The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of The Internet

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Of The Internet
SHARE
THIS



In this guest post, Kyle Zenchyson (pictured below), content strategist at SEO agency DEJAN, explores just how better off we are since the internet came into existence.

Kyle Zenchyson

There have been many positive changes to our lives ever since we started using our phone lines to ‘dial up’ an internet connection.

A lot of of bad things have also occurred as a result of enabling a globalised audience to connect with one another in real time.

It’s safe to say nothing good has come from ‘The Dark Web’, with its questionable users and sinister, immoral content. Then there’s privacy concerns a number of people have with exposing our personal information and preferences over social media.

How better off are we as a human race since we first opened a browser in 1992?

How the Internet has influenced art

What’s good

Artists from all kinds of disciplines have been discovered across social media channels. Painters and illustrators can show off their work on Instagram while many indie bands can build a following on YouTube, Facebook or BandCamp.

They also have a higher chance of generating revenue from their art through e-commerce platforms if they wanted to. Musicians no longer have to ‘sell out’ to a big label to put food on the table – they can create their own.

There’s almost no limit to the kind of influence an artist can gain inspiration from through discovering a huge amount of free content online. Music, films and pieces of art originating from exotic locations used to only be accessible for those who could afford to learn in a college or formal institution. More than three billion people with internet access worldwide can now be students.

What’s bad

Sadly, pirated movies, music and other art forms are more widely distributed than ever before. It’s important to note that we in Australia punch above our weight when it comes to downloading illegal files as well.

Streaming platforms help for musicians but they still get a very marginal share of the profit from the companies playing their tracks.

An appreciation of the work behind the art is perhaps lost as result of the sheer quantity of content out there too.

What the Internet has done for business

What’s good

Merchants can now sell virtually anything, anywhere. retail e-commerce sales alone are worth US$2.29 trillion. The internet has also opened the world up to a more free market approach to making money, barring some countries with tight taxation law.

Small businesses and start-ups can get off the ground a lot easier now as well. According to serial start-up founder Alex Whiteside, one in 20 Australian businesses handle their company registration through his website. With a few clicks and some funding to support your venture, you can start a business on Monday and start trading by Friday.

What’s bad

As a result of the huge number of businesses that have an online presence, it can be very tough to compete. Business owners who may have been very successful without doing much online could suddenly suffer a loss or lose out to their competitors, especially if they’re not that knowledgeable of digital marketing.

E-commerce has also started to cull the classic bricks-and-mortar store. Why open an expansive multi-story bookshop for people off the street to hang out and browse the goods in when you can build a website for a fraction of the cost? There’s a good chance the conversion rate will be higher and you don’t have to pay rent, staff or other overheads.

What we lose, however, is the intimate experience of walking into a bespoke setting and chatting with someone face-to-face. There are a few kinds of products and services that still rely on having a physical location. Let’s pray they keep going. 

Why our health outcomes have changed since coming online

What’s good

Being able to provide healthcare to those living in remote communities is a big positive for the internet. Spokesperson for the Royal Australia & New Zealand College of Gynaecologists Obstetrics, Dr Joseph Sgroi said he believed advances in online clinical communication platforms and social media “paves the foundation to connect with patients” and “improve overall health outcomes at all levels”.

“Not only does it benefit the patient outcome but also provides healthcare professionals’ access to online databases, and decision support tools,” he said.

“Delivering online health services especially to those in remote communities possesses benefits such as reducing the need for travel; providing timely access to services and specialists, improving the ability to identify developing conditions; and help educate, train and support remote healthcare workers based on location.”

What’s bad

Having all that information and advice out there can also be a bad thing without the understanding and ability to analyse how trustworthy the source is.

Dr Sgroi added that it was important to consult with a doctor before taking any medical advice seen online.

“Googling or ‘Dr. Google’ doesn’t necessarily improve a patient outcome as the information provided may not be accurate or from an Australian medically endorsed source,” he said.

I guess no search engine can really substitute an opinion or treatment from a qualified medical professional.

There’s also the fact that consuming a lot of content online tends to chew up time we may spend exercising; contributing to a big chunk of the population being overweight.

