The Impact of The Internet on Nigerians

The internet is one of the greatest advancements in the world of information technology and has become a useful instrument that has fostered the process of making the world a global village. The internet has become  a prevalent means widely used by several people for several purposes. For instance, the use of computers and the internet is being associated with faster communication between family members, friends and relatives, improvements in education, faster business transactions and cheaper products, labour market prospects, and our everyday lives.

With these, technologies have the potential to improve access to information, to help get tasks done better or more quickly, and to facilitate communication (National Research Council, 1999). While electronic mail is the internet application mostly used by adults (U.S Department of Education, 1999), sending of emails or instant messaging and playing games are approximately tied for the rank of the second most popular internet activity among students, after completing school assignments. Schofield (1997) also suggested that internet use may have a positive influence on student motivation at secondary and tertiary levels. Not only has the internet helped in the academic line, it has also tremendously changed every sector of human life, though much is not known about this.  Also, the internet offers potentially increased anonymity and deindividuation, online communication can be asynchronous in that individuals can deliberately craft responses without the pressure of face-to-face conversation. Thus, by eliminating the reliance on non-verbal cues and the spontaneity of face-to-face communication, the internet could plausibly facilitate self-disclosure and intimate socialization among individuals for whom face-to-face communication provokes anxiety and concern over evaluation

The use of internet such as the social media platforms (SM) can be one of the steps for governments to enhance their government-to-citizens communication, and transaction (United Nations, 2010). For this purpose governments try to reach their citizens where they are such as on Facebook. Also, the popularity of these SM sites has drawn the attention of governments in finding ways to benefit from their usage in building relationships with their citizens and increasing their participation and engagement level. Such issues are important since e-government websites are perceived as public sites and usually wait for citizens to visit them (Atari, Stewart-Weeks, & McCalla, 2011). On the contrary, social networks (SN) are sites where people interact regularly and visiting such sites can help foster more cordial relationship between the government and her citizens. Information exchange and communication creates a viable platform for this site (Facebook) to thrive (Magro, 2012). Social networking sites have overtaken personal email and become the fourth most popular Internet activity, following search, portals, and PC software applications (Nielsen, 2009). Though Facebook has helped replace the traditional face-to-face communication, it has also enhanced social interaction through information exchange (Sylvia, Moonhee & Sangwon, 2013).

The rapid growth of the Internet as an environment for information exchange and the lack of enforceable standards regarding the information it contains has led to numerous information quality (IQ) problems. The currently accepted view of assessing IQ, involves understanding it from the users’ point of view (Knight & Burn, 2005). Strong and Wang (1997) suggest that the quality of data cannot be assessed independent of the people who use it. Other flip sides, include the potential for internet use to increase isolation among individuals, unsuspecting internet users can fall victim to criminal elements that meddle with their emails or do something nasty with their credit card information, uncensored videos watched by underage, people getting engulfed in the virtual world and drifting apart from their friends and family. Even children prefer to play online games rather than going out and mingling with other kids. This however, may tamper with a healthy social development in children. Another problem is the potential for the use of violent games to cause increases in hostility and aggression in institutions (Kirsh,1998). All in all, the internet is affecting so many individuals  lives, in both exciting and challenging ways.

It is highly likely that the use of the Internet and related technologies will ease some of the challenges that have plagued the implementation and use of information systems in every sector over the years. Regardless of these uncertainties and challenges, the use of internet has brought about changes in the health care system, education and the other relevant aspect.

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