Research Paper: Internet and Society

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[. . .] For instance, studies have concluded that the old "you're the doctor, I'm in your hands" days of the doctor-patient relationship are long gone; as may patients do a considerable amount of internet research before going to see the doctor. (Slattery, 2008)

And the very nature of the healthcare system has also been transformed through the use of company websites. Appointments can be made over the internet, as well as the keeping and transfer of medical records, purchasing of medications, and the evaluation of things like X-Rays, CT scans, and MRI's. The internet can also be "particularly helpful in providing extensive information regarding treatment options." (Slattery, 2008) Internet medicine has become an important part of the overall healthcare system making it more efficient and less costly.

Medicine is not the only aspect of society that has been revolutionized by the internet. Through the use of the internet, the very way business is conducted has been effected. Where there were small businesses and large ones, the internet allows everyone to compete on a level playing field. Studies have revealed that the relative ease of internet access has allowed even small businesses to reduce "transaction costs between customers and suppliers establish long-term customer relationships and increased customer loyalty by customizing services, reduced labor costs, higher reliability of information, and less waste of resources and inventory." (Domke-Damonte, 2002) in effect, the internet makes business more efficient, less costly, and easier to use so that any business, large or small, can, through intelligent use of the internet, better compete in the world of business. Reservations, transactions, communications, supply ordering, customer service, and every other aspect of business is easier and more efficient through use of the internet.

But one must not forget that the internet allows anyone's business to operate better, which also assumes that there will be an increase in competition among businesses. Studies have also confirmed this hypothesis and demonstrated that increased use of the internet among businesses "greatly increases competition within [an]industry." (Domke-Damonte, 2002) in the realm of business, the internet has become a tool, one which used effectively can greatly improve a company's performance.

The internet have become part of American society in a relatively short time. Banking, personal and medical information, business transactions and many other services are performed everyday through the internet. (Yee, 2008) Because American society is filled with unscrupulous and predatory individuals, the internet has also become a major threat to the average American. Through judicious, and often times, illegal use of the internet, criminals have been able to steal identities, break into bank accounts, defraud businesses and individuals, and create all sorts of mischief and damage to honest, law-abiding citizens. Terrorists have also been able to attack networks, servers, proliferate viruses and other personal computing weapons. Everyday the news is filled with stories of identity theft, computer hackers obtaining personal information from databases, and other internet security threats. In response to these threats, an entirely new discipline has arisen: internet security. (Yee, 2008)

The internet was not invented by Al Gore, or any other single individual; it was developed over time, by a number of individuals in a number of different places. The United States government, through the National Science Foundation, even played an important role by setting up the very first nation-wide service. But it was commercial uses that really enable the internet to expand exponentially. And through commercial uses the internet has invaded every part of society and life. From banking to medicine, and everything in between, the internet has transformed every aspect of American society. The internet has also become an integral part of the education, healthcare, governmental, and research systems, as well as the entire business community. Businesses, large and small, have been able to use the internet as a tool to better perform and compete with other businesses, to make their companies more efficient, and to provide better customer service.

But the greatest impact the internet has had on American society is in the way information is communicated and transferred. Traditional media sources have had to adjust their thinking, and incorporate the internet into their operations or risk getting made obsolete. More people get their news from the internet than ever before, and it can be tailored to each person's personal preferences as well. Discussion groups, blogs, and other types of web sites have allowed individuals to partake in all sorts of discussions from politics to gardening, and to communicate with others all over the planet.

In the 21st century, information has become a commodity because of the internet's influence. New industries have appeared based on the internet, and internet services are becoming an important part of the overall economy. But because of the close relationship between individuals and the internet, it also poses some danger. Criminals have begun to use it as a tool for crime, and terrorists and even other governments have used the internet to attack and disrupt crucial systems, hoping to inflict both economic and physical damage.

Not since the invention of the steam engine has the world been transformed so greatly or rapidly. Since the mid-1970's, the internet has transformed education, business, science, communication, medicine, politics, the media, transportation, international trade, and the everyday lives of almost every single person on the planet. It is both the cause of joy and grief, success and frustration, creativity and destruction, and like anything invented by humankind, it can be used for either good or evil, and usually both.


"An anecdotal history of the people and communities that brought about the Internet and the Web." A Brief History of the Internet. Retrieved from

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Makhtari, Kouider, Carla Reichard, and Anne Gardner. (2009) the Impact of the Internet and television use on the reading habits and practices of college students: the authors explore whether Internet and television use displaces other activities, including recreational reading. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy 52,7. pp 609+.

Maroki, N. (Fall 2001). The impact of the internet on the educational systems in the new millennium. Education, 122, 1. p.36(3).

Slattery, F. (July 2008). Medicine and the Internet: a healthy relationship? The advent of the Internet has revolutionised the compilation, assessment and distribution of information relating to healthcare. This has modified the traditional doctor-patient… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Internet and Society.  (2011, May 29).  Retrieved June 26, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Internet and Society."  29 May 2011.  Web.  26 June 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Internet and Society."  May 29, 2011.  Accessed June 26, 2019.