What is The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly About the Internet?
World Wide Web
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Searching on the Internet
Do you have a question that you need answered? Does your child have a report to do for school? Do you want to know the best medical school for your recent graduate? Do you just want to play some games to pass the time? All of these can be done on the Internet, and many more.
The Good on the Internet
The Internet can be used to research many questions and subjects, both for school and your information. Almost any subject can be found with due diligence in searching. You may have a favorite search engine, or you may just go blindly about your research. Whichever, the answer will be out there for you to discover.
Do you like shopping on the Internet? I definitely do. There are websites out there where shipping is free, or just a small charge. Several of the websites for shoes offer free shipping both ways which is a definite plus since shoe sizes vary from brand to brand and a size 8 in one brand will be different in another brand. I make good use of www.onlineshoes.com and www.zappos.com. They have good shoes, with good sales, and free shipping both ways. Shopping for clothing on the Internet is not my favorite as the colors on my desktop do not always match the actual color of the article of clothing I order and I am disappointed when I get it. Or the fabric is not as expected. Another favorite shopping area of mine is books as my husband and I are both avid readers. We have belonged to book clubs, and when we are finished reading the books, I end up selling them on eBay and get back part of my purchase price. If it is a current popular book the sales price usually ends up over half price, and the buyer pays for shipping. You can't beat that. Another item I often buy on the Internet is ink for my HP Photosmart Printer. I do not use remanufactured ink or off brands as I want my printer to work to the best of its ability since I print lots of photos with my Photosmart. Then, too, I often research and purchase software for my computer. It is usually a good buy and can be downloaded directly from the Internet.
Selling and buying on eBay is another favorite area on the Internet as I have used it for my own personal garage sale. So far I have been very satisfied with the prices I have received for most of the items I have sold. It's amazing the items you find for sale on the Internet. No matter what I am looking for, it is almost always available on eBay. Here again you need to do your research to know what the items you are wanting to purchase are actually worth. It is an additional benefit if you can find the item with "free shipping." Usually if free shipping is offered, the beginning price for the item is slightly higher. Most any book you are looking for can be found on eBay. I have also purchased printer ink and photo printer paper at discounted prices. Most of my ink has been purchased on eBay, but be careful of the expiration date. I never buy ink that is past the expiration date even though it probably would work well.
Another activity I enjoy doing on the Internet is surveys. These are interesting and also make me a small income on the side. Surveys take lots of patience as it takes the completion of many surveys to qualify for a payout. One favorite website of mine is the www.Nationalconsumerpanel.com , which is not actually a survey site, but does include surveys from time to time. This website is a shopping scanner site. After registering and being admitted into their program, I was sent a scanner that is plugged into my phone line. Every time I purchase anything I scan it just like they do in the store. Then once a week I plug the scanner into my USB port on my computer and send the information in to the panel. Rewards are posted to my account and there is a gift catalog to order awards from after so many points are earned. I have received many good items through this site, including a George Foreman Grill, an electric griddle, a toaster, an iron, a slow cooker, a cordless phone etc.
Email is another good aspect of the Internet. It allows you to keep in touch with family and friends who live at a distance and whom you do not see as often as you would like. So this form of communication is quick and sometimes immediate. Attachments can be added to these emails thereby enabling you to send photos to those you love and help them keep up with your lives in that manner. Who doesn't like to receive a heartwarming photo of a friend or family member? It almost makes you feel that you were there.
People searching is another activity I perform on the Internet. Recently I found two men who were with my brother on a B24 during World War II. They were on a search and rescue mission and their plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The two men I discovered over the Internet were the only survivors of the plane crash. My brother's body was never recovered. The website I used for this search was www.peoplesmart.com. You have to pay 95¢ for the basic information, like address. The cost for detailed information is more or you can buy a membership.
My mother was in the Peace Corps serving in Pakistan back in the early 60's when she met the family of Presbyterian missionaries. They had a 10-year old girl and a 4-year old boy at that time. Using PeopleSmart, I was able to find the girl who now lives in South Carolina. This is so exciting to find these people after so many years.
There are so many activities to do on the Internet that it is almost impossible to enumerate them all here. But following are some more: checking on the news of the day, banking online, blogging, playing games, instant messaging, furthering your education, and all of the social media sites.
The Bad on the Internet
Whenever you are on the Internet, beware! I don't say this to scare you but to make you realize that there are websites out there that can cause problems. There are viruses that can infect your computer and crash your hard drive. But if you have a good virus protection software, they can usually be avoided. Also your ISP (Internet Service Provider) usually is actively watching out for viruses and stops them before they infect your computer, but they don't catch them all. Which makes it your responsibility to be careful what websites you download. So far I have been lucky as I very frequently go to websites that could be suspicious.
Also, there are always websites/programs out there that are looking for the innocent. They title their websites to sound very appealing, but when you link to the site, they are just trying to get you to join something or buy something that has nothing at all to do with the title/name of the site. Many naive people are looking for ways to make money on the internet, and I am one of the worst. The Internet Gods must be looking over my shoulder, but not always as you know if you have read my Hub about being scammed on the Internet.
Email can also be a problem on the Internet. One receives way too many "junk" emails which makes it very frustrating to say the least. A junk email folder is useful, but at the same time it needs to be checked routinely to see if valid emails were sent there by mistake. No doubt there is a simple way to avoid junk emails altogether but I am too much of a "rookie" to know how.
The Ugly on the Internet
Now comes the Ugly. And I do mean ugly. Back in 2005, I joined a program that seemed legitimate enough, except that "it was too good to be true." But naive me, I went ahead anyway and joined and deposited money into the program. After several months and earning what seemed like an amazing amount in return for my original investment, I invested more. Also, after asking for a payout and receiving a check, I invested more. Stupid me, you say?? Right you are. Within a year, the site closed down and there was no where to contact anybody to see where and when I would be receiving the income I was credited with. That was the end of that! Have I learned my lesson? I hope so, but my trusting nature may lead me astray again, but just not to that extent. If you read my Hub about being scammed on the Internet, you will "get the rest of this story" as they say. It just might have a happy ending after all.
- Selling Items on eBay - Receiving payment and shipping items sold
Now comes the fun of watching your listing, seeing how many people viewed it and how many bids you are getting. Once your item has sold, you need to package and ship it. This is something I am very careful with.