The Internet is having an enormous influence on the way we live, there’s no doubt about that. Some see this influence as a good thing, and others see it as a bad thing. It is rather confusing.
- Social media and non-traditional news sites have opened our eyes to many points of view, and enabled some people examine issues and seek truth rather than blindly follow the herd. On the other hand, all of the conflicting perspectives and hostility in news reporting discourage and confuse other people to the point they tune out everything of importance.
- Social media and websites help us connect with friends, family and people all over the world. This enables some people to grow more understanding of different cultures and feel more deeply and broadly connected. On the other hand, the Internet is addictive and causes other people to live in a fantasy world whiles their real relationships crumble.
- AI and IoT may bring unimaginable convenience and efficiency to daily life … or turn us into prisoners of technology and vulnerable to unimaginable levels of control.
Where the Internet takes us is really an individual issue. So much depends on the individual’s mindset.
If you embrace the Internet without questioning it, you run certain risks. People who spend hours a day on Facebook and Google sharing anything and everything could someday be harmed if their personal information falls into the wrong hands. People who shun the Internet altogether run the risk of becoming isolated and inconvenienced to a degree that makes life 24/7 struggle.
We have to strike the right balance, but many forces are working against us. Social media sites would be quite content if we clicked off just long enough to buy stuff from their advertisers — online of course. Governments, insurance companies, healthcare organizations and advertisers are quite eager to gain access or potential access to every bit of information there is to know about us.
Thus it is not by accident or mere grassroots momentum that sharing has become a virtue and privacy a quirk or an outright vice. But is this really true? Does sharing the details of our lives make us more secure or more vulnerable?
It’s widely assumed that greater technology leads to greater efficiency and greater happiness. But is this really true? Has technology up to this point made us happier or more anxious?
These are questions worth exploring, would’t you say?
(Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons)