English-THE NET

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate December 2001

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The movie, "The Net," starring Sandra Bullock is an action thriller that takes an in-debt look into the world of information technology. The plot surrounds that of a woman whose whole life is taken aback when she discovers her identity has been stolen just by the simple click of a mouse. Suddenly questions of the Internet are put on display and a new perspective is grasped. What might society come to expect of the "new" world? Is it safe? Are we ready for what the future holds? The answer concerning this new form of fast paced connection to endless possibilities is simple; there is no answer. Technology continues to grow, new discoveries are made each day, and not only does this hold great pride for such an opportunity but places great fear into our hearts as well as our minds.

The fact that each day leads to new discoveries is something we as a society should be proud of, for it is something we have always wanted to do, to have endless possibility and continue the growth of the economy.

However when does one question when this growth goes too far, when do we say enough is enough, and do we stop it. The capabilities we had are infinite and most powerful, which puts fear into our eyes. Like the young woman in the movie, Angela Bennett, we are not only able to better our lives through the simplicity of the Internet, but we put ourselves at risk.

Everything we do or put onto the net is on display; there is no such thing as a safe place. When we communicate with one other, purchase Christmas presents, or order take-out, we put ourselves in danger. Our lives, our whole world is on the Internet.

If someone were to ask you to sit back and think about how many times you have mad a purchase, or filled out a free newsletter form, you probably would not be able to configure the amount of times this routine has been done. How many times you have submitted your phone number, your address, social security number, credit card number, etc. to different places on the web are unimaginable. If you could, you would probably find that there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of different areas that contain personal information about you, your family, and the things that mean most to you. All of this information can be found, for it is "free" and can be searched for by anyone who knows how to access it.

The ability to access information on the Internet may not be as hard as we might think. "The Net" takes a serious look as to what could and even possibly happen, if we continue to plug away into this new era. Angela Bennett, the main character in the movie, discovers this after her world has been destroyed when someone is able to attain her personal information. Angela uses the Internet as a work form. Everything she does is on the web; everything she is, is on a disk. When someone is able to access this information, her life falls apart, no longer is she Angela Bennett, no longer does she have a house, or a job, everything she has ever known is no longer there. Life on the net could just be more trouble than what we could ever ask for.

The questions that have arisen, the fears that fill our minds since the movie first came out are heavy. They are also very much acceptable since the movie came out in the early 1990's, a time when very little was known and very few knew much about the Internet. The reason the movie has done so well is because it pulls to those who want to learn, and who have an interest in what is dawning on the world of the future. It was interesting, exciting, and somewhat overwhelming. It brings up questions that everyone wondered but not necessarily asked, and it answers them.

In the beginning, the movie causes people to look to the Internet as the enemy. It brings up questions concerning whether or not the Internet is a safe place. Questions run through the minds of those who see it such as: Could this happen? Has it Ever happened? Yes, identity fraud is possible; hundreds of people are victims to it each year. However, nowadays we are more aware of it and there are more ways to protect ourselves from it. Very unlikely you or someone you know will become a victim to it.

Over the past several years we have developed devices that protect us from the deep, dark, world that we call the Internet. Not only have we been able to make safeguards that allow only the area to which you are submitting information to be seen, but we have put passwords and screen names on the net so that only the person who logs in can check into that particular account. Even though these devices come in handy, they do not guarantee that the information will not be available to be seen, because the Internet is like outer space; it is open and free for endless possibility.

The Internet is a world of endless opportunity, each day something new, good or bad will be discovered. Whether or not the Internet is ever going to be completely safe, we may never know. Nevertheless since the early 1990's when this movie first came out, and society seemed to have been woken up by what could happen if the Internet were to be used, we have overcome those fears. There is at least one computer in every household, which simply proves that we are not afraid anymore. We may be unsure what is to come of the future but we have also realized that you cannot live in fear. As long as the net continues to grow we are going to be fighting a battle with technology, and with those who are more knowledgeable.

"Knowledge is power," is a quote that is said in "The Net," and as we can see from both past and present experiences with technology it holds truth. He that has knowledge will discover the next piece of technology, and this will continue our journey into the future, and forever shall we gleam with pride. Technology as it grows gives pride for we enjoy the possibility to have better things, to access them more quickly as well as with ease however, it is with each new discovery we tend to cringe for the fear that it will be the same technology that could destroy us.