Since the Internet arrived in our lives in the 1990s, few would have realised then how far it would eventually infiltrate our daily activities.
And whilst it has undoubtedly provided many convenient functions by allowing us to socialise with friends, and shop for products in a digital environment, many are concerned that the time we spend online might be having a negative effect on how we live our lives.
According to a report made by research company Nielsen in 2013, it seems that the average Australian is spending more and more time online. In fact, it is thought that it is commonplace to find that many users now spend the equivalent of one day per week on the Internet.
This figure is mirrored by the fact that laptop ownership in Australia has significantly increased from 33% to 77% in the past ten years.
And although the use of desktop computers has decreased slightly from 80% to 72%, it is thought that there is now a growing trend for ‘dual-screening’, where people now use mobile devices in conjunction with the more traditional computer interfaces.
The increased use of technology has mirrored the massively expanded range of applications that now exist within the digital domain.
One of the most notable trends in the past decade is the rise of social media sites. Research shows that seven out of ten Australians are now actively engaged in social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
The rise of social applications for entertainment is equalled by the huge growth in gaming sites that now offer a convenient way for people to spend their time. Now mobile users can play complex strategy games like Minecraft from just about any location, and likewise the incredible rise of online gambling sites like www.spinpalace.com have facilitated an entire new industry to blossom out of our desire to play a variety of games from the comfort of our mobile device.
Whilst the massive range of online options from researching travel options to purchasing the latest products with a click of a button may have many instantly identifiable benefits, there are a few warnings to consider too.
News stories like those published on news.com.au point to the fact that the increased time spent online can lead to a variety of sleeping disorders, low self-esteem and depression. Furthermore, the potential exposure to pornography can disturb normal sexual development in children in alarming ways.
So like any other activity, the overruling guidelines for internet use should be to participate sensibly, and in moderation.