The Importance of the Internet In Our Everyday Lives

For the past few month, I have been attending a media literacy class where I learned about the history of the World Wide Web, the internet, and how people use it. If there was one thing that I took away from that is that the Internet plays an important part in our daily lives. It not only provides us entertainment, but it makes school assignments and work projects easier to do. It may have some downsides, like the lack of privacy, but the good definitely outweighs the bad.

To an individual, the internet is important mainly because it allows you to do things that you would not be able to do if the internet did not exist. An article from tibetangeeks.com talks more about the importance of the internet and the advantages it has for an individual. Some of the advantages it lists include increase credibility, increase exposure, greater quantity and quality of inquiries, maintain information that’s “up to the minute” accurate, and save money on printing, phone usage, and postage. When reading the article, you can see that most of the advantages that are listed also apply to businesses. So, the internet can make it easier for businesses to get their name out their and succeed.

The internet may be important for businesses and individuals, but it’s also important in terms of children’s education. According to a UK study done late last year, “UK teenagers without the internet are ‘educationally disadvantaged.'” When interviewing the teenagers, they found that “they felt shut out of their peer group socially and also disadvantaged in their studies as so much of the college or school work set for them to do at home required online research or preparation.” You often hear parents and teacher today complaining about how the internet is distracting kids from their studies while disregarding all of the good that it can provide. And, this study shows that a kid without access can actually be damaging to a child’s education.

All of the reasons listed about the internet’s importance may seem obvious to many, seeing as most people are using it, but there are some people who believe that the internet and even technology is a nuisance and shows signs of the end of face-to-face communication. While I agree that people nowadays are on the internet/phones way too much, I still acknowledge the importance and all of the advantages it has. The internet is important and, since most people are using it, people need to embrace it, not ignore it.  

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Designing a Website: Things That You Should Consider

When meeting someone new, everyone knows that it’s important to make a good first impression. The same goes with websites. A website’s design is almost just as important as the content that is on the website. If a person goes to a website and the website contains weird fonts, unflattering colors, etc. then that person won’t even bother to even see what the website is about because they’re so uncomfortable with the web’s design.

When designing a website, there are many things a person has to consider. One of the most important factors that needs to be considered is readability. An article from smashingmagazine.com talks about “10 Principles For Readable Web Typography.” These principles include user-friendly headers, scannable text, consistency, organization of information, good margins, etc. It also talks about the importance of hierarchy, contrast, and how long a a line should be. It may seem like a lot, but how is person suppose to read your content and know who you are/what are you selling if they can’t read anything at all because of the blinding colors or the distracting fonts.

Not only is readability important, but the usability and the ease of navigation are equally as important. A website should have content that is easy to use and that works. It also should being easy to navigate around and find the things that you are looking for.

With all of this in mind, let’s evaluate a site some young people my age, including myself, like to look at quite often and share some of the articles on Facebook, BuzzFeed. This site contains all kinds of articles from news stories to countdown lists of nostalgic TV moments. When you go to the home page, you see an example of what a website should look like. First off, it has a white background and text that is either blue or black and is the correct size so it really easy to read. Another thing is that it lists a lot of stories, but it successfully done because he articles are all contain only a title, a header, and a description that is only sentence. When reading on the web, people don’t like to read a lot so it’s really good that the site keeps it short and sweet. Some of the links/images only contain the title or just the image with title shown when your mouse is over it, which is really clever. And, with a lot of articles/images contains within it a lot of options for a person so it’s easy to find what they’re looking for. Plus, there are the main option at the top of the page so that you can search for the kind of articles you want to look at. The only thing that I can criticize about the website is that the home page does have a lot of images and can seem a little bit overwhelming. However, the images aren’t distracting or uncomfortable to look at so it’s not that bad.

If you are thinking about designing a website of your own it’s important to understand that the only people that you should think about are the people looking at your website and how your content will be perceived by them. What you put out there on the web tells what kind of person you are and having a poorly design website will make people think that you’re sloppy and unorganized. To help you make sure that your website readable and attractive, the people at websitehelpers.com have come up with some tips. The tips that are listed should be very helpful and are very true when it comes to making a website. So, if you are interested, you should check it out. All of these factors that have been stated are essential for an attractive website. Because, if your website isn’t good or easy to look at, then people will click out of it as soon as they can and won’t even give you a chance.  

