The world has become a global village and, indeed, internet has played a major part in making it happen. Internet has become an integral part of our daily lives. From shopping to entertainment and from news to homework, we have become so much dependent upon internet that we trust it blindly. Dependency on the internet is an outcome of added benefits that it provides to its clients and this forces the users to believe on everything they find online e.g. eases of communication, transaction facilities, and information access with minimum investment of efforts and money with in no time. Every technology has some negative aspects associated with it similarly, deliberate use of internet in mass deception is a major concern and many novice users can be targeted. It can be used to mislead people through fake news, scams and blogs. A fake new about Apple was broadcasted on the internet to check the public response on it and it was found that majority of the viewers believed what has been shown to them including some journalists without seeking any confirmation for the news5.
First major reason that made masses rely on internet is it’s an efficient means of communication where they can share information with distant users within no time. Initially, internet was used for sending emails to global business clients, friends and family but with the advancements in technology such as different live calls software Skype, VOIP, Social Networking and Messenger services, communication via internet became more attractive and stronger. Gradually blog facility was initiated which made people believe on information shared by the bloggers. Blogging is one of the most potential ways of influencing public opinions and it can bring drastic change in the mass perception. A blogger debates on the current sociopolitical issues and it involves public opinion over the topic. Feedbacks given by masses depict their ability to comprehend the proposed analysis and this factor directly and indirectly affect their perception. People frequently visit blogs, read and debate over it. This overall participation results either in favor of the topic raised or people may also go against it. One great example of this scenario is Huffington Post which revolutionized the political system. Arianna Huffington success in influencing public opinion through her blog paved the way for other columnists and bloggers and it gave them a direction to express their views in an independent manner1.
Another reason for our dependency on internet is the online services offered by it; a major requirement of our fast paced life which requires things to be done instantly. Online shopping, banking and billing facility has proved to be an influencing factor on public acceptance for online services. Many famous outlets like TheBodyShop, Shukr.co.uk, eBay, Amazon, L’Oreal etc, offer online ordering and free delivery service which facilitate users and they need not to spend time in shopping malls to hunt for their desired products. Now many renowned education institutions conduct webinars and online classes which provide quality education to third world countries student in their hometown.
Distance learning or e-learning programs have been launched to facilitate the students from low-income background from developing countries. One good example of online learning program is www.coursera.org which offers 195 courses with the collaboration of 33 different top famous universities of the world2. The courses offered by this entrepreneurship company are taught by world’s best professors with no cost and course fees. Thousandths of students around the world are benefitting this service. People who don’t have time for taking classes in university can also avail the e-learning service as it don’t have time restrictions.
The third reason on reliability of internet is that it is the biggest pool of information containing contents on diversified topics. Many online databases, journals, scientific literatures and books are available and students and researchers are availing these sources. It can be easily accessed at any time. Few examples of online databases and Journals used by researchers are GenBank, ScienceDirect.com and NCBI. These databases are reliable and contain credible information which itself is recruited by many experts of the relevant field. Data credibility in these regulated online websites is unquestionable and majority of the masses believe on it.
Besides this, other mass communication media have also been computerized. Majority and almost all the news and television channels have their own websites where they broadcast their programs via internet so that it can be accessible to a larger audience including the ones who are travelling or don’t have access to TV due to any reason. This has further augmented our dependency on media because people want to keep themselves updated with ongoing social and political situations around the world. Despite all the facts, masses are accustomed to such lifestyles through new world order propaganda which is aimed to control the minds of global masses. People are made to believe everything that big bosses want, so that they take total control over the world. E-commerce and online banking is a means of controlling the world economy and international banking system has been introduced by potential bankers and industrialists around the world to get hold on world economic and political systems3.
Our dependency on internet is our personal preference for it and it might be an outcome of increased peer pressure and computerized systems implemented in our lives from office to home. It has become our daily need and users are not forced to opt for it, they have other options available. Our lifestyles have been programmed in such a way that we are now much more dependent on internet because of the added benefits which offered by it. Some of the major concerns associated with increasing of internet are scams, fake news and emails that can mislead huge population and the deliberate release of deceiving content with no proper check and regulation. Monitoring content and websites on internet is a difficult task and many times such deceiving content skip the check and regulatory system.
Many novice net users can be fooled by fake monetary offers that attract them. One infamous example of this issue is Nigerian Scam 419. Scammer asked the client his banking details to transfer the offered large lump sum of money and it required registration fees. Later further chargers were incumbent on the user for money transfer purposes. Many clients have been cheated through it and such type of scams crime was first originated in Nigeria and that’s why it is named as Nigerian Scam4. Similarly, in 2010 fake news about Apple production of odd shaped screws was released and many readers believe in it5. This was an attempt made by Stockholm Production Company Day4 to show that majority of masses believe on internet news without going for its confirmation.
This shows a great concern because many people don’t even consider validating the report and trust the content published on any website. According to a report, in 2010 highest scam crime was reported to Internet Crime Complaint center6. However there are many other websites which are providing credible online services and millions of internet users are benefitting it. Many outsourcing companies are providing employment to the third world countries via online internet services. Above discussion makes it explicit that internet information at times is not credible and people shouldn’t believe on it deliberately without any confirmation especially in cases where some websites require users’ personal information. Majority believes on the information disseminated through internet and they show negligence towards source credibility and this general behavior of people needs to be changed so that internet crime can be reduced.
1) Aldred J., Astell A., Behr R. et al. (2008). The World’s 50 most powerful blogs. Retrieved on September 21, 2012 from the Guardia. URL <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/mar/09/blogs> 2) Coursera. Retrieved on September 21, 2012 from <https://www.coursera.org/about> 3) Michael (2002). A History of the New World Order. Retrieved on September 21, 2012 from http://www.michaeljournal.org/nwo1.htm 4) Nigerian 419 Scam. Retrieved on September 21, 2012 from http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/nigerian419scams 5) Cole J. (2011). Why People Believe on Everything they Read on Internet. Retrieved on September 21, 2012 from PR 101 URL <http://www.pr101.biz/pr-101-weekly-rant-44-why-do-people-believe-everything-they-read-on-the-internet/> 6) Alexander A. (2012). Internet Scam Statistics. Retrieved on September 21, 2012 from http://ansonalex.com/infographics/internet-scam-statistics-2012-infographic/