Well doesn’t that depend upon the purpose of your key-strokes? Frankly, I don’t know who is sicker, the young lady who auctions her virginity online, or the ‘gentlemen’ who bid for it? I think when the Internet first arrived users could be likened to Neanderthal man first discovering fire, but now we are a lot more savvy in how we use the information super highway.
As a writer I find the Internet an invaluable tool. Any information I need I can get a the touch of a button. Sixteenth century Japanese plate armour? It’s there, in front of me! No more running off to a library and waiting six weeks for a book only to find it doesn’t contain what I need. Unable to ‘hook’ a literary agent, I am able to self-publish my novels and let my work stand or fall on its own merit.
The Internet must have created millions of new jobs for those of us who are computer literate and wish to work from home! Amazon and eBay are quite simply, the biggest shopping malls in the world! Okay, shopping online has contributed to the demise of high street commerce, but some people might call this ‘evolution’. Furthermore, ‘online competition’ has forced down prices quite considerably, so now you can afford something that previously you deemed beyond your pocket. Skype enables one to stay in touch with friends and loved ones on the other side of the world, and it’s free!
New ideas exist everywhere on the Internet. Since the information super-duper-highway is not yet fully policed, it is inevitable this particular communication medium allows one access to sites not conducive to good mental health. Pornography that denigrate women and children, gambling that plunges one into debt, bogus opportunities that take your money and crush your spirit, online fraud committed by individuals who have no need to even step foot in your country. Hacking and the stealing of intellectual property that had cost the rightful owners years of their time and millions of dollars. Those individuals labelled terrorists can now disseminate their ideologies directly, and without the need to ‘sweet talk’ journalists into publishing their dogma. Terrorists can radicalize online, recruit innocents to their cause and communicate with like-minded fund-raisers using encrypted data. I wonder how the IRA would have made use of the internet to further its cause? It is said the ‘social media’ was employed to great effect in organising the UK riots in August 2011. It can therefore be argued, alongside peaceful co-existence, the internet is used to organise social unrest! What about Internet music piracy? Illegal downloading deprives corporations and individuals of their rightful income! The creation of the Dark Web enables organised crime to flourish. Call me a conspiracy nut if you wish, but I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if government-backed agencies conduct experiments in subliminal advertising that may cause susceptible individuals to act out of nature, causing others harm.
I often wonder whether the inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee could have envisaged the current uses and misuses of his invention? Bringing the world’s population closer together creates opportunities for both honest and dishonest dialogue. Life is not supposed to be perfect. If someone was to pull the plug on the Internet, I fear there would be hundreds of thousands of suicides. The Internet is here, and it will stay here. Use it wisely!