One of the greatest products of the rapid advancement in the field of science and technology is the invention of the internet. It is an undeniable fact that today’s generation is well acquainted with the technology brought by the continuous technological developments and inventions. The so-called Generation Y lives in a society where information could be readily accessed. Facts and data could easily be obtained through the use of modern high-technology tools. The internet or the World Wide Web provides access to different and wide array of information.
The invention of the internet is truly beneficial to mankind. It provides us very useful tools such as fun and games, allows us to get acquainted with friends and colleagues who are miles away, and enables us to shop without leaving our homes (“Children and the Internet”). The introduction of the internet has also been proven to be advantageous for the younger generation in many ways, as it aids them by providing the information they need when they are working on school projects and homework. These benefits highly contribute to the improvement of children’s cognitive development and personal growth.
History of the Internet
In today’s society, the internet is widely used and accessed by most people. The history of the internet dated back in nineteenth century; however, ten years ago, people hardly knew that internet existed. The invention of the internet was the result of the ambition of some people thinking that computers could be utilized to share information for research and development, especially for scientific and military purposes.
The United States Air Force commissioned Paul Baran of the Rand Corporation to study how the agency can maintain the command and control over its missiles and bombers after a nuclear attack. The study was a military research network on how to survive nuclear strike. Baran was able to finish several proposals on how this can be made possible. One of his proposals is a packet switched network (Kristula).
Packet switching is one of the predecessors of the internet. It entails the breaking down of data into datagrams or packets that are labeled to indicate the origin and destination of the information. It also allows the process of sending the packets from one computer to another until the information arrives at the final destination computer (Kristula).
The internet before was known as the ARPANET and was brought online in 1969 under a contract let by the renamed Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) that connected the major computers of four universities, specifically, UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UCSB, and the University of Utah. The internet was also designed to provide a communications network that would still work even if some of the computers were destroyed via alternative communication routes. The first internet was used mainly by engineers, computer experts, scientists and librarians for it involved a very complex system (Howe).
Electronic mail was also adapted for Aparnet by Ray Tomlinson of BBN in 1972 and he chose the symbol “@” to link the username and the address. TCP/IP was developed by a group headed by Vinton Cerf from Stanford and Bob Kahn from DARPA or the renamed ARPA. The new protocol allowed diverse computer networks to interconnect and communicate with each other (Kristula).
In 1976, Dr. Robert Metcalfe developed the Ethernet that allowed rapid information transfer. This became a crucial component to the development of LANs. Further developments are injected for the innovation of the technology. The group of Steve Bellovin created the USENET or the decentralized news group network. IBM created the BITNET or the “Because its Time Network” which introduced the “store and forward” network that is commonly used in email and listservs; both of which were introduced in 1979 (Kristula).
In 1981, the National Science Foundation invented the CSNET 56 kbps for institutions without access to ARPANET. Vinton Cerf proposed a plan for an inter-network connection between CSNET and ARPANET. Nine years later, Tim Berners-Lee and the CERN implemented a hypertext system that can provide efficient information access to the members of the organization. In 1992, the Internet Society was chartered and the CERN released the World Wide Web. Eventually, more new networks were added on the NSF backbone and hundreds of thousands new hosts were added in the wide collection of internet (Kristula).
Effects of the Internet on the Society
The growth of the internet is fast and dynamic as new additions are introduced in the system. The services offered through the internet are vast and wide-ranging. As such, people were able to derive benefits and convenience through the fast growth of this invention.
The internet continued to evolve while adhering to the dynamic, ever-changing needs of the contemporary society. It has developed new features, friendly utilities, menus and search engines caused by the rapid expansion and demand for the accessibility of information. The internet has been advantageous to man because it serves a lot of important functions essential to the activities of everyday life, including fun and games, shopping, and getting in touch with friends (“Children and the Internet”).
Internet has numerous significant effects to the society. As technology continues to change and evolve, it brings various social and economic consequences in the society (Rajani and Chandio 157). As such, the internet renders various advantages in many fields. The possibilities of the features and innovations of this particular technology are endless. Providing an alternative way for communication is the main benefit of the internet (Ghimire). The internet is composed of various ways and features to get in touch with another person despite the distance involved. As such, going “on-line” is the newest way to communicate nowadays.
In addition, people talk endlessly through the internet. The electronic mail provides us an easier way to communicate to people in distant places and to attach and send various files to them. The instant messaging system or chat is also a way to communicate with other people. This feature provides a quick exchange of text conversation. The social networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook also provide their own messaging systems that allow their members to send and receive messages from other members.
Internet also allows transfer of information in a quicker and more efficient manner. As a student in pursuit of academic excellence, information for research and current events is of vital importance. It saves us time looking in the library as there are also online libraries which provide more convenient services. The internet largely affects our jobs as many goods and services are available online; banks have online banking system; and fast food chains have their own delivery services via the internet. There are also online jobs that enable people at home to still earn money through the internet.
However, the internet also renders disadvantages to the society. In some instances, there are contents of the internet may be inappropriate to some of its audience, especially the children. The posted information in the internet is not all times reliable and credible. The problem lies on the enormity and diversity of the internet. Anyone could easily create web page and sites where they could post anything they like because of the limited constraints and restrictions applied in the field of information technology. There are also crimes committed through the internet like hacking important files and information.
The internet is very valuable and useful to man, as it serves important functions in carrying out essential human activities. It is the responsibility of every member of the society to be able to utilize the internet properly. Today, people are so familiar with the internet and they could easily navigate from one site to another and explore the diverse global information through the use of search engines. The internet is beneficial to human kind. Despite its long history of innovation, it was able to emerge as one of the most beneficial inventions of the twentieth century. As such, internet provides various services for our convenience.
Personally, I use the internet everyday. It is one of the main tools in my everyday life. I utilize the internet for communicating with my families and friends in Saudi Arabia. It is the means through which I bring myself close to them. I am able to talk to them almost everyday. The internet provides me the means to get in touch with my loved ones.
As a student, internet is one of the most important tools in my education. It enables me to obtain pertinent information and data for reports, projects and assignments. It saves me time and enables me to enjoy other activities. I am also able to obtain news from my country and know the current events there. For me, internet is truly one of the greatest products of the human mind.
“Children and the Internet.” Parenting and Child Health. 6 September 2007. 8 June 2009 ;http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=114;np=301;id=1596;.
Ghimire, Shakti. 6 December 2006. “Effects of Computers and The Internet On Society.” theSOP. 8 June 2009 ;http://thesop.org/index.php?article=3273;.
Howe, Walt. n.d. “An Anecdotal History of the People and Communities that brought about the Internet and the Web.” A Brief History of the Internet. 8 June 2009 ;http://www.walthowe.com/navnet/history.html;.
Kristula, Dave. N.d. “The History of the Internet.” Davesite.com. 8 June 2009 ;http://www.davesite.com/webstation/net-history3.shtml;.
Rajani, Meena Kumari and M.S. Chandio. “The Use of Internet and Its Effects on our Society.” National Conference on Emerging Technologies. 2004. pp.157-161.