Computers are perhaps the most controversial inventions of the 20th century. Ever since Bill Gates made it a household name, people have been debating over its merits and demerits. Most students would agree that the computer is the greatest invention on earth because it has opened up a vast store of easily available information for them. At a click of the mouse, they get to learn all the things that help them to keep abreast of today’s fast-moving world. However, for each positive aspect of the computer, there are equal or more negative counterpoints.
Gone are the days of vigorous handwriting practice. The computer has come as a blessing for students who can now submit their assignments in neat and legible sheets. They can loop up any information to put together their projects and use various software applications to present them impressively. Colored graphs and diagrams can be inserted, there is very little scope of spelling errors and even grammatical mistakes are done away with.
Knowledge increases with its spread and anyone who wants to spread his thoughts and knowledge can put it on the internet. It is available to the world and research students no longer need to labor through piles and piles of manuscripts. Universities can be contacted, websites can be consulted and even queries are answered through the internet. All this saved them a lot of time, labor, as well as money. For those who want to discuss, there are numerous e-forums and conferences that they can log onto. They can always indulge in healthy interaction with other literary enthusiasts.
As computers become increasingly pervasive in our lives, an increasing number of people are facing problems on the domestic front because of computers and the internet. Individuals are spending hours on end chatting or surfing on the net, but they do not have time for the other members in the family. Each one is becoming less communicative and more dependent on the computer. Children, especially of the advanced and more developed countries are known to the advanced and more developed countries are known to spend 20 hours a week playing computer games.
Alternately, computers are helping to build up a global family instead of narrow groups based on community and caste. The different groups that can be found on social networks are witness to the growing popularity of ‘international communities’. In a very short time, people can be brought together, to protest against some wrong, to fight for some right or garner support for someone. As people become increasingly aware of what is going on in the world, more and more people are involving themselves in the service of others. Some doctors can be consulted online, lawyers who clarify legal points and teachers who help students with their assignments. There are net cafes that allow people to play online video games-most of which show a lot of violence and aggressiveness. Children, who spend a substantial time playing these games, believe that such violence is the accepted behavior in life too. If on the other hand playing video games can be restricted and supervised, children can develop better reaction time, visual activity and dexterity. Is it not amazing to know that a child sitting in the US may be playing a game with a child in Japan or Australia? This international level of activity excludes a lot of negative prejudices allowing the child to develop into a world citizen. However, the child can very easily get in touch with negative groups also.
Sadly, the advent of computers and the internet has rung the death knell on a lot of habits that are essential for the development of a good character. Reading is one such habit that is fast drying. Be it the daily newspaper or a work of fiction, the practice of group reading is decreasing. Communicative skills are deteriorating and health to is suffering because of the long hours spent sitting in front of the computer. It depends on our wisely making use of the computer to turn it into a boon instead of a bane for us.