Internet and information technology do not produce disadvantages for students, societies and common people if it is used wisely and intelligently. But not everyone thinks the same way. Everyone uses it according to his/her needs and intentions.
A person looking for timepass/entertainment only, will use social media frivolously and watch funny videos for hours on end. A person intent on becoming successful in his career and business uses internet for taking online courses, for enhancing technical skills, marketing and selling skills etc.
It means there are various types of users that we can categorize according to their purpose in life. Naturally, due to the different purposes and intentions of using the internet, a negative environment forms around the user, often impacting his social and personal life. Now let’s understand the disadvantages of using the internet in our daily life:
1. Privacy breach and data theft- The internet has evolved leaps and bound to improve communication and business methods with an exceptionally rapid growth. But this is also the main disadvantage of the internet today because it causes an inherent risk of personal information and data being stolen and harvested by companies with lowly ethics.
After the recent revelations of data harvesting by Cambridge Analytica through Facebook API, the entire world has become more aware of the disadvantages of the internet and especially social networks. Almost 87 million people’s personal data was stolen, harvested and sold to other companies and even political parties for huge amounts of money. These people then used the bought data for psycho profiling, micro targeting and swaying people’s opinion on products and political candidates.
Some of this data may even have been used to directly hack into personal accounts to steal credit card information etc., So we need to be cautious about what information we are sharing and with which website or app. Because the threat of data theft and manipulation is very real and this is one of the biggest disadvantages of the internet today.
Related: Importance of Internet Safety
2. The Internet is time-consuming:- According to the definition of what internet was made for, internet should save your time and make you more productive. It’s true in most of the cases such as banking, learning, marketing and social networking. But there are many things on the internet that are consuming and wasting precious time of people in the following ways-
- Time consumed by reading non-essential content – recommended suggestions, promotional emails, updates.
- Time consumed by mobile apps when you turn on your data. Even if you don’t like to see any notification, the apps will update itself, and even you like you’re a machine. It consumes time and sometimes frustrates the users.
- To find 1 solution it takes time to visit more than 10 search results and many times the search results are not according to the search query.
- It takes time to compare and read the product qualities, prices, sellers reputation and delivery methods on online shopping sites. There are always more than 10 things available for 1 requirement. And that makes people confused and it takes time to make a decision.
3. Increase the monopoly in the market: More than half of the world uses search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing to find daily life and business solutions. Many people don’t even notice this but the top 5 results are just ADS by the highest bidder for that keyword or keyphrase. Next 10 results after that are optional, low priority according to search engines.
It means if you search “best tour package for Himachal” the top 5 results are only ADS and there are higher chances that people only visit the link from ADS. It’s creating the monopoly. People who have more money and have already established businesses are changing the world and intelligent people are bound to become sub-vendors instead of Leaders. Big companies or rich companies can invest lots of money on PPC, online advertising- much more than a startup or small business owners- and therefore the big players capture the majority of leads in the consumer market. A vicious cycle for the world economy where the already rich companies are getting richer and the smaller, poor companies are getting poorer.
4. Toughest competition created for small business owners:- If 90% of new businesses failed in the first 5 years then they failed due to competition from bigger companies from developed countries. There are other reasons too but if you do a little research you will find that most of the companies and their ideas and market are already broken in and they are unable to grow further.
The Internet is helping big companies to get ranked higher and gain more brand visibility then small business owners. In a way, the Internet drinks and eats money. It feeds on the money pouring in through advertisements. Naturally, small business owners with 2-3 people can’t produce that many drinks and food for the internet. And then they fail. For example, a small business owner with a handful of people is creating a business website, hiring SEO, doing online marketing, so the owner is always dependent on others thinking to promote his/her store, products and services.
Due to growth hacking on the Internet by big companies they are able to hire experts for everything from Website designer, to SEO to the Content marketer and to sellers.
It’s tough for small business owners to attract, manage that kind of talent. And technically they don’t have that much money to invest in experts. And if he/she is not able to survive or able to grow his/her business, it’s because of big companies taking over the whole market share online and small business owners cash flow is low due to higher competition on the Internet.
