The Internet: Beneficial Tool or Harmful Weapon?


Ireland McDyre

Reece Steidle, a freshman, uses his phone often. “I understand that there are dangers when it comes to the internet, but it is also really helpful,” he said. Global teenage phone use raised this year to 89% of all teens.

Ireland McDyre, Staff Writer

For many, the internet provides a way to connect with others worldwide. Online chats, pictures over Snapchat, and publicly commenting on issues ushers in a new era of connectivity never seen before. But is it too much? 

I say yes. The internet has undoubtedly increased awareness of global events and trends, but the bad far outweighs the good. Already, it has become much easier for hackers to steal information, online predators to catch victims, and cyberbullying to swell. 

37% of kids age 12-17 have said they have been cyberbullied, according to These kids are being bullied for being themselves online, and with increased internet access across the globe, the number will continue to grow. 

The internet is constantly providing a way for people to feel bad about themselves. Due to ads about eating healthy, losing weight, and growing muscle, self doubts begin to form. Self doubt may also be increased by chats on popular apps like Instagram or Snapchat. People continue to talk about their ideals instead of reality, which can cause sadness or even depression. While it is true that people can choose what they talk about, targeted ads on Instagram, Facebook, and websites makes it easy to fall into despair. 

Additionally, it has become much easier to share inappropriate pictures all across the web. This can cause extreme embarrassment, both to the sender and the receiver, which is a horrible emotion to feel. Even celebrities are not immune to this. Just last year, Bella Thorne, a former Disney Channel star on Shake it Up, had an inappropriate photo leaked of her. 

So how can you help yourself stay safe on the internet? 

The first step is to make sure that all your accounts are private. This way, you can monitor who is seeing your pictures, opinions, and thoughts. Next, you should make sure that what you are saying online is not directly offensive. Lastly, overall internet awareness is key. Understand that any pictures you take and receive can be traced and found, whether or not they have been deleted. 

Although the internet has the potential to be dangerous, with enough knowledge and limitation it can be used safely.