By Pearson Mbendera
I know some of you browse the internet for the education, entertainment and even spiritual content. But there always that urge to click on those pop ups for the filthy content. That’s how bad the internet can be. But the big question is what does the future hold for the internet
How much time do you spend on the internet a day browsing all those filthy websites? I know most people wouldn’t want anyone to go through their browsing history for fear they would reveal an unpleasant side about them.?
There is no doubt that the internet, a connection of independent networks into a global entity has transformed the way we communicate, do business, our education, medicine and entertainment for the better and will continue doing so for the unforeseeable future. But on the social front, I fear there may be some damaging results yet to come. We may have already seen the results of some of them and ignored them. Or maybe it’s just me being paranoid for nothing.
I wonder how my college life would have been if there was no internet. It helped me do my assignments. Google, Wikipedia and all other sites helped ensure I walked away with a degree. Otherwise it would have been tough. I am grateful. But for everything good it gave us, there was something bad that happened, and some more bad stuff is expected to happen.
First of all we need to be grateful for what the internet has already gifted us with. If you are reading this, thank internet because it made it all possible. I wrote it on my computer and you are probably using a computer, phone or some other device that has an internet connection. It’s internet that made it all possible.
But where is the internet headed toward, is it going to liberate or destroy us?
While the internet has brought many good things like easy access to information, easy and cheap ways to communicate, it has also brought about some negative things. The internet has made it possible for people to have no privacy by having their shared private information plastered all over, promoting pornography and indecency. The pictures that have been posted on social media websites of boys and girls in their nude just to get likes and appreciation from the opposite sex are just alarming. For something that was supposed to set us free from our mediocre living it surely has set us back.
We all have our opinion over the internet, but surely it could be doing more harm than good. Someone will argue that it is the people who are misguided and are probably abusing the internet. To an extent its true, but making available easy access to trashy things reduces the power to desist from them. Maybe we are bad as human beings having all this technology and not doing much good with it. But it has catalyzed our demise due to its nature.
Last week, after Zimsec ordinary level results were released there was much debate on the reason why the pass rate was so low. Of the 285,260 candidates who sat for the exams, only 20.72% or 59,106 of them passed with 5 subjects or better.
Looking at the reasons why people are failing so much, much blame was attributed to the sudden addiction to social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp which have kept people glued to their computers and cellphones, instead of reading the books to help them pass their exams.
That’s how addictive the internet is. One minute we were living happily in oblivion, then the next thing we were holding tiny little gadgets in our hands connected to the internet and couldn’t let go of them.
Our phones have turned to be so smart with time while we, as human beings are getting dumber. Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist who studies the science of self-control at Stanford’s School of Medicine said, People have a pathological relationship with their devices.” She added on to say that, “People feel not just addicted, but trapped.”
We are finding it harder and harder to unplug and renew ourselves.”
That’s true of today, we have lost control to our smart devices, and now they control our entire being. Our phones sleep next to us, sometimes the best conversations we have with people are via our smartphones.
Grammar has been affected, now it’s lol this and lmfao that. The downside of it is that no one cares where we are going as long as each year the internet is adding people on the Forbes billionaire list. As of 19 February 2014, Facebook announced the purchase of Whatsapp for a staggering US$16 billion, now the Whatsapp founders’ fortune has increased immensely. As long as the internet keeps us connected and put money into these technopreneurs pockets, all is well.
Life was simple before the internet. Right here in Zimbabwe before it was made readily available to everyone, no one would have his or her hands tightly gripped on the phone, communication might have been long and difficult, but we still made it possible. We used to visit each other more. Chatting was done offline, nowadays you have to get hooked on some device, and otherwise communication wouldn’t be made possible.
An internet video game named Neknominate were you post a video of yourself drinking and nominate your friend to outdrink you was attributed to killing 5 people after they drank deadly cocktails all in the name of an internet game and having fun. But the game still continues to go viral on most social media websites, because we cannot control ourselves anymore. The internet has consumed us and it wants more.
Every technological instrument has some good and bad things about it. The same can be said about the internet. But after being pulled into this gigantic addictive technology termed the internet, its teeth have sunk deep into our flesh. Maybe I sound melodramatic maybe I’m not, but it helps to be on the lookout as the future has been left to the internet alone maybe the one that will end up destroying us all.