With the quick spread of smartphones, mobile apps gained all our attention. The demand is so high, that we have apps for everything now, from 2048 to control over household appliances. The main benefit of apps is that you do not have to spare dozens of bookmarks in web-browser or stare at the obsolete web design for mobile devices. Just download a few apps for what you do most frequently, and do not waste your time on browsers. Nevertheless, mobile apps are traditionally associated with the waste of time on social media or video games.
The outcome of using apps depends on the user themselves – are they goal-oriented people or procrastinators? The first category will benefit from using educational software or apps issued by their healthcare provider. Some people do not intend to stare at the screen infinitely if there are pressing things to do (such people do exist). But most of the internet users see apps as a constant entertainment that follows them everywhere. No wonder, they will waste their time on the web and would strive to waste even more of it. The problem is that people are not really interested in their business or hobbies and try to enhance procrastinating by all means.
All of us are masters of their time. We do not allow other people to take away our free time to spare it for relaxation or fun. But ridiculously, we allow mobile apps to do so. All in all, we have all the power to delete useless apps and put our energy into something that means much more to us.
Restricting the internet access on public computers is a disadvantageous though necessary policy. Many public libraries and schools in the US adhere to the federal Children Internet Protection Act. The legislation was designed to make schools filter obscene content, child pornography, and websites for adults. Though the intentions are quite positive, children cannot proceed with their research when the school firewall recognizes websites as potentially dangerous. Even search can be blocked if students try to google something like “breast cancer”. Obviously, filters currently applied to the networks are ineffective because they do not allow to work productively in the public space. But alternatives to the current methods are also vague.
The problem with excessive blocking lies within the firewalls. They appeared unable to differentiate utterly obscene content from articles and debates that merely touch upon controversial topics. Therefore, we need to upgrade our software. Filtering can be a big problem to individuals who have no internet access at their homes. Though it is unbelievable that someone in the Western world still has no internet, children coming to libraries for some reasons cannot do their research at home. And while many teenagers can surf the net without any blocking and control viewed content themselves, some part of youngsters cannot access any block-free network. Therefore parents shall probably try to refuse from protected networks and allow their children to use internet resources responsibly. Perhaps, it would be better for libraries also to use a more content-tolerant software and refuse from standard filters as well.
The Internet has certainly become a vital tool for work and everyday life. We cannot perform routine tasks without a constant online connection, and sometimes this statement sounds like a threat. We are dependent on the internet, and sometimes addicted to the net. A place of unlimited opportunities, cyberspace appeals us with numerous temptations. Gaming, shopping, gambling, and other activities create a compulsion that makes people neglect real life for the sake of online-entertainment. In many cases, consequences of the internet addiction are harder than a wasted time.
Just like any dangerous habit, internet addiction is easy to detect. Spending too much time online is already a sign that something is wrong. Most frequently addicts are unable to give a rest to their devices – they cannot sign out of Facebook just because something terrible will happen at that moment. They surf the internet too much, which immediately results in neglect of their duties. Addicts can gamble or shop online compulsively, which is economically dangerous. They depend on online relationships too much, and do not pay attention to real-life friends or family.
Apparently, people addicted to the internet also feel that something is wrong. Despite euphoric feeling when online, addicts may feel guilty for the people and duties they neglect. They lose track of time, suffer from a lack of sleep, and never meet the deadlines. Agitation or anxiety may be followed by depression or isolation.
As online addiction is a habit, in the first place, benefits of medication are vague. In the first place, addicts need some change of a lifestyle – a new hobby, extra duties, anything that would leave no time for free internet surfing. The involvement of a friend or family member is required because addicts lack essential will-power.
Yet a few years ago, the possibility of spreading WiFi signals all over metropolitan areas pushed a huge debate. It clashed traditional cellular networks and Internet providers that take a great interest in their own coverage. Cellular networks saw the nationwide WiFi as a disaster. With the assault of the Internet, their revenues continue to fall as users do not wish to pay for cellular connection if free calls and messages are already there. At the same time, Google and other Internet giants would benefit from selling more ads and broadcasting their services nationwide. Over the years, the hype around the nationwide WiFi has fallen because of one serious complication. Providers still struggle to assure usable signals for more than just a few hundred people at a time.
As a matter of fact, we do not suffer from the lack of WiFi today. Most people have it at home and at work, where they spend 80 percent of their time. Besides, most public places supply free WiFi to the visitors, and the quality of connection is more than satisfactory. All households and organizations do not face the same problem of a bad signal or poor coverage that would make the nationwide WiFi a pathetic connection tool. Even in the rural areas, households make sure they have a reliable Internet connection today.
There is no point to argue that we do not need WiFi everywhere. Healthcare advocates may complain that irresponsible providers wrapped every public place in dense electromagnetic radiation, but they will be outnumbered by people who need WiFi everywhere. Today Internet is even more vital than cellular connection.
Interpersonal communication is a comprehensive category that includes workplace, group, intimate, and romantic interaction. Influenced by the Internet and its advantages, communication in all these spheres has largely transformed. 90% of individuals irrespective of their lifestyles are present on social networks every day. Each of us is accessible to the others every time. Our boss, spouse or completely unknown person can contact us whenever they need. People do not hesitate to interact, they cannot see any limits to communication now. And many of them find this exact factor discouraging.
A vast sociological research conducted in the US confirmed that the increase in wealth and quality of life caused higher isolation among Americans. Constant online accessibility made communication such a routine thing you want to avoid. Many people got tired of empty chatting that took their time and did not give back anything in particular. Under the impact of technology, we became lazier: why go hang out with peers if you are already connected online?
To put some advantages of technology, it simplified business communication. In many cases, you need only safe online connection to work productively and report your progress to the manager. Even in traditional offices, communicating per e-mail sufficiently accelerates performance. Technology has simplified interaction between a provider of services and their clients. In most cases, clients do not even need to communicate with the provider to get their services.
As a result, the impact of technology on interaction is diverse. We cannot address online channels of communication as a negative phenomenon because we gain even more than we loose with the Internet. In fact, the culture of communication is individual to all people, and those who use the net responsibly never complain about how dramatically the technology has changed their lives.