Internet; Evolution and Social effects

INTRODUCTION

To start the discussion about Internet, first of all we need to know “what is Internet?” Internet is a global network of computers that consists of interconnected networks and use standardized communication protocols. It provides a variety of communication and information facilities that are use for various purposes including scientific research, study, global communication etc. As per Oxford, the word Internet was discovered in 1970s by combining two English words “Inter” (meaning reciprocal or mutual) and “Net” (meaning network).

The global internet consists of many thousands of interconnected networks that are run by governments, service providers, individual companies and others, unlike the telephone network that was run by a single company for years. The internet works because the open standards allow all the networks to connect to each other. This connection service makes it possible for every one to offer services, sell products and create content without prior permission of central authorities.

Internet is basically a communication and information system, so it can be used or misused depending upon the intentions, skills and psychology of an individual. Where it has numerous benefits about usage in the global communication and research, meanwhile it can also be used for criminal and illegal activities as well as detection of criminal activities performed by any individual all over the world. Internet is also helpful in the technology of satellite information to detect, determine and design the future conditions of climate, weather and other circumstances.

This article covers basic history, social impacts and some pros and cons of internet.

BRIEF HISTORY OF INTERNET

Internet came into being in 1969 when ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) in the DoD (Department of Defense) was interested to find a way to connect the computers so that the scientists could share their findings thereby reducing the cost and efforts of duplication. The idea of ARPANET was presented in a meeting of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) in 1967. This idea consisted of the concept that each host computer would be attached to a specialized IMP (Interface Message Processor), which in turn, would be connected to other IMPs. By 1969, four nodes were connected through IMPs to form a network among UCLA (University of California Los Angeles), University of Utah, SRI (Stanford Research Institute) and UCSB (University of California at Santa Barbara). The NCP (Network Control Protocol) software provided communication among the hosts.

Presently, the Internet consists of many local- and wide-area networks that are joined together by switching stations and connecting devices. Today, the Internet is provided to end users by ISP (Internet Service Providers). These ISPs work on national, international, local and regional basis. Today, the internet is not run by government but by private companies.

By this mutual communication, the Internet has brought the world to a single platform where everyone can interact with each other and share knowledge and research works among each other.

FACTS AND FIGURES

According to google, 5 Million Terabytes of data was present on Internet by the year 2010. Furthermore, Google admitted itself that only 0.004% of data was indexed by them out of all the data present on Internet. Every day, more that 5 Million blog posts are published.

By the year 2018, there were 4.045,421,895 users on the web as of the results declared by the (ILS) Internet Live Stats, which monitors the active state of the Internet. The figure is expected to grow even larger by the year 2020.

It is interesting to know that more than 85,000 websites are hacked every single day and every hour, 5000 domain names are registered. This means that every day 120,000 domains are registered and 43 Million every year. The main reason behind why many people do not get their desired .com domain name is that more than 75% of domains are not resolving or are parked. Statistics suggest that Facebook covers approximately 50% of the Internet users.

Joomla and WordPress are the most affected Content Management Systems on Internet.

The video sharing sites engage more than 1 Billion people every month as per user engagement. An average internets user spends about 4 hours on YouTube every month.

The Internet reached its first 50 Million-users goal in just four years while the television and radio took 13 and 38 years respectively to reach that huge number of users.

INTERNET AND THE GLOBAL VILLAGE

The use of internet in human life has been seen to increase very rapidly over the past two decades. This development uplifted the communication of Internet users at global scale. This Internet communication has been used as mean of education, online shopping, conduction of financial transactions and to work remotely.

Meanwhile, this rapid increase in the use of internet in daily lives of a huge population has also led to detrimental impacts such as cyber suicide, cyber bullying, cyber porn, social isolation, internet addiction and cyber racism etc..

Nowadays, internet is building advanced and more powerful societies and communities on global scale. These online services play a vital role in uplifting the societies to higher levels of awareness, education and unity. But at the same time, it is also misguiding the people by fake news, digital marketers and others. Furthermore, the Internet influences the society by social media websites, internet marketing, online business, shopping sites, research, education and positive as well as negative automation of social skills.

Thus, internet is affecting the lives of almost all individuals living in the society in number of ways. Some of the key effects of Internet on the lives are discussed as under:

Social networks:

Social networks are the sites or platforms that are created to maintain social relations among people with common interests and activities including active members of the social network. These social networks provide a series of free and basic services such as profile creation, uploading videos and pictures, instant messaging and commenting etc..

Cyberbullying:

Cyber bullying is an aggressive behavior conducted through electronic means that may lead to make young people feel unhappy, frightened, lonely and insecure. Such victims feel under-confident to go to school and find ways to isolate socially. Intense and persistent bullying has known to led to terrible consequences including attempt to suicide.

Internet addiction:

Internet addiction refers to more and more involvement of people with the Internet to achieve the feeling of satisfaction, and an increase in this time spent on Internet to pump this feeling. Internet addiction causes a significant decrease in the social, academic or professional functioning of the individuals; although, it is not officially recognized as clinical entity. To partially overcome this overwhelming problem, mental health experts therapeutically approach the people with problematic Internet use.

Online scams:

Online scams can be designed using internet against millions of people and businesses who arrange their economic works through the Internet. Online scams can be used to gain access to personal data of Internet users by misleading them to disclose their personal information to a fake form. A particularly smart technique to deceive a victim economically is Phising that comes from combination of password (code) and fishing. This technique is used to reveal both financial transactions information as well as personal information. So, it is necessary to perform the navigations on websites with extreme caution, particularly those which include transactions.

Information on the internet; positive or negative?

On the internet, people see information that looks important. People perceive the information as an important information and it affects the mindset of people positively or negatively. The people who perceive the information negatively help to spread numerous rumors knowingly or unknowingly. The information available on the internet is bringing forth the political, economical and social changes around the globe. This is basically because of the individual actions and reactions on internet that put on positive or negative impacts on the societies through communication, thoughts and actions.

CONCLUSION

Internet was initially invented to provide the ease of communication and share the findings of scientists in the late 1960s. basically it came into being for the welfare of the global society, but now with the continuous advancements in technology, it has became a serious factor that can make or destroy the societies. Internet works with the digitization of information and spreading of that information through electronic means. Internet has brought the world over a single platform to communicate as well as perform various social activities such as sharing of knowledge and scientific works on global scale, interacting with different people on social sites and much more. Internet aids in the development of societies by providing the global communication platform, educational means, etc. But at the same time, it is negatively affecting the societies through cybercrimes, online scams and internet addiction that distances the youth from education keeps them wasting a long time. Internet has also created opportunities of employment for many people, but meanwhile, it has also increased the rate of unemployment in various other fields. However, the use of Internet positively or negatively purely depends upon the intentions and skills of the users. The negative impacts of Internet on societies are detrimental, but meanwhile the positive impacts cannot be avoided.

Article author: Rimshaumar (Fiverr.com)