University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Internet and Books
In today’s modern world, technology has a great influence on our life and time. Back in the early 19th century, when electronic devices had not been invented, the population could only use printed word such as books, posters, newspapers or magazines, to gather information. Later, in the mid 20th century, the use of computers, televisions and radios helped people to know about the incidents happening all around the world, more easily. Now, in the 21st century, the creation of internet and other devices to access it has helped us to attain gigabytes of information, just with the click of our mouse. The internet has made it possible for us to acquire answers for almost all of the questions that we ask, and has alleviated the access to information to almost every topic imaginable.
Firstly, internet helps to save time and effort. All you need to do is type in your question and click SEARCH. It can give an answer to almost every question type in, and it is usually very quick, speedy and fast. On the other hand, using books or other printed texts can waste time, as you need to find the appropriate book and then search for the information you need from it. For example, while searching for a book in the library, you waste time trying to reach there, and even more time trying to find the book you need. Despite this, time is also lost when you try to find the information that is useful to you from the book. Whereas the internet acts as a filter that sieves out all the data you need, in a span of seconds.
However it can be argued that using electronic devices can cause distractions and disturbances. Using the internet can divert your attention to some other unrelated site and will cause you to waste time. For instance, you may login to facebook or twitter, or check your mail instead of researching and using the time well. On the contrary, you cannot be easily distracted in a library where silence is preferred, and is filled with people who want to work. But if the internet is used properly, and if the person has a self control over himself the internet has more advantages comparing to printed texts. So in short internet can be a time-saver only if used wisely.
Alternatively, the internet can sometimes provide us with unreliable information. It is like a blank page in which people are allowed to post whatever they want, and sometimes even the wrong information. As exemplified by blogs, in which anyone can post their opinions and views on a topic, the internet can be a source of unreliable and inaccurate information as it contains the judgement of different individuals and not the actual facts. On the contrary, printed texts can be a great source of reliable information. Books are written by experienced authors who have researched well about the topic themselves before publishing it. A library can assure you that the book in your hand is dependable and trustworthy.
In spite of being unreliable, internet can provide us with up-to-date data. It offers information on the most recent discoveries and inventions, the latest cars or other products and about the contemporary incidents and happenings all around the world. However once a book is published, any recent findings cannot be added to it. There are always new developments in the field of health, science, technology and politics that the library simply cannot keep up with. Therefore, the internet can provide us with the latest news about our modern day developments and can be dependable only if used properly by checking the sources of a particular website.
Thirdly, glaring at a screen for a long period of time can cause various eye and back problems. Computer vision syndromes like eye strain and cataracts are caused by glaring at the computer screen for prolonged periods. Millions develop a condition called ‘dry eye’, resulting in gritty, itchy, inflamed eyes, due to staring at the screen for hours. The light from computer screens can cause drastic problems to your eyes, and sometimes even partial blindness. Unlike computer screens, books can be very easy to read as they are just words printed on paper. However there are many solutions to prevent the damage caused to eyes by computer screens. Screen filters can be bought to reduce the amount of light radiation hitting our eyes.
There are also many softwares that can transfer the information audibly or with the help of videos, and do not require data to be read. Regular breaks, and turning away from the screen constantly can also help in avoiding eye and back problems. Usually, there is an option to zoom in, which enables people to read easily. Unlike computers, books cannot be zoomed in, when the letters are too small to be visible, causing eye problems as well. So the problems caused by glaring at computer screens or reading the small printed texts in books, can be reduced by taking regular breaks and exercises, as anything in excess is
not good for our health.
Moreover, a lot of paper is wasted in the creation of books and magazines. Deforestation, being one of the greatest threats that humans are facing today, is increased by the production of paper in books. A few sheets of paper could be worth one tree. Hence the number of trees is reducing day by day. Obviously, trees are vital for our living as they are the natural producers of food. Deforestation not only causes scarcity of food and other resources, but also results in the rise of the earth’s temperature, causing global warming. In contrast to books, modern technology like mobile phones, computers or tablets does not harm the environment to a very great extent. In the case of computers the energy used is electricity, which is renewable and can be created again and again. The internet is a huge database, and more information can be adjoined into it, very easily.
However books are created from sheets of paper, and if the number of books increase, then the level of deforestation can increase correspondingly. To reduce the destruction of the earth’s forests by deforestation, paper should be recycled and not wasted. Instead it is much easier to use the help of modern technology that functions with the help of renewable energy, which does not have a great impact on nature. Therefore modern electronics has made it possible to overcome a huge problem to the environment.
In conclusion, modern technology has many positive uses; it has made the world a smaller place by allowing us to contact individuals all around the world, many electronic devices are very cheap making it affordable to all and has also allowed people to find out about the news and incidents happening all around the world. But every good has some bad, and the extensive use of technology can be harmful to our health. I strongly believe that modern technology has been very helpful and useful to the human population. It has eased our access to information in very sustainable manner, and has connected the world together.