This essay is about the controversy over the internet, either being user friendly, or invading privacy of the users.

Essay by mamalindsUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2002

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The growing popularity of the Internet is highly due to being user friendly and a source of endless access to information. Even though there are many positive aspects of using the Internet, there are also important negative aspects that need to be considered. People who use the Internet are more likely to experience depression and loneliness. The Internet can also be used to obtain intimate personal information about people.

A study of social and psychological effects the Internet has on users revealed there can be negative effects. Results show people who spend a few hours a week online experience more depression and loneliness than those who have more limited use. It was found however that those who were lonelier and more depressed than average at the beginning of the study were not more likely to use the Internet. The Internet was also shown to lessen psychological well-being. Regular use of the Internet causes a decline in interaction with relatives and a reduction in number of friends.

A relationship over the Internet without face-to-face interaction doesn't provide the support and security of interpersonal relationships. The Internet is more beneficial than passive media such as television because users are able to choose what information they would like to receive and are able to respond actively through email and chatrooms.

A study into the easy access of information on the Internet revealed intimate personal information was easily accessed also. Advanced computer technology allows private personal information to be drawn and stored in vast databases that few people know about. There are currently eighty bills pending in Congress to restrict access to intimate personal data in cyberspace. Some companies provide research services strictly for background screenings for employment purposes. Some companies also provide research services for probes on corporate clients involved...