Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Is the Internet a blessing or a curse? Or both?

I love the Internet. I hate the Internet.

I love how the Internet allows one to conduct research from anywhere there is a computer, or tablet, or smart phone with an Internet connection -- instead of having to go to the library, or several libraries, and spend hours looking up information in card catalogs, in the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature, on microfilm, on microfiche, or in the stacks.

But now there is so much information online, we suffer from information overload -- and much of what we read online isn't factual or fact checked (i.e., is wrong, not true, false), and the lies and gossip and hate spread much more rapidly than before.

I love how you can shop for almost anything online. But I hate having to have dozens of passwords and worrying that they and/or my credit card information could be stolen (via online security breeches).

I love how the Internet gives creative people -- writers, photographers, musicians, artists -- a medium to express themselves and be discovered, often for free. But thanks to the Internet, now people don't want to pay for what they think is or should be free.

I love how the Internet has provided forums for exchanging ideas. But by the same token, the Internet has also given rise to anonymous trolls who write hateful things they would never say in person.

Similarly, I love how the Internet connects or re-connects people, who may live thousands of miles away from each other, and allows you, via social media sites, to see what your friends and colleagues are up to. But now we, or many of us, feel a sense of jealousy or envy or inadequacy or exclusion that we only rarely felt before we were connected 24/7 to everyone else.

So is the Internet a blessing, a curse, or both? What do you think? Please weigh in via the Comments.


Another David S. said...

Yes. All those things. Not much for me to add--you pegged it. ;-)

Dave S. said...

It's also a floor wax AND a dessert topping!