The Advantage of Using Social Media: Why It’s Important for Businesses

It’s pretty obvious that a lot of people are using the internet nowadays. According to statistics, over 78% of Americans are using the internet and millions of those people are using some kind of social media site like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Tumblr. With these statistics, it can be assumed that what Tim Berners Lee, the creator of the web, is true. He says “if it’s isn’t on the web, it doesn’t exist.” In other words, if you don’t have some kind of profile on the web, then you essentially don’t exist. So it’s no wonder that businesses are now using social media to get connected to their customers.

According to a survey that was conducted late last year, 90% of small businesses are active in social media sites. Businesses, especially small businesses, are now realizing the importance of having a presence online. Some businesses have even been ‘put off’ by a particular company because of their small or non-existent use of social media. It’s just that important.

The reason that it’s important for a business to be actively involved in social media because it is the best way to reach their customers. In an article from Forbes.com, the author, Kelly Clay,  states that businesses should use social media for customer service. She says social media is way that businesses can listen and respond to their customers. By doing this, the customers feel like the businesses actually cares about its customers and their needs.

With million of people on the web and on social media sites, it is the perfect way for a business to get their label out there.  By using social media and being constantly active, businesses can have a connection with their customers which would result in more and more people becoming invested in whatever their product is.

Reading Online: Is It Really Reading?

It can be said that most people, especially younger people, are spending more and more time on the Internet. This means that most of their reading comes from online. But, does reading online count as “reading?”

The answer to that question is kind of. 

Jacob Nielsen researched how people read on the web in his article from Nielsen Norman Group website. He concluded that people don’t really read, but instead scan when they are online. They are only paying attention to the first two paragraphs of an article and then just focus on a couple of lines, but mainly the first couple of words in each line. They are reading in an F-shape which Nielsen calls the F-pattern.

In that case, reading online isn’t quiet as beneficial as reading a book. However, an article from the New York Times entitled “Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?” says differently. It states “Reading five Web sites, an op-ed article and a blog post or two, experts say, can be more enriching than reading one book.” With the web, you get a lot of different point of views in a shorter amount of time then it takes to read a book.

So, who’s right? I believe that both are in their own ways. I know that Nielsen idea of the F-pattern is correct because I personally have experienced this almost every time that I read an article. However, I still believe that it’s considered reading, even though it’s not as good as reading a book. You are still reading words and opinions of different people.

I think that people should read books and read on the web that way they will be able to continue ‘scanning the web,’ while still maintaining the benefits from reading a physical book. There might not be as much time available to read a book nowadays, but it’s still possible to get a chapter in every other day. 

What’s Posted on the Internet, Stays on the Internet: Is This Really True?

What’s on the internet, stays on the internet. It may seem like this is common knowledge, but to this day people are posting embarrassing pictures and videos of themselves and whining about it later when they can’t delete it.

The New York Times put out an article a couple of years ago called “Erasing the Digital Past.” It talks about how its important to think about what you post before you post it with example of people who’s lives are essentially ruined because of negative content on the internet.

So everyone should know that what you post on the internet will always be there, but is this really true? Does it really stay there forever or is there some way to take it off the internet forever?

Some sites say that they have come up with ways that can delete a post forever. An example of this is an article from lifehacker.com entitled “How to Fix Internet Embarrassments and Improve Your Online Reputation.” The article talks about how to remove content from sites like Facebook or Google. On Facebook, it’s easy to delete content that you’ve posted yourself, but it’s a lot harder to delete content that someone else posted. You can politely ask the person that posted them to delete, but that usually doesn’t happen. The other option is to contact Facebook either by filing a complaint and/or talking to them directly. However, chances are that Facebook won’t help you unless it’s an extreme cases.

