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What Is the Internet: History, Benefits, and Negative Impacts

Last updated: Jun 20, 2024

Cover image: Illustration of the Internet that can facilitate almost all of human activities.

What Is the Internet?

As technology develops today, many parts of human life cannot be separated from the Internet. The Internet has become one of the necessities that can facilitate work.

For this reason, the Internet's popularity and network development are constantly expanding, as now it can be enjoyed by the general public.

But what is the Internet? The Internet is a network that connects one electronic media with another so that they can exchange data quickly.

The Internet, or Interconnected Network, has a globally used standard, namely the Internet Protocol or Transmission Control Protocol (IP/TCP).

Harjono (2009) once answered what is the Internet. According to him, the Internet is a collection of computers that are connected. To be connected, media such as satellites, optical fibers, and cables are required.

Meanwhile, Sarwono (2012) has a different point of view on what is the Internet. He said it is a set of global networks that were originally used for the military but have shifted their use to be used by the general public.


History of the Internet

After you know what is the Internet, you also need to know about its history. Did you know that the Internet has been around since the 1960s? 

In that year, the United States Department of Defense created a network called the Advanced Research Project Agency, or ARPANET.

This network became the foundation of the Internet network. Then, in 1980, many universities began using the Internet, although it was still limited.

Later, the IP/TCP standard protocol came into use in 1982, and in 1986, the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) was born.

The existence of NSFNET replaced ARPANET in Internet networking research in the United States, and in 1990, ARPANET was officially decommissioned.

The Internet continued to evolve until the use of domain names and the dissemination of information in text form emerged.

Later, CERN introduced World Wide Web (WWW) services. In 1993, InterNIC was established as a public domain name registration platform.

In Indonesia, the history of the Internet started in 1994 with a unique network name, the Paguyuban Network.

The Internet in Indonesia continues to be developed by many personalities, such as RMS Ibrahim, Onno W. Purbo, and so on.

Time after time, the Internet began to evolve in terms of speed, transmission, coverage, and usage.

Many countries are trying to expand and speed up Internet connections. The Internet started with 2G networks, but now 5G networks have begun to be widely used in various countries.


Internet Functions

The Internet has various functions for daily life. So, how does the Internet work regularly? Here are the Internet functions as follows.


1. Information and Communication Medium

The function of the Internet is as an information and communication medium. The Internet has played a role in communication such as telephone, social media, SMS, etc.

Now you can also use the Internet to access information through search engines or social media. With the Internet, you can find information more easily.


2. Resource Exchange Media

The next function of the Internet is as a resource-sharing medium. You can share photos, videos, written works, and so on by uploading them online.

You can also buy or download resources from the Internet, or exchange resources with others.


3. News Distribution Media

With the development of technology, you can now read news through your device and the Internet.

Many news media or websites have emerged on social media or search engines, providing the latest news from around the world.

Having online news sites on the Internet makes them easily accessible anywhere and anytime, making getting informed much faster.


Benefits of the Internet

The Internet provides many benefits to human life in various fields. The benefits of the Internet are as follows.


1. Benefits for Education

The benefit of the Internet is for the education sector where the teaching and learning process becomes easier.

Students can access various information on the Internet to learn, and teachers can use many resources on the Internet to become teaching media.

In addition, the development of videoconferencing technology facilitates the teaching and learning process, making it more flexible because it can be done anywhere with a suitable Internet network.


2. Entertainment Benefits

In addition to education, the benefits of the Internet include entertainment. With the development of social media such as TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube, you can access a lot of entertainment from movie series, short videos, or music, and all of them use the Internet.


3. Communication Benefits

People can now more easily communicate with one another through the Internet. You can make voice or video calls without being limited by time and place.


4. Business Benefits

The development of the Internet has made it easier for businesses to market their products and services.

Businesses can implement marketing strategies on social media and websites. They can also sell their goods on marketplaces, live streams, and social media.


Negative Effects of the Internet

While the Internet has many life benefits, it can also have negative effects if misused. Here are the negative effects of the Internet that you need to be aware of.

1. Cybercrime

The negative impact of the Internet is the rise of cybercrime, such as hacking, data breaches, and so on.

That's why you should protect your data and privacy online and install security features on social media.


2. Spread of Fake News

The advent of the Internet has made the spread of information faster and more massive.

However, you need to be wary of fake news circulating on the Internet.

It's important to always check the veracity of information so that you don't fall for fake news, let alone spread it.


3. Illegal Content

The rapid exchange of information that the Internet provides seems to be used by irresponsible people to distribute illegal content, such as pornographic or violent content.

This is dangerous when accessed by minors and children without parental supervision when using the Internet.


4. Cyberbullying

The negative impact of the Internet is the rise of cyberbullying. Many people make negative comments and even doxx or spread their identity to attack someone on social media.

In addition, many people use social media to spread hate speech against a person or company. This is certainly dangerous and can result in legal action.

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