innovation and Inquiry, the Internet’s main components are E-mail and the World Wide Web. “There’s a lot more to the Internet than E-mail, search engines, celerity web sites, up-to-the-second sports scores, and chat rooms full of risqué discussions. The Net also ranks as one of today’s best business tools - if it’s used adroitly”. Almost all households contain the Internet; however, before people connect to the Internet, they need to be aware of its disadvantages and advantages.
Many fear the Internet because of its disadvantages. They claim to not use the Internet because they are afraid of the possible consequences or are simply not interested. People who have yet connected to the Internet claim they are not missing anything. Today’s technological society must realize, it is up to them to protect themselves on the Internet “Half of U.S. adults, or 94 million Americans, aren’t online”.
Children using the Internet has become a big concern. Most parents do not realize the dangers involved when their children log onto the Internet. When children are online, they can easily be lured into something dangerous. When children talk to others online, they do not realize they could actually be talking to a harmful person. As a result, there have been many cases where children have been convinced to meet people they have talked with online. In fact, “stories seem to come out every week: a child or teenager lured into something foolish, dangerous, or even deadly on line” . Cathy Cleaver of the Family Research Council claims that it is against the law for a molester to even attempt to find children online . In addition, children may also receive pornography online by mistake; therefore, causing concern among parents everywhere. Whether surfing the Web, reading newsgroups, or using email, children can be exposed to extremely inappropriate material. Pornographic sites tend to make sure they are the first sites to be listed in any search area; thus, children come across such sites easily. A man from Pearl, Mississippi was arrested in 1996 for downloading pornographic images of children from the Internet. He was charged with 290 counts of child pornography . Some critics say that parents are responsible for their own children on the Internet because there are available services to protect children. To keep children safe, parents and teachers must be aware of the dangers. They must actively guide and guard their children online. Parents should talk to their children about what is online and what might happen online, claims Howard Rheingold, writer of The Virtual Community . There are a number of tools available today that may help keep the Internet environment safer for children. Some companies, such as America Online, try to monitor everything that is said and done on their online service; however, because thousands of chat rooms are available, it is simply impossible for everything to be monitored, claims Tricia Primrose, worker for America Online . In other words, children want to explore things; however, there are people on the Internet that are just too persuasive.
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