The Internet and our time off

What’s good

As mentioned above, what the internet can offer for entertainment and recreation can be inherently counterproductive for our health. Streaming Netflix while on a cosy, sedentary spot on the couch isn’t great for staying active and healthy.

But it does mean we don’t have to wait an eternity before a TV series or movie we’ve seen advertised overseas comes to our shores.

We’ve also got limitless options for gaming and other forms of entertainment. Social events that occur offline can be shared on Facebook and if you can’t make it to a concert or sporting event, you could probably watch it on a live stream.

What’s bad

Even though we can spend our leisure time with other people online, it tends to be less social than when we used to play board games or watch TV as a collective household. Could there be long term consequences of isolating ourselves in front of a screen?

Much of the content we consume also tends to be aligned with our selected interests. For the average internet user who gets their news, GIFs and memes from social media, there’s a strong likelihood they’re not exposed to a diverse array of content that helps form a balanced opinion.

Consuming a lot of media online can lead to other health problems besides obesity.

There have been some claims that overuse of tablets and other electronic devices can lead to eye problems, particularly for children.

The verdict

It’s fair to say the internet has had a huge impact on art, business, health and entertainment.

It has affected the way we spend time as a family and has opened up some economies to the global market like never before.

Despite piracy, the negative impacts on our health and the slow death of small business shopfronts, there is still some hope.

For all the bad things the internet has given us, it offers us enough potential to overcome them. As a human race, we’re still in the infancy of understanding how to most effectively consume and use the internet.  

Just like your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman once said, “With great power comes great responsibility”. And that applies to all of us, whether we’re liking, viewing, writing or sharing.

Latest News

Women In Media Profile: Zeina Khodr
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Zeina Khodr

When B&T was offered to interview a lady named “Zeina”, we initially thought it was the warrior princess herself.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
39th AWARD Awards Winners Announced
  • Media

39th AWARD Awards Winners Announced

The winners of the 39th annual AWARD Awards were announced tonight in a celebration of the most outstanding creative communications work in the Asia Pacific region. The theme for the night was “Count Yourself Lucky” and didn’t disappoint with a record number of golds being presented. Held at Carriageworks as part of the Semi Permanent […]

Q&A With Cannes Chairman Terry Savage
  • Advertising
  • Media

Q&A With Cannes Chairman Terry Savage

If you mistakenly thought this was an interview with Kojak's Telly Savalas, as it turns out, it's even better than that.

Optus To Phase Out Virgin Mobile Brand
  • Marketing

Optus To Phase Out Virgin Mobile Brand

Didn't much fancy that Telstra story above? Well, perhaps B&T could tempt you with this tasty Optus tickler instead.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
AKQA R&D Teams Up With Google For Semi Permanent 2018
  • Media

AKQA R&D Teams Up With Google For Semi Permanent 2018

AKQA R&D in collaboration with Google has developed a process called Somesthetic Transfer. It uses machine learning to take both the style and texture of an artwork and apply it to another image to be 3D printed with a UV printer. The works will be displayed at Semi Permanent 2018 in Sydney from Thursday 24 […]

WPP’s Health & Wellness To Unveil ‘How Design Can Save A Life” For Vivid
  • Marketing
  • Media

WPP’s Health & Wellness To Unveil ‘How Design Can Save A Life” For Vivid

Design students from Torrens University’s Billy Blue College of Design have partnered with WPP AUNZ’s Health & Wellness division to decode clinical data on ‘Medicinal Marijuana in the Treatment of Epilepsy’. Their creative solutions will be presented at a Vivid Ideas Exchange titled ‘Design can save your life: how can creativity improve comprehension of health data?’ […]

Diversity Case Study Series: The Royals
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Diversity Case Study Series: The Royals

If you read one diversity case study on B&T today, make it this one. Not that there's any others to choose from, really.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor
  • Marketing

Cricket Australia Finds New Major Sponsor

B&T was going to insert a homage to Sherbert's classic "Howzat" here before realising it was naff and showed our age.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account
  • Media

PHD Wins HSBC Global Media Account

ICYMI, PHD has FTW the HSBC business IRL. It's not so much a LOL or NSFW, but a TL;DR. Ahh, forget the whole thing.

