The introduction of digital technology and the internet into our lives has facilitated a whole array of new problems that humanity has never before had to face. Think cybercrime, hacking attacks, and even internet addiction: while new technologies push society forwards, they can inevitably lead to trouble when used by people who are out for themselves. The fantastic thing about the flexibility and creative energy in the digital world, though, is that problems that we may see as alarmingly prevalent are actually avoidable – digital solutions abound. Here are four examples of an internet problem that has a complementary solution stemming from users of the internet.
One of the most interesting facets of our new technologies is their beguiling and addictive qualities. Internet addiction is on the rise in the US and across the world, leading to some critics labeling the internet a failure – something that takes away more than it gives. Well, app companies have found a middle ground between overuse and over-criticism by developing easy-to-use apps that’ll limit the time that a device can use the internet, blocking certain addictive websites and logging how much time is spent on the internet each day so that these technologies don’t serve to overpower you.
The central issue of our age, as some will have you believe. The truth is, though, that in recent years the internet has become a furiously productive publishing house for unreliable – and often simply wrong – information. This needn’t put you off browsing news and current affairs, and thanks to web advice that outlines how to block and flag unreliable news – plus new data monitoring systems that delete troll ‘bot’ accounts on sites such as Twitter – digital society is getting on top of this particular worry.
Smartphones enable instant messaging, constant connection, and a level of privacy that are all the natural allies of a partner who is planning on, or is taking part in, an affair. Even watching a partner on their phone that’s tilted ever-so-slightly out of your view can make you suspect the worst. But, if you feel you have significant and legitimate worries about a cheating partner, there are digital companies that offer infidelity investigation services that will either give you peace of mind or will beat your partner at their won game, exposing their digital secrets.
When it comes to collective action, the internet has become a place where people gather – for good or for bad. Thankfully, it would take a very cynical person indeed to argue that the bad is winning on this particular battleground, and one can point to the incredible fundraising taking place on the internet as an example of positive change. Whether it’s kickstarting an artistic venture or raising money for charity by pouring ice on your head, the internet is highlighting issues and even making it fun to donate.
It’s easy to feel pessimistic when news commentators lament the internet as a failed system that’s encouraging crime and hatred. Reminding yourself that the internet is versatile enough to plug holes, finding creative solutions to problems, should restore your faith in the wonderful technology we take for granted.