The Internet has revolutionised the human life as it has entered in every home, business, school, and Government office throughout the world today. Globalisation owes much to the Internet; for it has reduces the distances because of its swift communication system. It is evident from the history of scientific inventions that the Internet is incomparable to other inventions of science as most of other inventions are interlinked with it. Particularly, the field of education has been widely influenced by the Internet as it has created convenience and swiftness in this field, especially in the field of research. Everyone, regardless of one’s age, is being benefited by the Internet. There are definitely some advantages and disadvantages of the Internet for research purposes. In this essay I will discuss and analyse:
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What is the internet?
History and Development of the Internet
Advantages of the Internet
Disadvantages of the Internet
WHAT IS THE INTERNET?
It can be defined as:
‘The system of a global network, a huge collection of computers and local networks interconnected with each other so they can exchange information is called the internet – also known as the Net‘.
A group of computers that is connected together by wires for the purpose of communication is called a computer network .These computer networks either range from as small as two computers connected together in a place, or as big as thousands of computers of various types connected to one another either by telephone lines or via satellite. A big network can be constructed by building lots of little networks and connecting these networks to each other that result in an internet work that is actually called the internet.
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HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE INTERNET
The Internet was invented by some intellectuals in the early 1960s. They considered it very significant to allow computers to share information on research and development in scientific and military fields. Licklider suggested a global network of computers in 1962 for the first time and passed it to the Defence advanced Research Projects Agency in late 1962 for its further development. First Leonard Kleinrock established the theory of packet switching on which the Internet connections was to be based. Then Lawrence Roberts connected a Massachusetts computer with a California computer in 1965 over dial-up telephone lines. It resulted in the feasibility of wide area networking, but it also demonstrated that the telephone line’s circuit switching was inadequate. Roberts actually contributed in the field of Internet in 1966 and developed his plan for ARPANET. These intellectuals and many more anonymous people are the real founders of the Internet. The Internet, then known as ARPANET, was introduced online in 1969. The Internet matured in the 70’s as architecture first proposed by Bob Kahn and further developed by Kahn and Vint Cerf at Stanford and others throughout the 70’s. It was globally recognised by 1983.
The Internet was originally limited to research, education, and government uses. It was not allowed to be used commercially unless it was used for the research and education. This policy was enforced till early 90’s which led to an independent commercial network.
With the rapid advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, the web is moving more and more towards mobile use and Google’s AMP technology is spearheading this shift.
EASY ACCESS FOR EVERY ONE
It is noticeable here that everyone without any discrimination of age, sex creed and ethnic origin can access the Internet. It is the most openly available source of research in the world as it has also reached the continent of Antarctica, a mostly penguin populated area and even an uninhabited island of the Canadian arctic has access to it.
A SOURCE OF TIME SAVING
The most significant thing about the Internet is that one can use it with more convenience and ease without the limitations of time as compared to the library because one has to travel a long and time consuming distance to access a library. Students usually have access to a huge on-line library through wireless system whether they are working from home, in the office, or from a hotel room.
The Internet is more cost effective source of research as opposed to the other available sources. The on line library has facilitated the students to reduce their travelling expenses as well. In addition, recent changes in the use of the Internet played a vital role to provide us with much smaller, cheaper and lighter computers like note books Apple iPhone that enables us to use them without limits as access is available anytime, anywhere, around the globe. Furthermore, it is not difficult to use the Internet as far as physical disabilities are concerned as it can be equally benefited by everyone.
RESEARCH IN A SPECIFIC LANGUAGE
The Internet made it possible even to research in one’s own specific language. Google consists of a subsystem i.e. the Language tools that have a potential to translate pages from some other languages. Therefore, it does not matter whether a person knows the original language of the stuff or not.
A SOURCE OF CONFIDENCE
A successful completion of research online builds up the self-knowledge and self-confidence and encourages the students to carry out further research as well as taking greater responsibility for their own learning.
A good practice and some skills are required to use the Internet for research; for thousands of web pages appear to be similar to one’s required pages but in reality most of them are unproductive for research purposes. Margaret Levine Young claimed that searching efficiently is an art. People are too confused with the loaded information on the Internet to use it for the purpose intended. Often ‘404 Not Found’ appear as contrary to the promised pages which leads to frustration.
If the results are productive they are too dispersed to be used for the research as they are mostly disorganised as compared the libraries where books are arranged in an alphabetical order to facilitate the researchers. Moreover, the material provided on the internet is not comprehensive rather superficial one.
CREDIBILITY OF THE MATERIAL
Mostly the sources used for research are not reliable for instance Wikipedia is not authoritative as it does not bear the bibliography for a specific article because the articles some time are written and edited by as many as 300,000 contributors. Moreover, these articles are not updated regularly, therefore, the material got from such a sources might be old one.
The use of the Internet can add in one’s financial obligations to some extent as one is needed an expensive computer or a lap top for that task. On the other hand, people have to pay for the internet bills as well as for some web sites to read stuff on line.
SPRAIN ON EYES AND NECK
Excessive use of computer or use of computer without a respite can be harmful for human eyes and neck and sometime results in sprain in eyes and neck.
THE THREAT OF VIRUS
A computer attached to an Internet can pick up viruses and is more vulnerable to viruses than to a computer which is not attached to the Internet. These viruses look around one’s address book and uses it to spread copies of itself to one’s friends, often disguised in very seducing messages such as ‘Hey, enjoyed the other night’. .Ultimately, viruses can corrupt the existing files in a computer and sometime cause damage to the whole hard disk. It is very interesting here that these viruses are spread by some businessmen today to flourish their business.
After analysing and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the Internet it can be said that the Internet has become a part and parcel of human life owing to the pros and cons of the Internet as one cannot help but to use it to commence and complete one’s research. Particularly convenient accessibility to the Internet has made research very easy to complete with a short period of time as compared the long periods of times as was in the past. Not to speak of building an individual’s self-confidence the Internet has been being used to do research in one’s mother language that can be translated by the Internet from English to chines, polish, German etc.
It can be concluded that in spite of disadvantages of the Internet its advantages carry more importance for the purpose of research.