Introduction: Many of us use computers in our daily life. Whether we are studying for a degree, connecting with friends, sending off a job application or watching a video online, the internet can be something that we really rely on.
Some people argue that, despite the many ways in which they make our lives easier, there are nevertheless several disadvantages to computers and the internet.
Why not make up your own mind by reading our list of 10 advantages and disadvantages of computer and internet?
What is a computer? And what is the internet?
A computer is, etymologically speaking, anything that makes calculations. So, it has been argued that the abacus is a primitive form of computer. In the modern sense, though, the word ‘computer’ is most usually used to refer to an electronic device which can send and receive data, and process that data so that it is meaningful to humans!
Many computers are connected to the internet in the present day. The internet was actually first invented by the US military as a method for sending and receiving information securely and electronically. Nowadays, though, the internet is used worldwide, by both private individuals and corporations, and for both business and leisure. The internet is a global network of interconnected computers, which allows these computers to share information with each other. So, when you send an email for instance, you are using this network to share information with the recipient!
10 Advantages of Computers and the Internet.
1. Storing data.
The hard drives on computers, and the virtual storage facilities on the Internet (such as cloud based storage systems) enable us to store huge amounts of data, safely and securely. All those precious holiday photos, and that novel you have been typing away at, will all be kept indefinitely for you to access whenever you need them.
2. Staying in touch.
The internet is a wonderful way to stay in touch. Use an email, social media, or video chat service to communicate instantly with people all over the world.
3. Staying informed.
All of the world’s knowledge (well, most of it) is accessible via the internet. All it takes is a few clicks and you could be reading about anything from the temples of ancient India and China to the search for equations for squaring the circle.
4. Essential for study.
More and more universities – and more and more schools, too – are demanding that students study, write-up their essays, and submit their work using computers and the internet.
5. Unleash your creativity.
Painting programs and music editing software are just two of the ways that computer software can enhance your creativity. More and more artists are incorporating digital aspects into their work – with stunning results.
6. Sharing your ideas.
Start a video blog, or a written blog, and you can share your thoughts, ideas, and research with people all over the world. Build up a fan base in countries that you have never visited and become an internet sensation!
7. Staying informed.
The internet news is now updated more quickly than printed newspapers are. So, if people want to get up to the minute information about current events, the internet is the place to go.
8. Winding down.
Use your computer to watch a DVD or stream a video, to listen to a podcast or tune in to your favorite radio show. There are plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation here.
9. Speeding up calculations.
The first computers, designed by Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace were used to perform complex calculations at a fraction of the speed that it takes humans to perform them. Computers are very handy for modeling difficult engineering equations – or just for totting up your budget for the month ahead.
10. Staying organized.
A typed document, a handy file, and a neat spreadsheet: all of these computer based tools are wonderful for keeping your life organized!
10 Disadvantages of Computers and the Internet.
1. Tricky to learn.
IT skills can pose a challenge for some people. What is known as ‘computer literacy’ may be something that you find it hard to get to grips with, and it may seem like a waste of time to try to learn.
2. Being disconnected.
When you rely on computers and the internet, and do not cultivate traditional skills like keeping handwritten accounts or learning how to search for information in a library rather than online, a simple power cut or lack of internet supply can spell disaster for your day!
The internet is supposed to keep us connected with other people. But, ironically, staring at a computer screen all day can feel terribly isolating.
4. Eye strain.
Using computers for long periods of time can result in eye strain. This is especially true if our device has a small screen, or if we are using it in a dark room.
Tapping away at a keyboard with our arms and wrists in the same position for a long period of time can lead to a painful condition known as repetitive strain injury (RSI).
6. Poor posture.
Hunching over our computers can really damage our posture!
7. The loss of traditional arts.
When we spend all our time typing emails, we may forget how beautiful a handwritten letter is. We may never feel the urge to make a sketch or send a postcard to a loved one, as we feel that we can do it all online!
8. Privileging people in rich or urban areas.
Not everyone can afford a computer, and not everyone (especially not people in remote rural areas) have good access to the internet. Making our society dependent on computers and the internet privileges people in rich or urban areas.
9. Poor quality information.
Not everything on the internet is true! But, it can be hard to tell which online articles are good quality and which ones are full of lies. In this way, the internet is a level playing field – and dangerously so.
10. Difficulty in ‘shutting off’.
When computers are clamoring for our attention at all hours of the day, it can be hard for us to wind down and relax.
Computers and the internet represent what is possibly the biggest technological advance of our age. With them, they have brought many benefits, including wonderful opportunities for business, education, and social life.
However, computers have also threatened to privilege some groups of people over others, and to take control of the way that we think! So, it is important to use computers and the internet wisely – ensuring that we make them work to improve our lives whilst also relaxing and enjoying some of the traditional pleasures this world has to offer, such as appreciating natural beauty or taking the time to write a hand written letter.