It is obvious that the implementation of computers as well as the internet has changed our lives significantly. It has enabled us to be more productive and offers a wide range of alternatives to work faster, be more organized, and communicate with the rest of the world. But it also brought some concerns along with it.
Difference between text on paper and digital text
If one wants to edit a written text on paper, an eraser is needed and the process will take up time if it is a large amount of text. However, if digital information enables us to delete large amounts of information with one mouse click and edit them.
In addition, the internet provides us with many different possibilities, which has its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage is for example that Web 2.0 web sites allow us to communicate with people around the world as well as create blogs or otherwise add information to the database of the internet, such as creating or editing an article on Wikipedia.
One disadvantage is for example that anyone can add or edit information on the internet, which means that much information available on the internet lacks credibility. One thing questioned in the video is what will happen to “Copyright”. People can and do simply copy information from original authors and do not provide a reference, which breaches copyrights. Anyone can forge information and simply add it to a web site. And the information might not be correct or accurate. Another question raised in the video is who will organize the vast amount of information on the internet, and the answer is, we will.
Many web sites, especially those that do not offer appropriate references and links, lack credibility and the information should be questioned. One advantage of the internet is that we are able to access information not only in form of text, but also with audio, video, and images, which are helpful tools to help the public learn “better” about certain topics, which cannot be described as well with simple text.
Disadvantage of electronic documents:
- It is easier for companies or individuals to steal data by either hacking into the system or transferring data on-site (as an employee) – in contrast no one will go to a storage place of a company’s paper documents and search through millions of documents to find a certain document and/or steal it/them all
- Because of the fast advancement in technology, more specific, according to Moore’s Law the doubling of transistor density in an integrated circuit, documents that are stored electronically might not be readable with new advanced software in the future
- People believe that electronic documents are much more secure and accurate than paper documents and tend to neglect monitoring and controlling data for possible errors
- When data is entered, people entering data into electronic documents can make errors
- When paper documents are scanned into the computer to be stored as electronic documents, the scanner might scan documents wrong and the errors will not be detected if no one checks the documents for accuracy
- Electronic data can be lost due to damages on computers due to floods or heat
- Employees need to be trained how to create, store, retrieve electronic documents, which is associated with costs
- To create and store electronic documents, appropriate equipment, such as computers, hardware, software and other devices need to be purchase, which causes an organization to incur costs
- Electronic documents cannot be taken into facilities like the courtroom, where they might be required – thus they need to be printed
- When transferring electronic documents, which is much needed because different departments need access to the documents (sometimes even companies located in different companies), files may be corrupted or lost
The Internet – Issues of Power and Access
Digital Divide, Ideology, and Identity
One issue in this area is the digital divide, which is the gap between those who do have access to technology and the internet and those who do not. As more information becomes available on the internet, the gap of knowledge widens, because those who do have access to the internet and this information gain knowledge, while those who do not have access do not become informed about topics that they could otherwise become knowledgeable about via the internet.
Another issue in this arena is that not everyone has equal access to the internet. Nowadays it is not enough anymore to install a computer and establish an internet connection, but a basic technical knowledge is required to be “competitive” with others that do have access to the internet.
Obviously those who do have full access to technology and the internet have the power. Our working environment and competition today is focused on internet communication and those who have the technological knowledge to create unique “space” on the internet, definitely are in advantage and have the power.
An additional issue is ideology: According to the article, there exists sometimes a conflicting relationship between ideology of technology and the discourses of traditions of certain places/communities.
Finally, the issue of identity exists with the internet. It is difficult to “prove” someone’s identity over the internet, and easy to “be someone else”. In chat rooms for example, anyone can chose a screen name and put up a false picture of themselves on to mislead people of who they truly are.