First of all, it is an indisputable fact that the Internet has revolutionized the way we communicate. Despite the risk of social isolation – a problem occasionally seen in people who spend too much time at their computer terminal rather than relating to people in the real world – most of us have benefited greatly from e-mail and internet chat programs like MSN Messenger. These incredibly useful and powerful tools of communication facilitate both contact with loved ones in faraway places and global trade.
Equally importantly, though, the Internet has placed the entire word (and all of the information in it at our fingertips. In earlier times, conducting research entailed long hours searching library shelves. Now, however, the same information can be accessed at the click of a button. Admittedly, not all of the information available on the Internet is reliable or helpful – there is a vast amount of material online that some would consider offensive or dangerous, ranging from pornography to instructions on how to make bombs. Nonetheless, I would contend that this free flow of information has generally been a very positive development.