The days of waiting minutes at a time for internet pages to load so slowly that you almost hear the cogs whirring in your dial-up modem seem like ancient history. Today, advanced and server-heavy websites are loaded up in less than a second and, thanks to broadband, the user is able to stream several television stations live if they wish. With instant access to an ever-expanding realm of information, entertainment, media and art, people are spending more and more time on the internet. A recent study shows that the average teenager now spends over 31 hours a week surfing the web. Is there a problem and if so, where does it lie?
To take a positive view of this, there are many obvious advantages to spending so much time on the web. With our ability to channel so much so fast, we’re able to educate ourselves in a great number of ways. Christmas 2011 has been dubbed the first Cyber Christmas, with more people buying their gifts online than in the high street. Given this, you can compare unlimited mobile broadband growth and the increasing number of smart phones. People are now doing a large amount of their shopping with their telephone. Not only does the online shopping experience allow access to far more affordable gifts, but it also means elderly, disabled or remotely located people have a wider array of presents to choose from.
However, the access to such swift and powerful internet content can indeed have an addictive nature. This is particularly so if you look at home-based net access and compare unlimited mobile broadband. Most famously, there are the extreme examples from Asia. There was a highly publicized tragedy in which an infant lost its life in Korea. The parent had become so entranced by the online massively multiplayer online role-playing game (commonly abbreviated to a MMORPG) Prius Online that they had left their infant unattended to for so long that the child died.
Another example of this is related to another MMORPG, Legend of Mir 3. A Chinese gamer, Zhu Caoyuan, borrowed a virtual weapon of the game, a Dragon Sabre, from Qiu Chengwei. The sword was then sold for the equivalent of £473 without the owner’s consent. Qiu Chengwei then broke into Zhu Caoyuan’s home as he slept and stabbed him to death.
However, these two examples are as a result of what broadband enables people to do. Without broadband we wouldn’t even be able to play MMORPGs like Prius Online, Legend of Mir or the popular World of Warcraft. With no broadband, people wouldn’t have the ability to become addicted to these games.
But is this the drug of broadband or the drug of web applications? One can’t help but feel it is unfair on broadband providers to blame them for giving people the ability to play these games. The game makers themselves have designed them to be addictive. By offering expansion packs and constantly changing challenges and mods with an ever-increasing number of rewards and bonuses that Blizzard Interactive continually releases, they insure a firm grasp on the MMORPG market that gamers have kept coming back to for years. This has allowed them to keep a stranglehold on the market.
On a more everyday level, internet addiction has changed people’s lives, often for the worse. There is an increasing number of people addicted to online pornography, which can be streamed in great quantity and in high definition on broadband. As a result, many people are losing interest in their real-life relationships. Not only do the hours spent staring at the computer detract from the quality time couples and families spend together, but the extreme nature of the content has led people to become uninterested in the more physical side of their romantic relationships.
The average user, however, is unaffected by this issues. There’s a decent chance you’ve played at least casual flash games. And there’s an equal chance that you’ve suffered none of these problems, despite having access to high-speed internet or the content it allows you to reach. Like most people, you’re aware of the time spent riding the information super highway and can monitor it and your level of involvement in it. So broadband isn’t a gateway drug nor the drug itself at all; at least if you choose not to let it be.
The above article is composed and edited by Eva K. She is associated with many technology and designing communities including Broadband Expert as their freelance writer and adviser. In her free time she writes articles related to technology, mobile applications, etc. To compare unlimited mobile broadband deals, please contact US!!