There was not only the perseverance attitude, but also incurable optimism and drive for excellence exhibited by many individuals in Africa.
One of the greatest and most useful discoveries of the late centuries with remarkable impact is the information super high way the internet contains tremendous impact in today’s society .The growth of internet provides developing prospects for online information and to useful books for students across the globe. The internet is a global network of computer largely based on platforms of wireless communication which provides ubiquitous capacity of multi model, interactive communication in chosen time and transcending space.
The internet thus creates new ways for individuals to communicate, congregate and share information of their social life .It is obvious that the internet has and will continue to change the way we live. How it has changed the way we live, and will continue to change our lives , is the reason for so many evolving discourse. The internet therefore has changed the field of education, health and business and even politics in the world. We can thus recognize the fact that the internet ,expands social , political and economic activities of today’s peoples all over the world .However, internet has impacted our society in almost all areas of human endeavours, especially in the field of education, students can get access to areas of their interest and most importantly, people today can study online with the emergence of internet .This is why I suggest that government at all levels should introduce computer and internet study from the elementary schools for our youngest ones to be computer literate , because I noticed that most undergraduate students are computer literate in our universities today. Similarly, internet has proven to be a double edge sword for education. Teachers and students benefit immensely from the unprecedented access to information the internet provides, as well as the ability to share knowledge across the globe. These millions of books, journals and other useful materials of learning are available on internet .However , the use of internet ,as important as it is to knowledge and education ,has many negative effects on people , especially our youths. This is obvious in view of how much time and resources people spend hours playing online games, pornographic videos .A child or student who spends more time on the internet more than he or she pays attention to studying will definitely fail in his educational or academic pursuit.
Internet, however provides a room for online social networks such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter and many other influence on way of lives, student academic performance as well as professional activity. The emergence of mobile technologies has burdened the functionality and utility of the internet, thereby providing people with easy accessibility. The internet users go to online to deliberately engage in browsing immoral internet content, a distraction from their educational carriers. These rapid changes in technology are helping shape the way people use and rely on the internet in their daily lives. let us look at some scholars view and their theories on internet implication on youths and African society as a whole.
Technological determinism theory (also known as medium theory), a McLuhan theory, posit that Internet technology has in one way or another affected the lives of those who have come in contact with it (McLuhan,1995). While it can be argued that some changes are more pronounced than others, technology has radically altered the way every individual perceives things. To a wider perspective, technology has not only changed people’s lives, it has also transformed the way people feel and react to things within a society (Griffin, 2000). As sensational as some of these changes may be, it has drawn different sentiments from all and sundry; most people view technology as a principal initiator of cultural transformation. In McLuhan (1995) words, “Technologica innovations result into cultural change i.e. human beings invent concepts which bring about innovations; these innovations ends up changing our lives, the way we reason and the way we do things. Thus, technology in some way shapes our cultural values. Information and communication technologies leave no aspect of the human life unaffected. Ranging from workplace to schools and from recreation to politics; technology has in one way or another shaped people’s life”. Going by McLuhan’s assumption, it is obvious that the African community is in amidst of a cultural revolution and most people still find it difficult to accept that some things will never remain the same. Examining Africa today vis-à-vis McLuhan’s theory of technological determinism, a lot of things has changed. People who have access to the Internet and other communication media have adopted the western kind of life either directly or indirectly. With the Internet swiftly cutting across continents, it is definite that cultures would be transferred onto others; globalization through technology will continue to integrate the world into a single universal village where the Internet instils retribalization to humanity. This depicts that the expansion of Internet technology across the globe will continue to influence the lives of individuals within the African community; and it would extensively be reflective in overall Africa’s culture, education and thought processes. Already in the modern era of incessant technological advancement, we are experiencing situation(s) where everyone is in touch everywhere, all at once, and in real-time.
Cyber-Crime, Hacking and Internet Fraud
The terms cyber-crime, hacking and Internet fraud are sometimes used interchangeably. Quite a lot has been written, analysed and deliberated by individuals, societies and governments about cyber-crime. Excerpts from the Council of Europe Convention on Cyber-crime (2001) defined cyber-crime as any criminal offence committed against or with the aid of a computer network in such a manner that confidentiality, integrity and availability of data are breached. In other words, the use of a computer is a prerequisite for cyber-crime. From a logical perspective, it is arguable that when there is no means for an attacker to gain unauthorized access into a system (cash in on vulnerability), hacking or cyber-crime seems unfeasible and risk of damage is nearly, if not totally eliminated.
