According to statistics, there are over four billion global internet users. Many use this resource for entertainment, while for some of us, it’s a source of livelihood. Without the internet, I can’t imagine how many people will be left jobless. Besides the jobs created, the internet has made globalization possible.
Indeed, the internet is a great resource, but just like a coin, it has two sides; the good and the bad. But in as much as the internet is instrumental in our lives today, we need to be very careful as it tags along with several risks and vices.
In this article, let’s find out some of the negative aspects of the internet, how they affect us and what we need to do to ensure that our society remains sound and healthy.
The first major problem of the internet is addiction. This is a disorder that is characterized by excessive reliance on the internet, which often causes impairment or distress. According to statistics, 61% of internet users are addicted to it, and interestingly, Gen X users are more addicted than the Millennials. Well, there are different things that addicted users are hooked to, from video games, to pornography, gambling, and net compulsions.
Well, internet addiction and internet gaming disorder may not be considered severe addictions, but there are pieces of evidence that show that they are grave concerns. The two are becoming the main culprits in many psychiatric and personality disorders, such as impulsivity, low self-esteem, mood disorders, and suicide. Internet addiction also leads to problems such as neck pains, backaches, and eye strain because of the long hours of sitting down, gazing on the screen. For that reason, we should be careful about the amount of time we spend on the internet.
We can all attest to the fact that pornography is becoming a serious problem globally. It hurts everyone; children, adults, couples, families, and society at large. The internet is the biggest facilitator of the porn industry. According to data, 37 pornographic videos are created and shared every day in the US alone, and 34% of all downloads are related to pornographic material.
While it can be argued that pornography is an industry, it leads to social decay. According to experts, pornography leads to increased odds of early pregnancies and contributes to the disintegration of our societal moral fabric. Pornography also hinders sexual development and creates distorted expectations that affect the sexual health of both males and females. Lastly, pornography has been associated with the risk of depression. As it is evident, we should be cautious when using the internet so as not to fall into porn addiction.
While problem gambling has been here, online gambling has made the vice more prevalent. Now that more and more people are gambling on the internet, that means more and more players are getting addicted to the game. One of the main reasons for the exponential growth of online gambling addiction is the fact that players can get in the game remotely, no need to hit the land casino like in the past. The convenience of mobile payments and marketing efforts tailored to entice players are also contributing factors.
Compulsive gambling affects both the players and society at large, and that’s why we need to be very wary of how we use the internet. Once addicted to online gambling, compulsive gamblers tend to substitute work and school for the activity. The addiction then escalates, leaving the addict broke and often in socioeconomic distress. In the worst cases, addicts lose their jobs and tend to have relationship problems with friends and family.
Indeed, the internet is a necessary evil. While it has spurred globalization and created opportunities for many, it tags along with some obvious risks. To ensure that we continue enjoying the fruits of this resource without risking it all, we should put measures in place to prevent the abuse of the internet. It’s time to think of parental control platforms and other solutions, for example, strict gambling laws and hefty penalties for any engagement in pornography. Without these interventions, the internet is a double-edged sword.