So as a young person I have grown up with the internet and use it almost every day, be it for looking up some school work, listening to music or looking at funny pictures of cats. It has come to the point where I can’t think of what it would be like to live without access to a computer and the internet, I mean it’s not just for looking at stuff yourself, much of my time is spent on places like Facebook and Gmail chatting with people from all over who I have met in one way or another.
However with this ease of getting in touch with people and making new ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ on social media there have been many demons raise their heads over the years, with people using the internet as an anonymous form of targeting people who are at risk and performing some terrible acts. The most recent I remember hearing about is a poor boy who met up with a complete stranger he had met over the internet and was killed in an unfortunate turn of events and then there is the constant cyber bullying which takes place and severely damages people’s lives.
These problems have led to many questioning the safety of allowing people to use the internet and technology itself to communicate with one another; for example my parents have recently raised worries over the fact that I communicate with people from all over the world who I have been introduced to through one of my friends (who yes I have met in person).
However, on the other hand the internet raises many opportunities like staying in touch with friends after they move away from home. The internet has allowed me to become involved in great projects with organisations such as Mozilla, who I first met thanks to NCS, and open source community who I have had the pleasure of being involved with for almost a year now and managing to gain a view of the wider world from being introduced to a wider network of people.
One of my friends always uses an interesting statistic if their parents try to block them from talking to their friends on the internet, after the most recent scares about internet safety; it is more likely for a child to be killed by a toaster than someone they meet through the internet. After all most people are very much like you and I and the internet has so many benefits in our society. It helps to make the world more accessible, the chance to use it for social action and allows us to view funny images of cats at almost any time (what better use can you think of than for cats). So while there are some scares about the internet every once in a while, the benefits it offers makes it something which is integral to my life and I could not imagine living without.