Scholars society, which becomes the root of

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still question the positive and negative effects of the Internet to the society
until today.  The Internet had always
been a great help to the present generation. The population assumes it is the
most notable invention man ever created. With the innovation, people all over
the world can share relevant information and opinions to others with ease.
Adolescents today claimed they could not live without the Internet. A study
conducted by Al-Hariri and Al-Hattami (2017) claimed that out of the 231
students they surveyed, their most-used devices are laptops (50%) and phones
(42%). Medical practitioners are concerned about the matter regarding their
excessive use of the system known as the Internet Addiction Disorder. Internet
Addiction is one of the multiple effects of misusing the Internet. The question
involves whether or not it is beneficial to the society, which becomes the root
of debates between scholars presently.


to the Encyclopedia of questions and answers (2011), “the system was invented
during the Cold War when it was feared that an attack might disrupt connections
with any central point (p. 84).” Computers were once connected to each other with
one link, according to TechnoHTML5, History of the Internet (2016, p. 5). If
one is damaged, the other computers cannot share information. During the 1960s,
the United States Department of Defense established the ARPANET (Advanced
Research Projects Agency Network) as a military project to help armed forces
share their information with each other (“TechnoHTML5”, 2016, p. 5; Su &
Lee, 2010). With the ARPANET, people can communicate with others even if a
computer is disturbed. Soon, people all over the world started connecting to
the network. Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN, invented the World Wide Web
(WWW) in 1989 after realizing the ARPANET made it challenging for people to
connect “due to a range of different network protocols and a range of workstation
types” (“TechnoHTML5”, 2016, p. 5; Su & Lee, 2010). The term ‘Internet’ was
coined because other countries started cultivating it, therefore making an International
Network of computers (“TechnoHTML5”, 2016, p. 5).      

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Positive Effects

 There is no doubt that the Internet
progressively contributes to the society. The majority of the population today
are connected to the network. Scholars, technologists, and social critics
assumed it was altering the society’s economic and social state. As stated by
Su and Lee (2010), people are more in contact with others even if there are distances
between them. Some meet new people based on their interests. They also gain
more knowledge regarding their environment. The Internet dispensed all the
information they needed. Several users reported that they are more involved
with their community than those who rarely use it (Su & Lee, 2010). For
extroverts, using the web’s features decreases loneliness and time pressure. It
also increases their self-esteem. Extroverts join chatrooms and forums to
satisfy their social need. They get to witness other people’s point of view, therefore
making them more open-minded and reasonable (Su & Lee, 2010). For medical
students, however, Al-Hariri and Al-Hattami’s research (2017) concluded there
is a “significant relationship between students’ use of technology and their achievements
in health colleges”. Those who are unemployed may now begin a business in the
comfort of their homes. “While many technologies have taken jobs away from the
public,” as said by Su and Lee (2010), “the Internet has opened up a wealth of
opportunities and heralded an age where anyone can be published and anyone can
be an entrepreneur.” The Internet can also facilitate the elimination of poverty
according to Su and Lee (2010). With the ‘One Child, One Laptop’ scheme in
Africa, it will give access to their education; help them climb out of poverty,
and aid in the development of their country. 

Negative Effects

            The Internet may still hold the
title of being extremely addictive even though it had helped societies both economically
and socially.  According to Su and Lee
(2010), “The Internet cuts out the social interactions of their lives.”
People get preoccupied with games and social media. Based on Wallace’s report, a
young baby girl died because of her parents’ willingness to care for a virtual
online daughter instead (2014). People who use the Internet too often become
lazy and bored. “The Internet’s social effects might resemble those of television;”
as said by Su and Lee (2010), “television watching reduces social involvement,
physical activity, and diminished health (mental and physical).” The Internet, as
per Wallace (2014), also helps increase their narcissism and social anxiety. Every
15 minutes, they check their social media to see how many likes their latest
post earned. “For people with a narcissistic bent, Facebook and Twitter may
become cavernous time sinks as they are constantly expanding their site with
‘selfie’ photos and comments, and actively seeking to expand their growing
audience” (Wallace, 2014). Heavy Internet users were the least likely to seek
medical help even though they are more prone to health problems since they
rarely have the time to satisfy their needs (Su & Lee, 2010).

effects do not only occur in adults. According to Wallace (2014), they are
“more widespread than just on university campuses where laptops and computer
labs are within easy reach; it is also being seen in high school and middle
school students.” Scholars and social critics were aroused by the fact that one
significant effect, the Internet Addiction Disorder, is no longer alarming in
the 21st century.     