Mohammad M. K. et al (2012) opined that there is no such nation in the world immune to Internet fraud owing to the modern-day advancement in technology. There has never been a greater need for financial security and control in online business activities than currently because of the rapid increase in Internet fraud. The significant development in real time transactions through Internet technology has indeed led to transformation in all aspects of life. It has brought about striking positive and negative changes not only to the western world, but also to the striving economy of developing nations such as Nigeria. While constantly increasing the standard of life, making transactions almost painless and continually confirming the progression in technology, the Internet has negatively impacted on the vulnerable aspects of the African societies. According to Longe O. et al (2009): “The proliferation of Internet technology in Sub-Saharan Africa has brought with it tremendous positive changes in socio-economic growth and development within the region. Paradoxically, the Internet has also evolved to become a sophisticated instrument in the hand of criminals for perpetrating different forms of cyber-crime”. Although not uncontested, developing and poverty-labelled societies especially within the African continent represent a risk to global Internet activities. Simply put, Internet frauds are more pronounced in developing countries. There have been several arguments as regards the high rate of frauds in Africa with some scholars claiming that the birth of Internet has caused more harm than good within the region; others are calling for a basic rethink of its impact as they believe that it also has some valuable use.
Economic, Social and Cultural Impact
The Internet has certainly improved economic activities and helped facilitate better international relations among people of different ethnic backgrounds. In as much as dubious individuals employ the Internet to fulfil their selfcentred and illegal intents, by inventing sly techniques to rip people off their fortunes; many businesses have on the other hand benefited from the use of the Internet. Online marketing business actions have created avenue for entrepreneurs to carry out commercial activities not just within the continent but also, on a global scale. There are no more the days when tycoons have to be in the same location with their clients in order to perform business transactions. The Internet has not only made it possible for businesses to be executed on real-time basis in different locations all over the world, but also, enabled better inter-cultural understanding and improved ethical relations. Recently, Ghana’s Ministry of Commerce commissioned an online business website to enhance the activities of micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises within the country. The ministry also launched an “Innovation Ghana” initiative with the well-known Google; this initiative was made to recognize Ghanaians who engage inInternet activities employ to provide smart high-tech solutions to existing issues (Kaplan 2013). These and many more are benefits derived from the use and deployment of Internet in the region. It is therefore fair to assert that growing Small and Medium Scale businesses in the region have benefited from opportunities provided by the Internet. The Dalberg survey makes it clear that the Internet has helped to improve a lot of businesses in Africa by increasing market and sales through amplified competence in information management. Both the Entrepreneurs and the clients have benefited from this added advantage made possible by the Internet. Businesses have been made more transparent due to the healthy competitions with other businesses carried out on the Internet; thereby granting clients the opportunity to choose from a variety of services (Kaplan, 2013).
Diminished Passion for Academic Excellence
About 20 years ago when Internet facility was never ubiquitous and accessible by all and sundry particularly in developing nations, young and aspiring people had such a wonderful and enviable reading ethos. Those days, seeking information pertaining to different subject matters from various books and encyclopaedias in the available libraries to solve academic problems were commonplace. There was not only the perseverance attitude, but also incurable optimism and drive for excellence exhibited by many individuals. No matter how time-consuming, unexciting, or difficult it was to access information, you could feel the intense desire to garner knowledge against all odds and attain excellent grades. Friendly and healthy competitions amongst pupils or students in different educational levels were always fun to observe and point out. As time passes by and technology evolved over and over again, changes in peoples’ perceptions at studying effectively and achieving commendable results became unavoidable
In conclusion, despite all the benefits of these new technologies, people are likely to say that the internet has negative influence, especially in terms of its moral implications. It is therefore important for people to understand both the negative and positive effects of internet so that we can respect the principles of our religious ideologies and maintain our dignity as human beings.
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