The Internet Revolution has ushered in an era of change in our lives especially the teenagers. Significant development, availability and affordability has made Internet accessible to all. There is a significant increase in the use of Internet among the students. Internet access has become easier and more affordable than ever before. Internet is being used for research or homework, chat rooms, e-mail and other purposes. Majority of the teenagers have some access to the internet, be it at school or home. At home it is used mainly used for fun such as social networking while at school or library it is used is for work like project work or information gathering. According to one study, Internet has become so popular that students access the Internet at least once a day and spend approximately 8.1 hours a week online.
The Internet is a pool of information wherein you can find information on any topic. It is the best place to gain knowledge and information along with being in constant touch with your dear ones. It is also a multi-tool with applications on every aspect our lives. Despite many advantages and benefits, Internet is still considered to be the unsafe zone for the students as there are chances that they will become victims of crime.
Why Internet is a Boon ?
Internet provides one of the greatest benefits when it is used to provide educational opportunities for students based on their abilities and interests. Any lesson can become more motivating, exciting, and memorable for a student when it is aided with audio-video information from the internet. Brain research shows that individuals remember events and facts in more detail for a longer period of time if there are emotions involved in the initial learning experience. Therefore the Internet can increase the emotional impact of lessons and make learning interesting, fun and meaningful to students.
When students gain experience learning for the pure joy of learning, their emotional interest, intrinsic motivation, and hunger for knowledge also increases
The internet is a powerful resource for learning as well as an efficient means of communication. E-mail, chatting etc. have given a new way to discuss, impart and spread education through internet communication.
Its use in education provides a number of specific learning benefits like independent learning, development of research skills, access to resources etc.
The internet is a huge bank of learning material. It keeps on expanding the resources available to students beyond the standard print materials found in school libraries. It gives students access to the latest reports on government and non-government websites which include research material, scientific and artistic resources in museums and art galleries and other organisations with information applicable to student learning.
One of the main advantages of the internet is that it a time-efficient tool for teachers which has the possibility of curriculum development by incorporating internet-based activities into mainstream literacy programs and bringing diversity to their teaching strategies.
Searching for information on the internet can help to develop learning skills as it sharpens the ability to find relevant and reliable information. As various sites have particular views about issues, the skills of distinguishing fact from opinion and exploring subjectivity and objectivity are established and developed.
Website publishing is a powerful means of generating enthusiasm for literacy units and income generation as well if executed properly.
It also facilitates inter-cultural understanding when students are given certain projects which requires the study of other cultures of the world. It also enhances students’ literacy skills mainly through email messaging with their peers from other schools or even other countries.
The Internet also inculcates social values and norms as Internet itself is regulated by Norms which are known as Protocols. Learning these protocols and how to follow them gives an understanding of the rule-based society in which they live. This teaches them to treat others with respect and decency.
The internet also contributes to students’ broader understanding of information and communication technologies and its centrality to the information economy and society as a whole.
Career planning is another major benefit of Internet as one can search for information on courses, prospects etc. of his or her desired field of interest. It gives a an insight beforehand about his choice.
Online transactions for banking, shopping, bill payments etc.by university students aids them in learning new and easy ways of doing their chores. It also enhances time management.
Why Internet is a Bane ?
One of the most common problem of the Internet is it's addiction. Some type of internet addiction is affecting a large number of the population. A small but growing number of Internet users are starting to visit their doctors for help with unhealthy attachments to cyberspace. Such individuals have s strong drive to compulsively use the Internet to check e-mail, make blog entries or visit Web sites or chat rooms. And it can lead to significant problems on the personal and professional levels. Internet addiction might include an extreme fondness for pornography, online gambling and some non-essential Internet activities.
Most of teenagers spend every free moment on the computer. They play games on the net, chat online, instant message or just surf. Most of the time these activities are not productive. School work starts to suffer and end result is poor grade.
Excess usage of Internet is Unhealthy both for the mind and the body. Lack of concentration, loss of interest in other physical activities etc. result in a weak body and mind which might fall prey to various health problems.
Teenagers might indulge in illegal Internet activities like downloading illegal software hacking other Internet users computers or even company systems, to spreading viruses. Out of curiosity or for having fun, some skilled kids might fall in wrong company and may start doing what they think is harmless or simply mischievous, indulge in hacking or other activities that might put them at risk of violating the laws
Risky chatting in chat rooms dedicated to teenagers another problem area. Paedophiles often frequent chat rooms where they know children and teens will spend much of their time. A real life meeting with such might lead to abduction, rape, torture or even murder
Past studies have shown a change in social trend where teenagers are rejecting real relationships and friendships for cyber relationships. This can have several unforeseen implications.
Internet has increasingly become a way to escape problems or relieve negative mood, which is not a good solution. Traditional methods of dealing with such problems are proper, effective and reliable way.
Though the Internet is a treasure of information but not all of it is beneficial for the betterment of the society. Some information like a step-by-step tutorial on how to make a pipe bomb can lead to serious consequences both for the culprit and the public.
The Internet also exposes children with inaccurate information from unreliable sites and confuses students by exposing them to con world of Advertisers who have one aim and that is to sell their products. This leads to misinterpretation of facts and unwise judgements. Not everything on Internet is accurate or legit.
Pornography and other adult material is easily available on the internet. Downloading and viewing these can become addictive and corruptes the senses. Seeking physical pleasure then becomes a primary nature at a time when the focus should be on creative activities essential for personality development. A world of unhealthy behaviour is purported by porn stuff which can be witnessed by growing number of AIDS patients.
Conclusion: The answer to 'Whether Internet is Boon or Bane is Debatable' and just like all the other advancements in technology, we have to accept the two sides of the same coin. The Internet can and will be used for good or bad. The extent to which it is will be used and abused is upon us. Using the Internet is the norm for today’s youth and it cannot be abolished. Rather there is a need to approach a middle path wherein awareness towards it's harmful effects and it's productive potential is publicized in a constructive manner on a wide platform.