What are the disadvantages of the Internet?

Updated: 11/26/2018 by Computer Hope

Although the Internet is one of man's greatest creations, it also has many disadvantages, several of which are listed in the following sections.

Bullying, trolls, stalkers, and crime

TrollAnyone who has spent time on the Internet has encountered trolls or abusive people. Another issue that has increased over the years is cyberbullying.

With people sharing information on the Internet, it's also easier for stalkers to find personal information about others through various means.

Hidden places on the Internet and the deep web can also be a place for criminals to conduct business without as much fear of being caught. A global audience also gives criminals more ways to solicit their goods.

Pornographic and violent images

In our digital age, there is a nearly infinite amount of content on the Internet. While there are amazing resources, such as Wikipedia, less desirable content also exists. Consequently, users can accidentally come across violent or pornographic images that they may not want to view.

Addiction, time waster, and causes distractions

Surfing and playing games on the Internet can quickly become very addictive. This, in turn, makes it is easy to spend a lot of frivolous time on the Internet instead of doing something productive. On this same note, the Internet can hamper workplace productivity as well.

Never being able to disconnect from work

log offThe Internet is great for giving its users the ability to work from anywhere. However, that also means that it may be expected that you are available to work, even if you are not supposed to be working.

For example, you may be at home and get a notification that you have received an important work-related e-mail and then end up working on the content of that e-mail without getting paid.

Identity theft, hacking, viruses, and cheating

With access to billions of computers, it makes it easier for computer hackers and malicious users to hack accounts and steal personal information that could be used for identity theft. The Internet also connects all computers to each other, which makes it easier for hackers to scan millions of computers and quickly identify what computers are vulnerable to attack.

The Internet also makes it much easier for students to cheat on their studies or find others on the Internet to write reports for them or do their homework.

Spam and advertising

It's great that the Internet can be an easy way to reach a much wider audience than traditional advertising methods (e.g., newspaper, TV, and radio). However, because it is so easy and cheap, it can mean that you will see more advertising and get more spam in your e-mail Inbox than you may in real life.

Affects focus and patience

The sites we use on the Internet every day have an "instant gratification" effect. They also present an endless menu of things to think about and experience at any moment, on demand. Getting information this way rewards fast-paced thinking that shifts focus quickly, which affects your interactions in general, making you more impatient and less focused on your activities. Try to balance this natural effect with time away from social media and focused on more productive real-life activities like exercise or cleaning.

Depression, loneliness, and social isolation

Social networking sites can also lead to depression as many people tend to compare their lives with others. The Internet and online games make it easier to communicate with others, and although you may find new connections around the world, it's easy to disconnect from those in your real life.

Health issues and obesity

Carpal Tunnel wrist braceAs with watching TV, spending too much time on the computer surfing the Internet or playing games can also lead to obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle.

A computer also requires a lot of repetitive movement that can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. For example, moving your hand from your keyboard to a mouse and typing are all repetitive actions, which can cause injuries. Taking breaks, keeping the proper posture, and understanding computer ergonomics can all help delay or prevent these injuries.

Buying things that you don't need

The Internet makes it easy to buy things, that users may find themselves purchasing products without putting much thought into whether or not they should be. Also, for some people, buying items on the Internet can become so addictive that it causes serious debt.