 Even if you try do all of this, the content can still be there. The New York Times article that was stated before states that once content is posted, “the incriminating data had embedded itself into the nether reaches of cyberspace, etched into archives, algorithms and a web of hyperlinks. “

Another thing that you can try to do is to try to hide the content with positive content. If you overflow the search results with other social networking and blogging sites then the negative content will be beyond the first or second page which is where most people stop looking. Both articles suggests this and it seems like it’s the only option.

To conclude, the phrase “what happens on the internet, stays on the internet” is true. It’s almost impossible to delete content forever. So, everyone should think twice about what they post on internet because it could change their life forever.

Treatment of Online Female Gamers: Harmless Fun or Harassment

It is questioned on rather or not an online gaming community can be considered a ‘real community.’ The answer to this question is yes; an online gaming community can have similar friendships and closeness as a physical community. An example of this can be seen in this article by the Chico Enterprise Record. It tells the story of a woman named Charlanne Corbin who had recently passed away and her two seperate lives both as a beloved bus driver named ‘Popcorn’ and as an avid online gamer. She was deeply loved by both communities.

While Charlanne was greatly accepted by her online gaming community, most female online gamers don’t get the same treatment. While insults and trash talking are fairly normal for an online gaming community and ‘trolls,’ or internet bullies, are everywhere and can be easily ignored, the treatment that female gamers get goes far beyond that. In fact, they are verbally and sexually harassed daily because they are female and like to play games.

For whatever reason, there is still this silly notion that females don’t like to play video games when, in fact, there are more female gamers than ever. This article from the New York Times entitled “In Virtual Play, Sex Harassment Is All Too Real,” states that 47 percent of gamers are female. the article goes on to talk about women who have experienced sexual harassment and how it is just now getting attention. One of the women in the article named Miranda Pakozdi was repeatedly asked about her love life, her bra size, and was even asked to take her shirt off.

A reason why this harassment happens is because it goes with the stereotype that was stated before. That girls don’t like to play videos and the one that are playing online are only doing it for attention. This one of the reasons why female gamers are repeatedly asked for sex and even stalked not only online, but also in person.

And, if you think that this harassment only happens once in awhile, think again. If you look at this blog called Fat, Ugly, or Slutty, you can see that this is a daily thing and it happens to many online female gamers.

To conclude, there needs to be more awareness that this does happen and that it’s not just harmless taunts that you see in everyday. It is plain harassment and it needs to stop. Online male gamers need to know that this kind of behavior is unacceptable. But, the question is, how do you get through to them when the fact is that most of them are immature and won’t listen to anyone? Maybe more awareness will help or maybe it should go as far as arresting them because this can be considered a crime. Whatever needs to be done, it needs to be done!

The Fallout of the Internet: Is it Possible?

When it comes to the internet, a lot of people depend on it. Everyday people are either on their computers, phones, laptops, etc. They use it for everything from work and school projects to watching cat videos and checking facebook. They are highly dependent on it. But, what would happen if the internet could not work anymore. What if it just collapsed. Is it possible for such an awful thing to happen?

Let’s look at what would the world do if the internet collapsed. Nowadays, everything uses the internet such as TVs, gaming consoles, and phones. So, if the internet did collapse, it would likely be impossible to do simple things as watch TV or send a text message or sending files to others. Jonathan Strickland talks more about this in his article, “What would happen if the internet collapsed?” He says that not only will it cause people to not be able to use the internet for everyday things, but there would also be an economic fallout which can also cause a political crisis. With all of that taking into account, it’s safe to conclude that something like this will devastate the world and would cause total chaos. However, is it possible for this to actually happen?

Can the internet actually collapse? The answer to this question is yes, but it would be almost impossible to do. But it is possible. Scott White actually explains it in his article called “How to Destroy the Internet.” In the article, he gives a big list on how someone would be able to do it, but, by the end, he explains that the internet would still be available even after that and furthermore, it’s impossible for one person to pull off thousands of attacks on the entire planet all at once. Additionally, Strickland also says that it’s almost impossible for a total internet collapse because of the internet backbone that he describes.

So, yes it is possible for the internet to collapse, but it’s highly unlikely that it will.