Nowadays, every news story involving the Internet is related to it being used as a medium for harm. The media shows a story about a teen rising above cyberbullying, but not about a teen who finds the courage to reveal his or her sexuality because of a welcoming online community. In an era where so many possibilities are open for Internet use, it is inevitable that people will use it harmfully. Stalkers, sexual predators, and identity theft are what define the Internet these days because of the degrading coverage of it by the media. People are warned to avoid becoming dependent on the Internet because of the bad reputation it has acquired. Conversely, reliance on the Internet is beneficial because Internet use provides opportunities for people who otherwise cannot function properly in society, promotes self-expression, allows the building of self-esteem, and provides a sense of security.
First of all, many people suffer from disorders that hinder them from properly being involved in society. Many people are nervous around others; the severity could range from shyness to social anxiety disorder. The Internet provides a medium through which people can interact with others without the fear of facing judgment in person. Damon Fizzy, a Youtube user, explained in one of his videos that he found an escape on the Internet, and saw it as a place where he felt people listened to him and cared about what he said (Fizzy). The Internet allows a person to overcome their shyness by building self-confidence and find a group of people they can relate to. The Internet is beneficial for people who find it hard to be confident in face to face situations.
Similarly, the Internet also provides benefits to people with disorders aside from social anxiety. To become more independent, people with disabilities can read and write documents, communicate with others, and research on their own using the Internet (Burgstahler). Disabled people, such as people paralyzed in wheelchairs, have to rely on others to do basic daily tasks, such as moving around. Therefore, being able to use the Internet freely, without anyone’s help, is relieving. Even people with mental disorders can find a sense of independence by using the Internet because what they do on it is in their control. The Internet allows people with bodily or mental disabilities to have a sense of independence and normalcy in a lifestyle that keeps them from doing certain things they desire to.
Additionally, teenagers find others with similar interests to express themselves online instead of hiding in fear of being judged in real life. Teenagers worry about other’s opinions and find it hard to be themselves in fear of ruining their appearance. A study done by Ohio University suggests that blogging can therapeutically help teens express themselves in a positive way (Teen bloggers). On blogging sites, such as Tumblr, communities are created where people of similar interests can gather and exchange thoughts. When...