What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the internet?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the internet?  

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The internet is an incredibly efficient way to track down information, and it is only likely to become more so as the years go by.  Practically all information will someday probably be digitized, and, with any luck, much of it will be made freely accessible on the internet.

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One disadvantage of using the internet is the lack of critical thinking skills.  Let's look at a specific case.  If I assigned a research paper on Japan, a student without internet would likely visit the reference section of the library.  He/she might start with J for Japan and then pull things like Pearl Harbor or Samurai.  The student would need to use a very specific type of critical thinking to find the information they need for the assignment.  A student using the internet just types in the keyword Japan and waits for the computer to do the thinking for them.  While this seems easier, it is not necessarily better.  This type of critical thinking is a skill we use frequently in other areas of our lives.  Students who use the internet exclusively and not develop the type of critical thinking required to access and assimilate specific information groups will lack a specific set of necessary skills.

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I always teach my students the importance of source evaluation when we do research papers, and I think this is an important advantage/disadvantage to consider. The Internet is an incredible bank of very easily assessable information on so many topics, but not all the information on the Internet is "equal." As a user, you must look at the source and evaluate its reputation. Sites associated with universities are usually very good, but many other sites can be excellent. It is always a good idea to see if you can verify information by finding it on more than one site and to always be aware of what kind of site you are looking at.

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One interesting phenomenon that has been researched by Dr. Ellen Helsper is the idea that younger people have become so used to being online that they no longer recognize the fact that the internet's disadvantages and dangers even exist.

The biggest danger, which #2 alludes to, is the fact that anyone can put anything on the web, and it easy to do so anonymously. So there's a huge amount of information out there that, while it may sound authoritative, is completely erroneous, and there's no accountability.

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There are many advantages and disadvantages of using the Internet. Let me name a few.

The advantages of the Internet are manifold. First, the Internet is incredibly fast and easy to use. Second, the Internet is accessible to many people, even at the same time. So, we can say that it is limitless. Or we can say that it democratizes knowledge. Third, massive amounts of knowledge can be used immediately. All of these are incredibly positive points.

With that said, there are some disadvantages. Perhaps the chief disadvantage is that there is simply too much out there. So, a person has to sift through what is good and not so good. In other words, there is a lot of junk on the Internet, which can be false information. So, you need to be careful.

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