The internet is a platform connecting people across the globe. Irrespective of caste, creed, colour or even hemisphere, it helps in bringing people together and helping them fulfil their needs. Of course, everything comes with its own set of laws. There are many drawbacks to excessive and imprudent use of the internet.
But since the benefits of the internet are so much greater than the flaws, we cannot imagine our lives without it. This paper by OECD discusses how internet openness is helping the economic and social aspects of our lives. So even we can do our part in trying to bring a change, using the internet. The main areas in which the internet makes a change are:
Connecting with people
From the beginning of civilization, many technological breakthroughs (like telegram or telephone), have been to promote communication. A quantum leap in this field has been the internet. Today, nearly every application we use to communicate with our friends, be it Facebook or WhatsApp, works on the internet. It helps us to make friends and connect with new people or re-connect with long-lost ones. We can connect with our friends. Also, since our elder generation which is not tech-savvy, we can help them use social media to connect with their long lost friends.
Especially in the times of lockdown, when actual socializing has come to a nearly total stop, it is the internet that helps us keep connected with our friends. People stuck away from home have been able to keep contact with their family over video calls, and friends have shared laughter on the WhatsApp groups. People who get feelings like I have no one to talk to have looked up to the internet to receive support and a helping hand. We can help others by giving support to the people needing help. If we cannot do that, at least we can do our part by guiding those who need support to such platforms. So, on the whole, the internet does the job of helping people: connect and communicate.
Helping with your career
Apart from helping in our personal lives, the internet plays a major role in helping us with our professional lives also. Most importantly, it does the job of connecting potential employers with aspiring employees. There are various platforms which allow employers to post details about their jobs and vacancies. People aspiring to join a job or shift from their current job can look for what suits them, on these platforms. This makes the process of job-searching easier.
Additionally, there are platforms and websites on which, through the internet, people can build purely professional networks. That way, they learn about the dynamics of the job market which helps them in their careers. We can post about any opportunity we know of, on the internet. Similarly, we can help others through our professional connections, all through the online platforms.
The internet also provides a variety of educational platforms with video-learning courses, which helps develop skills. Even if we have some skill that we have mastered, we can post tips and hacks on the internet, to spread it to others and help them.
As poet and activist Maya Angelou puts it,
Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.
And what better place to do it than on a platform, where you can reach millions? We can make a change using the internet by being a shoulder of support and a hand of help. There are various organisations, like Ketto which help people by crowdfunding. It helps connect people in distress to the world, so that those who have the wish and means to help them, can reach them. Similarly, there are websites through which you can support underprivileged children.
Websites like Now&Me provide a platform where you can share your thoughts and worries, and you will always find someone who will be there for your support. If you ever have the urge to share feelings and talk to a stranger, you can always turn to this platform. There are also organisations like Change which help in raising awareness and filing petitions for a cause.
There are many drives and campaigns which start and find support on the internet. You might join these campaigns to show support. If there is something for which you feel strongly, even you can file a petition or start a campaign! You can help the underprivileged and support the emotionally unwell. So the internet can be used as a direct way to spread love and show kindness to people in general and especially to those who need it the most.
Developing your creative side
The internet is a boon for the ones with a creative mind. It provides various platforms where you can learn techniques to sharpen your skills. There are dance tutorials, painting videos, cooking classes etc.. The array of options available on the internet, whether you develop a new hobby or work on an old one, is immense. Trying to develop a hobby, or inspiring someone to do so is good for your mental health as well as for those around you. At the same time, you can connect with people who have the same hobby and talents like you, and try to work with them and put in a group effort to make it a career option.
So you can use the internet to showcase your hobby, help others by sharing tips, try to create contacts and be of mutual help in building a career out of your hobby. If not anything, you can simply be an encouragement. A few motivating words from you can work wonders for someone else.
Learning and Education
The internet is a platform which strongly helps in learning and education. Here, you can learn everything from bee-keeping to quantum mechanics. Websites such as Wikipedia and likewise provide comprehensive knowledge on every field possible. You can do your bit by donating to these websites so that they can continue to provide knowledge. You can find videos to blogs to self-help tips on anything you want to educate yourself about. At the same time, you can post on the internet your knowledge and tips so that someone else can gain.
Especially in this period of lockdown, the internet is what has kept the field of education going. From holding online classes to conducting examinations over the internet, the internet is the boon that has helped the students survive. On your part, you should try to make a change by helping the underprivileged get access to education so that they can continue with their online classes.
The internet plays a major role in the field of healthcare also. From online consultation to medicine delivery, there is a solution to every issue, on the internet. Apart from that, the internet is also a good platform to help provide mental help services. If you ever have feelings of depression, anxiety etc., if your mind ever says “I have no one to talk to” or "I want to talk to a stranger”, the internet provides you with support, helpline numbers etc. to help you get over the crisis.
You, on your part, can provide support to people, help them have access to the helpline numbers. Through the internet, you can emotionally be there for someone who is actually miles away from you.
The internet has also started providing us with many shortcuts to life. We can use the internet to pay bills, manage bank accounts, invest in strategies etc. These things used to be cumbersome even a few years back but since the internet has brought over so much ease in our lives that most things are now possible to be done in one click. You should help your parents and others, who are not so tech-savvy to learn these online techniques, to make their lives easier.
Finally, we can say that there are a lot of miscellaneous activities we can do using the internet to make our lives simple. These range from online shopping, to food delivery, to making travel plans.
On your part, you can light up someone's day by simply ordering them flowers online even if you are actually miles away from them. Otherwise, you can actually get work like buying groceries or paying the electricity bill, at the click of a button and help your household! Basically, the internet has taken over every aspect of our life, and we can make a change in other's lives through all of these aspects.
Edited by Annanya Chaturvedi