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What Is The Internet Really Doing To Our Brains?

Would you imagine what the world would be without the internet? Over the last decade, the internet has been a speedy source of information. The only requirements for information access are a computer and an internet connection.

Before the internet, libraries and museums were the main sources of information; now people visit libraries and museums not to read but to use Wi-Fi. The internet simplifies information and is readily available. Furthermore, searching on the internet engages the brain in complex activities, which help the brain exercise and improve brain functionality.

The benefits of the internet have outweighed its negative implications on the human brain. Since the internet came to be, the world has transformed into a place full of more opportunities. Internet invention is one of the world's greatest assets. Being an information powerhouse, it has led to easy access to information, skills, and a learning center, and it is an interconnectivity, communication, and data-sharing channel. In addition, it is a platform for business transactions; working from home and freelancing has been made possible and provided a platform to make bookings, pay bills, and do online shopping. The list of the benefits of the internet is endless, but here are a few major benefits that have been thoroughly discussed. 

The internet is the largest source of information known; any type of information is available, be it health, politics, technology, or finance. Google is one of the search engines to access information easily; YouTube is another platform for sourcing information in real-time through videos. The information on the internet can beis appropriate for all ages, children, adults, and the elderly. 

Currently, we live in the golden age of technology with readily available information that can develop into skills. The internet being a source of information enables us to acquire different skills such as data analytics, programming, digital marketing, and many more. The skills are learned over the internet without attending a physical class. Online courses are also available on the internet, where people gain skills at the convenience of their homes; they need to pay a fee and join classes virtually. 

Students benefit greatly from the internet and use it for research on their coursework, which makes learning interesting and exposes them to other sources than the course materials provide. The availability of information has improved our knowledge base and made learning and acquiring skills easier. 

Before the traditional internet forms of communication, such as letters, they were unreliable and slow to convey information. Nevertheless, the internet came in as a faster communication channel connecting people globally. Through the internet, an email is enough to send information over a short period to many people without involving intermediaries; there are other mediums of communication, such as chats and VoIPs, voice and video calls which send information instantly to different people in different locations. In addition, the internet facilitates the safe sharing of sensitive and confidential information to the intended audience. With the availability of the internet, meetings can be done virtually via zoom without organizing physical meetings. 

The internet has led to the growth of online social platforms that connect people across the globe, and online forums include Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok. People with similar interests and opinions can interact without meeting physically. These are platforms where people from different cultural backgrounds can interact and learn from each other. Since the internet connects people with similar interests, it facilitates them to carry out business platforms such as selling commodities and services; social media is a safe space where people can market their products and services for free and attract their intended targets. Online forums also provide a platform to ask questions from experts; it is also a convenient space for employers to seek employees and vice versa.

 It is hard to imagine how life was before the internet. The internet has transformed life in a very short time. People can shop for groceries, foodstuff, and clothing from online stores. The advantage of online stores is that they have varieties to choose from in the comfort of your home and are delivered to your doorstep. Online stores have reviews from people who had shopped earlier, which creates some sense of security about the products since the reviews are real-time; they also provide the terms and conditions which are supposed to be followed before placing an order.

Booking services are also available on the internet; people can book train and bus tickets, flights, and hotels without going to the booking office; this is convenient since it saves time and money and is reliable since one cannot miss an opportunity due to lack of time. Online booking often has offers that encourage people and save them money. 

Payment of bills has been made easy by the internet, and there is no need for official centers to pay utility bills such as water, electricity, and gas; all these payments are made via the internet on specific sites. Making payments online has led to a cashless system, which is the safest way to carry money. Making a payment online is fast, thus saving time. A receipt is also provided in PDF form, which is printed later. Ecommerce originated from the internet, basically selling and buying products over the internet. Through the internet, buying and selling products has become very simple; websites and online platforms allow users to list their products where potential customers can view the products on sale—listing the products on the websites can be accessed by people across the globe, thus increasing turnover as well as business growth.

There are many ways of making money via the internet; creating websites and blogs and charging people to advertise and market the products on the blogs is an easy way to make money. Other options are working for sites such as amazon as associates by selling products posted on the sites and earning a commission. Advertising on the internet is the most legit way to make money, especially if one has a huge following and influence on social media.

 Marketing is a major element in the success of the business. Business needs to reach as many people as possible and create awareness of the products; marketing and promotion are known to be sales boosters. The internet has platforms such as Google AdWords where businesses can advertise their products and reach the intended market. 

Social media is also a tool known to boost businesses via marketing and advertisements; business owners may be required to pay a small number of funds to advertise their products on social networks. Since people with similar interests interact over the internet, the internet is a ready market for any products. The internet is a space that allows people to interact and share ideas without meeting.      

When the Covid 19 pandemic struck the world, it proved that working from home is possible, especially for IT and computer science companies. With internet connectivity working from home is very effective. Research has shown that employees are more active while working from home since they have some sense of freedom and independence, thus increasing productivity. Employees can communicate through video calls, chats, and zoom meetings provided internet connectivity.

Nowadays, companies have a careers section on their websites where job openings are listed. On the websites, many people can access job opportunities and apply for the positions, and if lucky, they are shortlisted for interviews. Interviews are also done virtually via video calls; this saves time and money for the employee and the employer. 

Additionally, the internet allows people to take up part-time jobs as freelancers. They market their services on platforms such as Upwork and LinkedIn and take up tasks for people far away. 

The internet is beneficial to the world in very many significant ways. Despite the internet's shortcomings, they cannot be compared to its advantages. As it can be noted from the information provided above, the establishment and development of the internet is the most significant transformation the world has ever experienced. 

Some benefits we have thoroughly discussed are online shopping and bookings, availability and easy access to information, working from home and freelancing jobs, connectivity and communication have been made easier, business growth via marketing and promotion, and learning and acquiring new skills. 

The internet has changed the world into a space where people can share their opinions or interests with a large number of people via various platforms and connect and communicate without meeting physically. With the internet, the world is as advanced as it is now; the value of connectivity has grown unbelievably in the last years, and continues to each day. 


Edited by Chloe Mansola

Image: Smoke and Mirrors: The psychology of Internet Control by Life and Work licensed by CC BY 4.0 DEED

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