Internet Addiction

            Internet Addiction appears more like
a routine rather than a concern. It is an impulse control disorder, which is
similar to pathological gambling without the involvement of drugs that “causes
neurological complications, psychological disturbances, and social problems”
(Cash, Rae, Steel & Winkler, 2012). It is more common in males rather than
females. Some classified the disorder as “a symptom of another disorder …
rather than a separate entity” according to Cash, Rae, Steel and Winkler (2012).

on Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery (n.d.), there are several warning
signs of Internet addiction: (1) the person is always preoccupied with the
Internet; (2) he or she needs to use the Internet with increased amounts of
time in order to achieve satisfaction; (3) he or she has made unsuccessful
efforts to control, reduce, or impede Internet use; (4) he or she is restless,
moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet
use; (5) they had stayed online longer than originally intended; (6) he or she
has risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career
opportunity because of the Internet; (7) they have lied to family members,
therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet;
(8) they use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a
dysphoric mood. Medical practitioners have developed surveys, like the Internet
Addiction Test (IAT), to certify that their patients have indeed had the
Internet addiction disorder.

Addiction Disorder affects the patient’s real-life relationships due to
arguments. They desire solitary seclusion and are viewed as socially awkward.
People with IAD create online personas to hide their real identity from others
due to their low-esteem and fear of disapproval. According to Wallace (2014),
“compulsive Internet users show different activity patterns in regions of the
brain that have been implicated in reward and emotion processing. They also
show decreased grey matter volume in several regions.” This may affect their
brain functional connectivity. Those who have tried cutting down their use may
experience anger, relief, mood swings, fear, irritability, sadness, loneliness,
boredom, restlessness, procrastination, and upset stomach. 

Addiction can either be the cause or the effect of depression. As per Misky and
Holk (2002), depression is “associated with poor scholastic performance,
fear of school, eating disorders, panic attacks, increased anxiety,
delinquency, and other conduct disorders.” Depression is not well recognized
by parents on their teenage children due to the fact that adolescents
experience mood swings more often than adults. It is best that parents should
be with their children more if they suspect a significant change in their mood,
interest, attitude and their physical body (Misky & Holk, 2002).

                The negative outcomes of using the Internet excessively are
unfavorable. IAD and several other effects may miserably
affect the person’s life. There are various treatment strategies to treat IAD
and reduce the probabilities of obtaining it based on Cash,
Rae, Steel and Winkler’s report (2012): (1) specialists may first discover the patient’s
patterns of Internet use and disrupt these patterns by suggesting new schedules;
(2) the patient may attend social and active activities to encourage them to
log off; (3) the patient can write their goals on paper, with regard to the
amount of time they have to accomplish them; (4) specialists may aid the
patient attempt to disregard certain applications they could not control; (5)
specialists may create cue cards to remind the patient the costs of IAD and
benefits of breaking it; (6) specialists may help the patient develop a
personal inventory that shows all the activities that the patient used to
engage in; (7) the patient may join support groups, if the patient displays
lack in confidence; (8) the patient may
participate family therapy sessions with their specialists.


            The 21st
century may have lost significant values and practices. Their way of living depends
on the technology today. This issue was always feared by the elderly, who lived
during the modest eras. They assumed the Internet is always a constant risk to
the millennials by explicitly sharing their private or confidential
information. Children, on the other hand, receive inappropriate materials
online. One solution, based on Reader’s Digest books, “1001 Computer Hints and
Tips” (2001), is installing filtering tools on devices. Children today are
ought to learn by using the Internet due to its convenience. As for the
security, it is best to check if the site is free from unauthorized access
(“1001 Computer Hints and Tips,” 2001). Although some may have used the
Internet for dubious motives, computer experts and technologists are always
there to assist those in need.

            The Internet
was made to unite all the people in this world, providing them with all the
necessary information. Internet Addiction would not exist if people learned how
to limit themselves. Social problems, such as cyber-bullying, would not exist
if people learned how to respect one another. Narcissism would not exist if
people learned how to be humble. Too much of anything is harmful to a person’s
mental and physical health. The Internet itself is not detrimental to the
society. If people used it negatively, then maybe the Internet tempted them to
do so; but, if people used it positively, then maybe the Internet helped them
even more. It is not the object’s responsibility but the people’s. As the
saying goes, “a self-absorbed person only can see the faults of others. But,
they are often color blind to their own.”        

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