The Internet leaps borders with-a click of mouse and the material held in a computer in America gives way to material compiled in Australia. In the network society the line demarcating public from private communication simply fades awa^v Furthermore, the Internet enables everyone in an organisation or in any part of the world to communicate with and share resources with others, giving them access to data held anywhere, even in PCs, by remote office sites or external suppliers and giving users the ability to share printers, fax, CD- ROM and modern technology, etc.
The Internet is equally valuable for organisations of all sizes it provides accessibility to all kinds of information and transferability to different places,’ with new facilities, and value addition to existing services. It has brought about a sea change in individual life as well as in trade, commerce and business.
The Internet provides information on topics ranging from arts, business, cooking, science, health, to history, travel, and space, etc. If you want to find out firms doing business in electronic equipments or metal wares, just go to any search engine and search using the key words. There you will get a list of all the firms dealing in the business across the globe of those who have registered on the Net.
If one has a plan to visit Hong Kong, one does not need to go to the travel agents or call up the airlines services or railway offices for the schedule. One just need to log on the Internet and go to appropriate sites to get the details of the tour, i.e. flight or train schedules, availability of seats, weather conditions of the place, worthseeing sites, etc. Even most of the reputed newspapers, today, have gone online and they can be personalised according to readers’s needs, choice and preferences.
The Internet as a boon for the researchers many of the technical journals are online now, either free or with membership charges. The related required information is within their easy accessibility. They have a whole world of information with the click of mouse.
Gone are the days when a researcher had to wander about from one library to another to have desired information. It has helped researchers to remain in touch with people of similar research inclinations and interests of other research institutions and universities, besides his parent institution. Researchers now are able to join various research groups which operate online and have message boards where one can post queries and get them solved.
E-mail is one of the most popular applications of the Internet, which is meant for transferring short volume of data. It is one of the most popular means of communication. It has become a tool of fast communication. E-mail has actually evolved from traditional office memo. Since then mail system has evolved and Permits more complex interactions like replying, forwarding and sending mail to a group, etc. It is, in fact, a very easy, fast and convenient method of communication.
The Internet has provided people an accessibility to participate and put a check on the government activities through E-governance. The recently passed Right to Information Act would remain a mere paperwork without access to information technology, i.e. Internet.
It offers opportunities to people of remote villages to have access to information related to governance. E-commerce provides business and commerce activities at the flip of a button and various linked services which aimed at promoting business activities. E-banking provides transaction facilities to the customers who are short of time with the help of Internet without any hassle. E-farming has emerged as potential tool enabling a wide network to people in the agri- value chain.
Some of the universities are contemplating distance education to be made online. The day is not far off when courses offered by a university can be accessed through Internet.
E-governance is a very famous word today. Today it is fast spreading in India. It is every popular in Andhra Pradesh where more than its 25 cities and towns have become privileged partners in the E-Seva Project, a key initiative launched by the government to bring electronic governance to the citizen’s doorstep. The
E-Seva provides various household services like collection of water dues, payment of electricity bills, small savings, and property tax, sale of non-judicial stamps, bus tickets, and filing applications for birth and death certificates. Similarly, the Kerala Government launched Jana Seva Kendra in her major cities a few years ago.
All this appears reprehensible to most of us, for change and that too rapid change, is not easily accepted by all. Easy, quick and wide access to information in combination with the ease of communication between individuals interested in the same fields, the rapid advance in and simplication of many technologies have all led to the empowerments of the individual. It has some positive and negative points as well.
Crime has become easier. The nature of crime has become complicated. Crime of such nature is widely committed that it becomes a problem for the police. In an age of Information Technology, cyber crime is fast becoming rampant. Now persons operating their computers are able to take away billion of dollars from bank accounts. Credit card fraud and other such crimes are attributed to the Internet.
The Internet has badly affected the social life. It has changed human nature and behaviour. It provides so fascinating and engrossing world to the users that they do not think it necessary to manage time for other social activities. In a way it has immensely contributed in alienating them from society. Now people do not have time to ask for the well-being of their neighbours and relatives; undoubtedly, the role of Internet cannot be denied for this.
Excessive use of the Internet, particularly in the younger generation is resulting in increasing health problems. Physical activity has declined greatly. Obesity, diabetes, heart ailments, migrane, spondylitis, problem of joint pains, problems of eye sights are on the rise. In addition, misuse of data by people who break into computer networks is also becoming a problem of large dimensions.
The Internet is also being used in developing dangerous and lethal weapons of mass destruction. The Internet is also responsible for moral downfall of society particularly the younger generation.
Super-efficient or evil, the Internet is fast gaining popularity in modern world. It has transformed our lives-both positively and negatively. We need to be trained and educated in a way that its maximum benefits could be drawn without being negatively affected. Existing laws can be used to regulate the Internet, to check the dubious business and other activities, carried on with its help. Thus, it can prove a great boon to the society.