Evangelista Grace

How the Internet has positively impacted today's youth

The Internet has no doubt revolutionized the lives of every man, woman and child since its advent in the 1980’s. With increasingly growing popularity, the Internet has easily claimed a vital part of every household. The Internet has long endured accusations for a certain drawbacks that humanity has endured from its usage. Despite the highly subjective nature of the topic, there is an ongoing debate about whether the good outweigh the bad. Boon or a bane, the Internet has witnessed a larger impact in the youths of today. While there is a downside to the Internet as there is in almost every man-made thing, it is good to acknowledge the good that the Internet has brought to our younger generation; our potential assets of the future.

It is first worthy to note that Internet access has placed knowledge at a greater disposal to our younger generation. In today’s world, education can be considered the most unfair advantage a person can have. There has henceforth been a large number of educational websites mushrooming around the Internet with hopes to educate the general public and very especially, our younger people. There are a great number of websites like Khan Academy, Stanford Online, Edx, Codecademy and Coursera which are dedicated to offering education at free of charge. Moreover, for those who wish to take their learning game a level further, there are paid alternatives like Udemy, Treehouse and Skillshare which offer a more interactive classroom-like experience, albeit with a low membership price. Judging from personal experience, online courses that I have taken have proved to be more of a complimentary supplement to traditional classroom learning, and not much a means to replace classroom learning although that can be the case in some instances like distance education in certain university programs. Put concisely, it can safely be said that the Internet has routed many paths to nurture the literacy rate among youngsters.

Living in the e-commerce era, the youngsters of today are no exception from generating a revenue of their own. Social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube have proved to be effective tools in engaging and building an audience in addition to aiding in promotion and publicity of goods and service. From personal recount, I have seen a number of young girls who had turned to Facebook and Instagram to promote and endorse various products, most of which fall under the cosmetics category. This could be a cheap and convenient way to earn some side income, provided they have a large follower base. And then there is another acquaintance in my following list who uses her Instagram account to push in posts into her followers’ feeds about pre-loved items that she’s ready to part with. These are only a few examples that I could name from my own recount but we can see all around us how youths are stepping up their game in generating a revenue through online means; from Vlogging via YouTube to selling products through making use of Facebook and Instagram.

With an increasingly fast-paced world, there’s a growing need for convenient means to stay connected with one another and the digital world is precisely doing just that, working its way to making the world we live in a “borderless” place. The revolutionary breakthrough that social media has brought about since its advent have paved the path for our younger generation to stay more connected. This change has also made possible for them to network and thus exchange valuable information with one another. Take for example online forums and Q&A websites like Stack Exchange and Quora where our young, curious and budding youths can have their doubts about a certain topic clarified through their peers, or any experienced person in the topic at hand. I like to call this ‘casually networking’. In addition, although the traditional pen palling is now termed obsolete by many, it has not completely gone off the facet of our human lives. In fact it is not a surprise that there has been a modern variation to traditional pen palling, in that emails are sent instead of posting mails. There has been a great number of young people who have taken interest on online pen palling as seen roughly from the demographics in a popular pen pal website, InterPals Penpals. There is also a website named PenPal Schools that connects students from across the globe, to exchange and learn about a new culture, or even learn a new language through a native speaker.

There is therefore a great deal of benefits that the Internet can take account for. If the young people of today can utilize the core power of the Internet for a greater purpose, the Internet can be one of the many ways they could realize their ambitions or even contribute to a common good. If utilized wisely, the Internet could also prove to be a powerful tool in fostering meaningful relationships to educating the minds of the younger generation and possibly changing lives for the better which could have otherwise been more challenging without the Internet.

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