It’s because consumers only buy products and services on the Internet when they are convinced about certain things such as product images, descriptive text, testimonials, delivery methods, website design, user experience and many other things. With a meagre budget for design, most of the websites of small business owners are not responsive and unable to adaptive according to industry trends faster.
It looks like in future there will be a time when in the 1st year of inception 99% businesses will fail. It means higher competition, the consistent requirement for updates, more and more investment and infrastructure development. And is the biggest disadvantages of the internet for small business owners.
Related: Importance of Internet in Business
5. An increment in depression: Most of the IT professionals, freelancers, bloggers and website designers run blogs, promote websites and services on the Internet. Many of them work remotely through freelancing websites. It’s great, but what happens later is not expected. When they don’t get results for their efforts on the internet they start doubting their abilities, knowledge and start losing self-confidence and give up on many things.
Generally, it’s not their fault, but that is how the system works on the Internet. Internet competition is very different from local city competition. The Internet has now connected local cities with international markets and brands. So it’s natural that new people or even experts in the local city are unable to compete online.
It’s happening because people from all over the world are fighting for top 10 results, for 1 logo designer job, 100+ people applying. And when there is no choice than self-doubt, depression creeps into mind.
To compete or to participate in international markets our students need competitive leadership skills such as patience, knowledge, creativity and business mindset. They also need a supportive environment and easy to follow policies if they want to make use of what is otherwise a serious disadvantage of the internet.
Related: Importance of Internet in our life
6. Glamours on the Internet are distracting students from career goals: In developing countries, people get attracted to passive income and use various methods to earn income online. Many people are doing it for 3+ years and at the end of the day, they are not getting what they expected. And many passive incomes models are commision based, it means the first party is earning most of the profits from business or websites, and the 2nd party such as blogger or content writer only depends on these first parties for the success in life and career.
Many students get inspired by other people’s real, fake or self-proclaimed popularity, richness without analyzing the skill level and environment. Students in developing countries think they can do it, without understanding that they need practical skills.
But such kind of strategies and visions are not easy to create and implement for students without any support from parents and prevalent academic and career environment. There are not many teachers too to impart such knowledge. Due to such things, someone who wanted to become a world-class dancer ends up becoming a third world engineer.
6. Growth or Development challenge for developing countries:- Developed countries have more technologies, platforms for talents, and IT entrepreneurs. People in developed countries use their spare time in personal development rather than for entertainment. They build and use the latest technologies before the people of developing countries are able to. It’s because people in developing countries haven’t finished using social media and are comfortable with their 1st smartphone. But in developed countries, people invest their money in new inventions and in discovering and business. For them, the internet is a treasure trove of valuable information, which can be used in many beneficial ways, mostly monetary.
Developed countries created the environment using internet for the development of students creativity and entrepreneurship. And now you can see developed countries and their people are leading on the Internet and dominated developing countries.
But due to the internet, developing countries keep following the roots of developed countries instead of learning and building and using own creativity and applications.
It looks that they can remain “developing” for next 100 years because they are “mimicking” the success and business models of others, just following everyone and listening everyone, but do not take actions on useful points and information. It means Internet created a national challenge for developing countries- when there are 1 listener and 1000 speakers.
So the challenge that is created by internet is the lack of creativity and listening capacities in online and offline societies.
This is also another truth that developed countries are getting more disadvantages of technologies than developing countries. And now developing countries have to re-do the analysis whether their national development methods or plans are good enough and effective to reduce the unemployment, corruption, and prevent pollution by using the Internet in a prolific way. Are there not any other methods to become developed without coming across the pitfalls of Technologies?
It’s confusing to me, What is more, important for the development, Is it internet, industries, roads or is it water, trees and farmers?
What are your thoughts about it?
Vijay Kumar is Entrepreneur, IT Career/Leadership Skills Trainer and likes to help students, freelancers, and job seekers with his personal and professional experiences and ideas. The goal of writing is to help students to grow IT related Career and Leadership Skills.
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