The curse of the Internet

The entire world is just one measly click away

Kifah Memon August 10, 2014

The entire world is just one measly click away. Isn’t that remarkable? Anything we want to know, any place we want to see, we just type it in and BAM! There it is, with all its glorious details. I doubt a worse feat could have been achieved by mankind had we tried harder.

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series once said, “The internet has been a boon and a curse”. The internet took humanity to peaks we had never thought we’d reach. With so much information in our hands, every individual should be soaring through the skies; yet we remain firmly glued to the ground. Why? We should all be little Da Vinci’s, making discoveries left, right and centre! But we are not – and there is one simple answer: information is not the same as knowledge.

It’s not knowledge that is spreading through the internet, it is information which is being used, and that too, on a temporary basis only. What we find one click away is only information: facts that we read and understand but do not retain.

Before the advent of the cyber world, if someone wanted to find out about a country they wished to visit, they went to libraries and book stores; they read travel guides and researched each and every detail about the country. They went out and saw the world, questioned it, tried to understand it. They never Googled it, trying to consume all sorts of details in a span of 15 minutes.

Indeed, reading the abstract of a research paper to cite it is not enough. Online research – even if you use online books, is not enough. You need to go out. Your physical self needs to experience the real world, the knowledge. There should be immersion. A glance at the written word through a screen is not enough.

The internet is profoundly lacking when it comes to catering to the growth of human beings. It does nothing for the human intellect or the human spirit; all it does is provide us with numerous types of information. Very few might realise it, but this helpful tool that we call the internet is a curse in several ways. All that the internet has ever done is stagnate the mind, and dull the soul. And I think it’s about time we stopped relying on it.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2014.



Fareed | 9 years ago | Reply

I do not think internet is as bad as some make it out to be. It is a means to information and its sources and can be utilized in a positive manner depending on the needs and requirements of the users. How we use it is totally our choice and we should not blame the internet for all society evils. Take fire for example; is fire a curse because it has the potential to burn one's fingers? Certainly not.

On the other hand, if the users are immature, and have the temptation to view information that is not suited to them, well, that is wrong on the part of the user and not internet.

adnan | 9 years ago | Reply

we need to look at 'internet' as a modern digital source of information which is quick and webbed. As time progresses, new cascades of technological advanced tools and means come to existence. this is evident from the history. Internet was neither invented by one person not is being run by someone. Its a collective marvel of innumerable people and being shared and benefiting to whole humanity in known and unknown ways. Tagging it with emotional words like 'curse' is just meaningless and reflects the user's understanding the true nature of internet and mental approach towards utilizing it. Internet is just an electronic means of information, parallel to prior traditional means and should be viewed in its right perspective. None ever claimed internet as a fountainhead of 'knowledge'. It helps in research, academia, current affairs, business, education, entertainment, creativity, self-employment and ready information collection. Whereas, processing of information is user's job. Then why do we associate an irrelevant thing to it? Very sorry to say that it has become our national character: to play no part in inventing and innovating; using the same in our daily lives (once created by someone abroad) and then CURSING it...which we should be ashamed of!!

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