With the operation of packet-switching technologies, the very foundations of the Internet became stable. Packet-switching works in such a way that an information, or data, is broken up into smaller pieces and sent individually to its destination. At the end of the trip, the pieces assemble and made available to appear the same as it was at the sender’s side. It made information dissemination easy: one data can be stored and accessed by multiple users at once.The Internet was actually designed for use by the military. Its main purpose serves as the connecting line between two or more troops situated in far parts of any battleground.
It ensured that the communication is not compromised. However, computers back then were massive, but able to connect several computers at once. The logic was that if a base was gunned down or attacked, the system remains fully operational. An attack on the mainframe, however, might even cause more disaster.
Eventually, the public was made aware that such technology was existent and, with the promotion of personal computers, the Internet developed. E-mail and forums formed in several networks. In the late 1988, the vision of a virtual community became a reality with the introduction of the Internet Relay Chat, or IRC.
The World Wide Web wasn’t known until later, when it was introduced by Tim Berners-Lee. His dedication to making a “standard linked information system” that could be made available to different computers stirred the curiosity of researchers. Browsers were fabricated and introduced to the public, taking in its trail a boom in users until now. The Internet is growing at an exponential rate even as we read this paper.EXPONENTIALWe enjoy most of the services offered by the Internet: e-mail, chat, social pages, forums… even role-playing games. Students use the Internet to look for answers to home works, moms for recipes, dads for cars.
It offered a convenient non face-to-face communication to people we don’t actually know. Somehow, the Internet posed that sensibility.What we do not know, however, is that the Internet also poses a grave threat to its users. Since we don’t know who it was from behind the other computer screen, it seemed that we can do everything. The point is clear, though.
We don’t know who we talk to and we might get harmed in the process. Children, especially, might get their selves exploited with using the Internet.An article in Reader’s Digest (R U In Ur PJs?, August 2006) offers a view of children subjected to child pornography. They were brutally raped or mutilated by pedophiles.
As disturbing as this might sound, pornographic materials were exchanged over the web as though “they were like trading baseball cards.” Furthermore, the feature stresses on the possibility that more children are harmed anywhere in the world, their innocence blurred by the acts of perverts around them.The internet as we know can be used for other forms of fraud and illegality. Shopping online has its benefits: you can stay where you are and let your fingers do the shopping. Be aware though, several people have encountered a theft or two.
Take for example a friend of mine. He had been looking for a particular specification of a digital SLR lens for a long time until he came upon a listing on E-bay. He contacted the seller, asking for the price. Since it was second hand, the seller gave it to him for only half the price. My friend laid out a down payment for the seller, and to his horror, the seller didn’t contact him anymore. The money he sent was forever lost.It wasn’t all bad for the Internet, however. When we realize that there are actions that are not appropriate in the World Wide Web, it is easier to steer away from harm.
There are network etiquettes—netiquettes—that people are made aware of to ensure that they are secured even when browsing the web. The basics are fairly simple: don’t give away personal information like address, contact details, and credit card numbers; report cyber bullies to the authorities; keep away from suspicious websites and downloads.l’égalitéThe Internet is being widely used for virtual communities and the like.
But who would have thought the Internet could be used as an election campaign material? President Barack Obama did! Other presidential candidates have created their own websites, but the First Black President’s website seemed to be the most popular. This is according to a website popularity and analytics company called Quantcast.Quantcast performs a monitoring on the websites on their list, tracking changes like daily traffic and demographic profiles. Their researches show that Barack Obama’s website has attracted 12.
7 Million United States citizens, with regular visitors coming up at 30 percent and passers-by at 70 percent. Furthermore, it also shows that the demographics of the sites visitors were mostly older females with an African American descent. These people have no children within the ages of 6 and 17, with a higher educational status attained and higher degree of affluence.Election campaigns on the web, though widespread and exhausting in itself, is thus proven to be effective in reaching for a larger group of people; more so now that the Internet is acting as a hodgepodge of people with different nationalities, religions, and races. The idea of people congregating on a virtual location while they take the time in between work and school to peek into the details of the then-running president is now achievable.Consequently, this may be one of the reasons why President Obama appealed to the people so much: he was so open to the people thru this website that they felt that he would bring about change.
GENERALISMThe Internet is a haven for people of all walks of life; however, mere innocent surfing could lead into surprises that could hurt and lead us into dangers. There are choices to be made, situations to be considered. The Internet could be likened to a country with many regions and states: each state is different from the other, and there’s a likely chance that you’ll get lost. Stand your guard and who knows? Danger could be avoided.