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How Does The Internet Influence Society Nowadays?

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How Does the Internet Influence Society Nowadays?

Mike Guthrie

Stanford University

How Does the Internet Influence Society Nowadays?

The internet is one of the most revolutionary technological innovations of all time. It has led to a radical shift in the way people lead their lives. Almost all aspects of people's lives have been affected by the internet in one way or another. Today, most people can attest to the fact that their education, business and even social lives have felt the impact of this novel innovation (Thompson, 2009). Most businesses would report huge losses were the internet to fail for a few hours. The internet has affected society in many ways and it would be an exercise in futility to try and enumerate all of them. However, the ultimate aim is to explain some significant effects of the internet to modern society.

No other sector has been affected by the internet more than the education industry (Takahashi & Narita, 2002). The invention of the internet was necessitated by the need to share information (Takahashi & Narita, 2002). The search for information and knowledge is now easier than ever. Students no longer need to go to a library and peruse through numerous pages of voluminous books in search of information. Thanks to online search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, a student can access a lot of information from anywhere in the world with a few clicks of his or her mouse. Distance learning via online correspondence courses is becoming the norm rather than the exception (Covington, Paprock, & Williams, 2002). The value of the internet in educating individuals cannot be underestimated. The online community has developed several free tutorials, some in video format, which can go a long way in helping students in their quest to acquire knowledge. While this is highly desirable, some scholars argue that it has removed the human element in education (Covington, Paprock, & Williams, 2002).

Businesses have been greatly impacted by the internet. It is now too common for people to do much of their shopping online. With sites such as eBay, Amazon and Craigslist, online purchase has seen tremendous and unprecedented growth since its inception a few decades ago (Wartman & Aleman, 2009). Most businesses recognize the need to integrate online customer service interfaces to their systems. Almost all businesses nowadays have a website where customers can get more information about the company, conduct business and seek help (Thompson, 2009). Online banking and money transfers have become increasingly popular over the last decade. Advertisements, once exclusively reserved for the print, television and radio media, have gained immense popularity on the internet. However, the increase in online business transactions has also set the stage for a new form of crime - cybercrime (Wartman & Aleman, 2009). Criminals have found a novel approach to conduct their malicious activities for selfish gains. Sitting behind a computer screen with sophisticated tools, a techno savvy individual with malicious intent can engage in theft, extortion, forgery and other forms of crime with relative ease.

The internet has also revolutionized the way people interact and hence their social lives. Instant communication between two or



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