Online Safety and the Internet Opportunity: Two sides of the same coin
‘Where there is life, there is growth.’ A seedling grows into a plant or a tree, a puppy grows into a dog, a kitten grows into a cat, a piglet into a pig and a child grows to be a full-fledged adult. As a young woman I think of the internet as a provider of new things and a part of our growth story. Modern technology too is growing enormously and its impacting how we think, connect, network and grow.
In the process of growth, we experience and learn numerous things by the things we observe, listen and influence whether it affects our lives positively or negatively. Internet is progressing everyday which is beyond one’s imagination. Everything that exists faces two sides of the coin. One needs to have a complete knowledge of something before one uses it or decides to possess it. As we know Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that includes private, public, business, academic and government networks linked globally.
Internet is such a boon to society, but we cannot ignore the negative effects it poses. It is a network that has power to connect and build relations across the world in limited time and less travel. It helps in communication for various purposes of an individual, group or an organization in a wider circle. It is a platform to share and gain information on one’s desired field or subjects. It contains lot of information on different aspects of life like education, science, technology, health, business, economics, history, literature, news, sports, entertainment, music etc. It provides opportunities for youngsters to establish themselves such as job search. Facility of Online courses enables students in gaining knowledge to achieve their goals. Anyone who has access to internet can do these courses as it is beyond age limit. Most prominently it updates News, happenings around the world. It is a forum to share one’s views and opinions on blogs and twitter.
With all its uses one needs to be conscious of its negative effects too. There are internet crimes like sports betting, accessing stored communications, blackmail/ extortions, phishing/ spoofing, electronic harassment, child pornography, drug trafficking, criminal copyright infringement, prostitution, non- delivery of merchandise and so on. All these are not to scare us but to be cautious and use internet wisely so that our information is safe and hence we are safe. It can also be a cause of addiction, due to which we neglect our daily responsibilities or studies if we do not draw a line while we use. Children these days face a problem to communicate face to face as they do most of the things with internet. They get negatively influenced if they are not watched or instructed how to use and what to access in internet. Due to harmful internet games like blue whale can be violent and reach to the extreme of ending lives. It is an easy means to access pornography and can mislead children.
Nowadays, we are so dependent on internet that we cannot think of living without it even a minute. At times when we are unable to access it, we can get easily frustrated. Safety rests in our hands. It is totally an individual’s responsibility to be aware what is best for oneself. So better take wise decisions than regret later. Learn, teach and encourage social media etiquette. Let’s make the internet a safe place for everyone.
The author is a student and these are her views