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Is The World Wide Web Causing A World Wide Woe?

1068 words - 4 pages

Many people view the internet as the World Wide Web, connecting the population together and sharing information on a global scale. However, others look at it as a grotesque web that is entangling humanity with unintelligence. Whether positive or negative, it is indubitable that in the past years, society has become extremely reliant upon the internet. Every day, millions of people around the world use the internet for many different purposes: commerce, communication, social networking, work, education, entertainment, and more. Because the internet is used on a daily basis while providing graphic stimulation and frequent distractions, certain individuals are starting to believe that it can change the way people think. Indeed, “China and South Korea have declared ‘Internet addiction’ a primary public health concern” (Greenblatt) to their citizens. Conversely, the internet has been regarded as the best “technological change since the advent of the printing press” (Greenblatt) due to how useful it can be.
The usefulness of the internet is shown by its vast amount of information. Google estimates the internet to have nearly five million terabytes of information, which is 5 trillion megabytes, and the human brain is predicted to be able to hold five terabytes on average, therefore it would take one million human brains to hold all of the internet’s data (Koning). Similarly, 40 Blu-Ray discs can store approximately one terabyte of info, so 200 million Blu-Ray discs could contain the internet (Koning). On average, 247 billion emails are sent every day and teenagers spend close to 31 hours online and four hours doing homework per week (Koning). Of those 31 hours, two hours are spent on YouTube, where 24 hours worth of videos are uploaded every minute (YouTube). As a comparison, Hollywood would have to release 86,000 new movies every week to be equivalent (Koning). Because all of this data can be accessed by the touch of a button, there are various benefits and drawbacks. For better or for worse, two areas that are largely impacted by the internet are education and communication.
In education, the use of the internet has posed many difficulties as well as conveniences. For instance, if a student has difficulty understanding a concept, he or she is able to go online and “Google it” to receive help. In fact, 94% of teenagers who use the internet actively have used the internet for school-related research (Simon, Graziano, and Lenhart). Additionally, 71% have used the internet as the major source for their latest project, and the amount of homework-help websites has been increasing (Simon, Graziano, and Lenhart). Teens are starting to use web-based resources more effectively and efficiently; using the internet can be a great means of assistance in obtaining information quickly. However, the simplicity of finding information can also result in students cheating and plagiarizing. Approximately one-fifth of adolescents say they know someone...

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