The Internet and Facebook — the good and the bad

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Articles

The Internet is one of man’s great inventions. It has enabled people throughout the world to become connected as never before and at very low cost. The world’s collected knowledge and wisdom is available to all who can use a computer. Government agencies, private corporations, NGOs, magazines, newspapers, and even private individuals, are able to post news, views and information that people can view and download. Thousands of novels have been made available as ebooks. Universities and teachers offer free online courses. Online dictionaries and encyclopedias are available to all. If a person has a smart phone or mobile tablet, he or she can get on the Internet, and has no need to carry around a case full of books. Most of this news, information and knowledge is in English so that fluency in English gives a person a great advantage. However, people can also use their own language when using the internet.
A huge number of games is also available on the Internet. One can play alone, or one can play with other people anywhere in the world. As many parents know, Internet Cafes were once filled with young students, using the Internet and the computer not to gather knowledge and study and learn, but to spend hours playing games against friends who may be in the same Internet Café or on computers halfway across the world. Nowadays, we no longer see Internet Cafes filled with young people sitting in front of computer screens tapping away at keyboards because, with the invention and widespread use of Smartphones, internet games have become mobile, and can be carried around in one’s shirt pocket. So now, we see both youngsters and adults staring at little screens on smartphones and tapping away on tiny keyboards. People have stopped talking to one another it seems, and prefer the company of their smartphones.
“Social connectivity” is another incredible benefit made possible by the speed and limitless capacity of the Internet and computers. Using Facebook, which is a hugely popular Internet-based service, people are able to keep connected with friends around the world. People can post family news, take photos on smart phones and send to friends, and comment on news and photos that they receive. Anything that is newsworthy can be photographed on the smart-phone, posted and commented upon and re=posted. If a fire breaks out in a remote village, someone can take photos and post the news, and friends all over the world will know within seconds. All that is needed is a connection by phone or satellite link-up to the Internet. It is easy to open a Facebook account and to ask your friends to join your circle of friends. It is also easy to ask friends of friends and even strangers to become your Facebook friend. Soon, a person can have a wide circle of friends from all over the world if he or she wishes.
The problem for many people is that Facebook can soon take up much of their time. They want to see news and photos of friends and receive news of what’s happening around the country and around the world, and they want to make comments and voice their opinions, often getting into interesting discussions, or heated arguments as the case may be. Indeed, Facebook for many becomes an addiction. It is the first thing they turn to when they wake up; they tune in to Facebook every few minutes throughout the day; and it is the last thing they check before they sleep at night. As a young Facebook friend admitted, “I can no longer concentrate on my studies. I have become a Facebook victim!”
Whether the Internet and Facebook are good or bad therefore depends on your self-discipline. Do you control how and when you use the Internet, or is it controlling your life and proving too much of a distraction?

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