View On Cyberspace Essay, Research Paper
Views on Cyberspace
George worked in the Hong Kong office of a large U.S. company. On the 8th of May, at about two o?clock, he received an email that came with an attachment labeled ?Love-Letter-For-You. The mail seemed innocuous enough that George opened it immediately without thinking. The subject line read, ?I love you?. George thought, ?Oh, how nice! I got a love letter.? When he clicked the ?open? button, his computer crushed. The attached file on the ?I-love-you? mail was later verified to carry a highly destructive virus that could infect the world?s computers. People named the virus the ?love bug?. The night of May 8th, the mail spread overnight around the world and causing billions of dollars in damage. This trouble happened all on the Internet.
How exactly does that happen? What kind of power does the Internet have that can destroy the entire world?s computer systems? The Internet is a matrix of networks that connects computers around the world. It enables computer networks to make on-line communications. People do research, send and receive e-mails, chat and exchange ideas with others on the Internet. According to Time magazine, as of 1998, the Internet had more than 100 million users worldwide, and that number is growing rapidly. More than 100 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions. However, the easy access to Internet has also caused us troubles. For example, the love-bug incident brought us global damages. The Internet has certainly made our lives easier than before, and we, the people who live in the Internet Age, need to realize the pros and cons of the Internet-usage regarding the access to various websites and the online communications. So we can wisely have fun on the Internet and at the same time also be more alert to avoid the Internet-trouble.
The most satisfactory part about the Internet is the easy access to unlimited information on websites. The role of Internet is similar to a key. The key allows everyone to go into an abundant library that is built with extensive and unlimited sources. The Internet is versatile. It provides instant and immediate access to various sources from the world; it helps us to write, keep track of accounts, and exchange ideas with others (Raymo 156). The first time I used the Internet was in seventh grade. My history teacher asked my class to do a research on World War II. She took us to the library and wanted us to use the Internet as one of our sources. Without knowing the word ?Internet,? I had no clue how it worked and how to do research on it. Then the librarians informed us that by only typing ?World War II? on the search engine sites on the computer, thousands of related information on the subject would appear. Unlike the old traditional and tedious way of researching with library books, the Internet is fast and easy. I was amazed.
Moreover, the online communication on the Internet has also gradually become part of the routines of everyday life (Raymo 156). Not only can we do research online, almost everybody reads their electronic mail, sends postings to electronic bulletin boards or make airline reservations over a computer network. I personally communicate a lot on the Internet. I can easily access some of the Chinese websites and get the latest news in Taiwan; I chat online and send e-mails to my friends and families. Through the Internet, I can communicate to almost every corner of the world with the push of a button.
However, the easy access to unlimited information on websites has its serious drawbacks that people should not overlook. Each website on the Internet comprises various information for people to use, but not all the websites are suitable for children under eighteen to visit. That includes pornography and violent related messages that might have false influences on youngsters. Unlike movies, it has its ratings. Children who use the Internet can freely access all kinds of websites. What is libelous content? Who determines what content should be blocked? What content should children view? Another issue is regarding on the accuracy of information that are provided online. Can one be sure that information from different websites are reliable? In high school, whenever my class was doing research on the net, teachers had always warned us to be careful with the false information. How can one use those sources if some airheads post the false information on the web?
Moreover, we need to consider seriously on issues regarding privacy on the Internet. In The Other Side of E-Mail, Kuttner points out that Internet is a thief. He wrote, ?it steals our time and our privacy.? The free communication online causes the problem. People can easily view others? personal information by simply typing their names on the Internet. With each technological advance, how much confidential information should we reveal when we surf the web? What rights do companies have to sell personal data? Who should regulate this dissemination of personal information? Furthermore, we tend to rely on the Internet too much that a little virus like love-bug can easily bring us serious damages. If people don?t do as much relating works on the computer and spend so much time on the Internet, even if the virus-spreading problems are existing, we will have nothing to do with it and will not even have to worry about it.
In Can Body Meet a Body Coming Through the Wire, Raymo wrote, ?Like a force of nature, the digital age cannot be denied or stopped.? And he is right; the digital age cannot be stopped. In a way, it is also revolutionizing how we live and how we communicate. However, if we don?t consider the downside of the Internet website usage and the online communications seriously, we, as the people who live in the Internet Age, will eventually confront what is called cyberspace crisis. Computer-damage instances similar to the love-bug will keep happening and bring us serious disasters. Now, with both positive and negative perspectives regarding the access to the websites and the online communications, we can now be wise Internet users who have fun using the Internet and at the same time also be alert to avoid the Internet-troubles. After all, the Internet can lead all of the human beings toward a brilliant cyber future.