Has the Internet become a negative force for personal well-being?


I had the privilege of having lunch with Jim Barksdale, its first CEO, shortly after Netscape was launched. This lunch was around 1995, when most of the world had not yet discovered the Internet. Netscape was created by Marc Andreessen and was based on a software he created called Mosaic, which was the first browser for the Internet.

Netscape’s goal was to commercialize the Internet and introduce Internet 1.0, then as a read-only format. This gave rise to Internet 2.0, which became a more interactive Internet that allowed reading and writing instead of reading only.

I vividly remember that dinner with Mr. Barksdale as I got my first glimpse of the future of interactive, cloud-centric computing. Until then, the computer was mainly controlled by native software. With the exception of online e-mail transmissions, computing was largely a localized experience.

Since then, the Internet has exploded, and today cloud-based computing has become the main technology that drives our world. It has become a free tool for everything from e-commerce, social media, content creation, virtual protests, and the nefarious things like cybercrime and new cyber threats that threaten us every day.

I recently saw an anonymous tweet, “Earlier, the Internet was an escape from reality. Now reality is an escape from the Internet.” This sentiment made me wonder if Mr. Andreessen and Mr. Barksdale had any inkling of the negative impact the Internet could have on us when they created Netscape and launched the worldwide media for good and evil.

While the Internet is an important force in driving the new world of information distribution, e-commerce, job creation, and wealth, it has also created social media that affects human well-being. It does this by spreading misinformation. Almost everything is combined with ideas, and in some it brings out offensive content information, statements that are contrary to science, and in some cases emotions that affect their feelings when faced with serious emotional distress.

This idea was echoed recently when former President Barack Obama delivered one of his harshest criticisms of technology in a speech at Stanford University: “f.created discord and misinformation at the cost of democracy.“According to MSNBC, “he used his great influence to advise the public to think actively about technology, not just as consumers but also as citizens. He argued eloquently against the ‘fatal’ pessimism about technology and how technology can be changed to serve people.” encouraged to think. and do not undermine democracy.”

President Obama’s concern about citizens’ desperation to communicate on social media has been personally confusing.

When Facebook and Twitter were first introduced, I jumped on these platforms and enjoyed them at first. But around 2014, I saw both social media platforms go dark. I started seeing hate speech, anti-science views, and more negative content on a daily basis. In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, he forced Facebook and Twitter to add more people and tools to moderate the content allowed on their sites to combat the negative effects their sites have on people’s lives.

In my case, this has led me to change how I use and consume social media to keep my mental psyche stable. I can no longer rely on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to curate content for me, so I curate my social media content myself.

Facebook is now mainly used to keep in touch with my family and friends. That’s why I don’t subscribe to political sites and try to follow newsworthy content that expresses fact-based news, researched and informed opinion.

While I still use Twitter for breaking news, I try to stay away from biased news sources and biased content as much as possible. When it comes to YouTube and TikTok, I tend to lean towards entertainment content and shopping information sites that are viewed during breaks.

I share President Obama’s concern about the influence of tech companies on democracy and how people with biased views have permeated social media so much that it has upset some. However, I believe that personal content moderation should be the primary way to manage social media to avoid negative effects on people’s lives.

I understand that the Internet is not going away and will continue to be a tool for good and evil. However, even as tech companies try to more proactively curate and curate their content, it’s clear that more needs to be done. For example, suppose a person wants to escape the “fatalistic despair” caused by the use of technology and social media, as President Obama has suggested. In this case, self-moderation should be a big part of technology-based content management.



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