By CHINWE AGBEZE
It is an indisputable fact that internet has made life a lot easier than what it was in the past. The benefit of this technological innovation cannot be overemphasized as there is hardly any aspect of life today where it does not have a place either positively or negatively.
Students of secondary and tertiary institutions can easily testify that the story today is different from the experience of their parents, courtesy of this technological magic. They no longer have to take the risk of travelling from one place to another in search of information and research materials for their assignments, term papers or even project works. All they do now is to give an appropriate command on the keyboard, google some key words and they will have answers to questions that would have kept them on the road at money and time costs. Okpabi Asewein, student of Oshodi Senior Grammar School told Hallmark that his time was now being properly maximized for productive things. ‘’In the past I used to play football endlessly after school hours with my friends, at the end of the day I would feel too tired to read my books, but now I can research on anything under the sun using the internet facilities’’, he said. This position was corroborated my Mary Oshodi , who left school last year. She said her success in last University Matriculation Examination, UME, was as a result of thorough research she made on the subjects she entered for using the internet facilities.
Again with this technological breakthrough people can read newspapers, magazines and other publications without parting with money. It is also easy today for people to visit organizations and institutions and get information about them without being physically there. It only takes a knowledge of the website of the organization in question to be there for important inquiries and sometimes business discussions.
Adebayo Kolade, a bank executive told Hallmark that the advance in technology has made life easier. Today, he said ‘’I don’t need to send somebody to the newsstand to buy the dailies with my smartphone I can browse to get the news of the day among other things’’.
Examination bodies like the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and West African Examination Council (WAEC) are among the major beneficiaries in this regard. They no longer go through the stress of facing long queues of people who come to purchase examination forms or check their results. Instead what they now do is sell their scratch cards and people use it to access a section of their websites for registration and checking of results.
Many job seekers today find online application more convenient than physically going to drop their applications somewhere. Also a lot of academic programmes are running online today, thereby removing the barrier distance could have constituted.
Those who practised journalism yesteryears believe that internet has made the job less tedious. They recall that the facts reporters of today can gather in minutes with the help of the internet would take them hours and sometimes days in their days. Getting some facts those days required ransacking through heaps of old newspapers which needed a lot of hard work and perseverance.
Today the social media is doing a lot in shaping the world. Apart from providing avenues for people to make friends across the world, it is a wonderful tool for intellectual intercourse between people who have or have not met themselves physically. People face some puzzles and post them on their timelines optimistic that their friends will come up with contributions that will bring about solutions.
Also it is hard to see a politician today who does not use the facebook, twitter, whatsapp and so on to communicate to the people. They have come to terms that these are now powerful tools to influence public opinion. All these would not have gone beyond imagination in a world without the internet.
However, that does not, by any means, depict that this technological advancement has been a blessing to mankind all the way as many have destroyed themselves with what is making others better. Internet has a way of making people lazy. But that is for those who give room for that. Many students today no longer burn the midnight candle to read. They believe whatever assignment given to them will only take a browse of the internet on their phone or laptop.
But they forget it is not all questions that internet can provide answers to. A question that requires applied knowledge will hardly have an internet answer. Even when one passes an examination or a class test by browsing the internet, it is obvious that the fellow passed without acquiring the necessary knowledge.
It can be argued that there is a direct relationship between access to internet and growing moral decadence among the youths. Many teenagers today have become addicted to pornographic sites just because of their knowledge of and access to internet. A bid to practise what they see in these immoral sites has most times resulted in unwanted pregnancies, abortions, child marriages, poverty, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS or even untimely death. These are the price of refusing to appreciate the positive side of this wonderful gift.
The journalism profession is today plagued by plagiarism, an act of copying another person’s work without crediting the writer. This has not only killed originality in many journalists, but has also reduced their chances of building an enviable career. Plagiarism was unheard of before the advent of internet.
No matter the situation, the fact remains that internet is an endowment to the world to make life easier and better. Only those who lack focus allow it to ruin their lives. But no amount of ills associated with this soft way of getting things done will measure with the many reliefs it has brought to the world.
However, many people have met their death through exploration of face book facility of the internet.