Internet - Social Implications

Without a doubt, the development of the Internet has changed our society. It has affected our family life and our working life to an extent that was unimaginable in 1990 when the Internet was first devised.

The Internet has brought us many advantages:

•   online documents
•   e-mail
•   instant information – news
•   e-commerce
•   tele-working
•   interactive games
•   online streaming
•   low-cost flights

The Internet has also brought us many disadvantages:

•   computer misuse
•   viruses
•   electronic vandalism
•   hacking or cracking
•   stealing of information
•   pornography
•   need for censorship.

The social implications of the Internet appear to affect nearly everyone. Yet it is still a fact that nearly two-thirds of the world’s population have never made a telephone call, far less used the Internet.

How many people in India, or China, or Mongolia, or Peru, or Chad, or Sudan have access to a telephone?

Our society is considered to be information-rich.  We have a number of different ways of gaining information and we have information skills, which allow us to access all this information.  The Internet is only one source of information, but is fast becoming a very important resource.

Third World countries are considered to be information-poor. These societies have limited access to information technology and have limited information skills. Up-to-date information is difficult to acquire.

But is that important? Is it more important to know about world news or what is on TV tonight, than where to find fresh water and food to eat?

Even our own society consists of the information-rich and the information-poor. Low-income families may not be able to afford a computer system, thus having no access to the Internet. If they had a computer system, then subscription charges may prove too costly.

Download and complete Worksheet 13.




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