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition
  • Media

InMoment Accelerates APAC Expansion With Key Acquisition

Customer experience (CX) intelligence platform, InMoment, has expanded into Australia and New Zealand with the acquisition of customer experience agency, brandXP and appointment of Claire Fastier as its APAC business head.

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now
  • Opinion

Marketers Need To Focus On Voice Search Right Now

In this opinion piece, Performics Australia performance content account director Steve Robinson (pictured below) dives into the hazy relationship between marketers and voice-activated technology. From settling family disputes, (“Hey Google, are fossil fuels really made from dinosaur bones?”) to running a household, (“OK Google, add toothpaste to my shopping list”), voice-activated systems are becoming more […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance
  • Advertising
  • Media

SpotX Launches Online Resource Library For Publishers Seeking GDPR Guidance

Video advertising and monetisation platform SpotX has announced the launch of an online resource library for the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The library can be found on the company’s website and is part of a wider educational initiative by SpotX – which is headquartered in the US and has an office in […]

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert
  • Marketing

Daylight Agency Opens Government Division, Hires Legal & Political Expert

Integrated communications firm Daylight Agency has cemented its presence in the government and political arena with the appointment of industry veteran David Begg. A practising solicitor for over 28 years, Begg (pictured above) will head up the agency’s new government division. He has extensive experience working with large commercial clients on high-profile regulatory and legal […]

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland
  • Marketing

Frost Design Unveils New Look For John Holland

Frost Design has shown off its comprehensive rebrand of iconic Australian infrastructure and property business John Holland, based around the brand idea of ‘Transforming Lives’. John Holland CEO Joe Barr said Frost was the only branding business who understood that the impact of the rebrand was just as important internally as it would be externally, […]

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jill Johnston

We've got an absolute cracking Women in Media profile today. Not to say it's approved by the Chiropractors' Association.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama Dance Together at the Presidents Ball
  • Media

Netflix Secures Producer Deal With The Obamas

It seems former US president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama aren’t quite done with the international spotlight just yet. The Obamas have officially signed a multiyear deal with Netflix, which will see the power couple producing films and series with the streaming giant. According to Netflix, “The Obamas will produce a diverse […]

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad
  • Opinion

How To Spot A Trend Versus A Fad

One need only view our editor's hot pink leg warmers today to realise he's neither fad nor trend.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content
  • Opinion

Why Engagement Is The New Rule Of Content

And why is B&T running a photo of an engaged couple for this content engagement article? It was either that or a carrot.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles
  • Media

Fairfax Media Recruits 20 Trainee Journalists Across All Its Titles

Fairfax Media has today announced the recruitment of 20 trainee journalists to join the newsrooms of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Canberra Times, The Australian Financial Review, Brisbane Times and WAtoday. This represents one of Metro’s largest trainee intakes in years and underlines the commitment of the mastheads to fostering a new generation […]

Sydney Australia - November 7, 2011. An extreme close up of an American express card issued by the Australian bank Westpac.
  • Media

AMEX Launches Global Media Review

Are there not enough hours in the day? Are you cheek-by-jowl with your co-workers? Well, hopefully you won't win this.

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Sydney Water & Republic of Everyone Create Vinyl Records Made Of Recycled Marine Plastic

Sydney Water has pioneered a way to create records from marine plastics and, in doing so, encourage more people to join the movement of local clean-up groups rolling up their sleeves every weekend to clean plastics, litter and other pollutants from the city’s beaches and waterways. Plastics are collected by volunteers, then cut in pieces […]

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

Credit Card Compare Names Its First Head Of Marketing

Aussie credit card comparison site Credit Card Compare has announced the appointment of Caroline Raffan as its inaugural head of marketing. Raffan (pictured above) has over 10 years’ experience in brand strategy, campaign development, digital marketing, events, public relations, content creation, market research, advertising, stakeholder management, social media marketing, and project management. She joins Credit […]

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Opinion
  • Technology

Why Programmatic Needs To Become A Branding Machine

In this opinion piece, Phil Murrell (pictured below), country manager for Australia and New Zealand at Sizmek, argues that programmatic ad spend needs to move up the branding funnel. When I started in digital advertising way back in 2004, we got our media insertion orders via the fax machine. We relied on that machine to […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine