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It is 2022, and technology has reached new heights, only to evolve even more come next year. Internal combustion engines are slowly getting replaced with electric motors, our bulky mobile phones have let go of their physical keyboards — becoming thinner, lighter and easier to use. Therefore, it is safe to say that technology has played a vital role in how we live our lives today.
However, one technology that has been around since the 1960s has shown extraordinary resilience in standing the test of time. Its evolution has continued over the years, and today it is undoubtedly an indispensable part of our life. It has made life easier, brought people closer and provided seemingly endless knowledge to generations. We are, of course, talking about the internet!
While it has become a vital part of the world we live in, the internet is not without drawbacks. In this article, we will try to figure out the internet’s influence on our lives — is it doing more harm than good? Is the internet behind making us spend more and more of our hard-earned money? Let us find out!
In today’s day and age, our primary source of information has changed from newspapers and magazines to tweets, reels and videos. With internet users increasing exponentially, technology companies have begun adapting to the paradigm shift by streamlining everything online. The result is that once we set foot on the internet, there is no reason to let go. We find ourselves trapped in the clutches of technology, but it makes everything so easy that we no longer try to free ourselves.
Whether we want to connect with family overseas, look at a weather report before going on a walk, or take the day off and just binge on our favourite series — the internet helps us do it all. It is a treasure trove of knowledge for everyone who knows how to use it well, and for others, it is a never-ending abyss we cannot stop ourselves from falling in. But even so, the internet has given us so much — from social media to Wikipedia — that we must be thankful. But should we be grateful?
While the internet has been the driving force behind numerous life-changing innovations, it has also done its fair share of damage. With everything it has brought together, it has shackled us — mobile phones, personal computers and smart gadgets. We have become addicted to its many offerings, so much so that we will not be able to imagine a life without the internet even if we try.
Besides this, it has also given technological giants the power to control our lives. Everything from our browsing habits to our travel history is used to tailor-make the experience for us. Our lives are no longer as private as we think — with companies using our data to earn money. The internet has rendered us mere pawns in the bigger picture — no longer in the driving seat of our life.
The short answer is yes. Everything is a click or tap away now. Unfathomable as it may seem, almost all purchase decisions are online these days. The online retail industry has shown the fastest growth rate in the past few years, and the experience has simplified to such an extent that impulse buying often goes unchecked.
The internet has enabled digital payments — giving rise to myriad online wallets. These no cash wallets ensure ease of transaction and tempt us to make purchases without sparing a thought for withdrawing cash. These digital payment solutions offer so many discounts that consumers often end up buying things they do not even need! Research also shows that no cash alternatives translate to higher spending. Money is an abstract concept, and technological advancement makes us take it for granted.
Besides this, social media has also given rise to new problems. It creates a tendency to compare one’s lifestyle to their peers. The peer pressure and the fear of missing out on trends force us to splurge. Besides that, targeted advertisements on social media ensure that the minute we think about something, an ad pops up encouraging us to buy it. This experience has a profound impact on our lives, and more often than not, we find ourselves giving in to temptation.
The internet is a boon for humankind. From getting stuff delivered to our doorstep to having face to face meetings even during the pandemic, we could not have achieved anything without it. While we love it for what it has done for us, it is vital to be mindful of its drawbacks. All of us love shopping, and the technology around us often fools us for its own good. The key is to control oneself and not succumb to impulse. Remember, we created the internet, and we can outsmart it as well.
Choosing between saving our hard-earned money and investing it for higher returns is a dilemma almost all of us face from time to time. The answer to this question is much harder to find than people think.
The ancient saying “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is all the more relevant in the case of finance and investing. Every investor wants to minimise their risk, but most people make mistakes while diversifying. Thus, it goes without saying that portfolio diversification is a vital part of making the most of one’s investments.