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The Internet: Going the distance

By Alexandra Maragha
On September 28, 2010

When considering sources for academic, business and personal purposes, The internet is superior to books. While I agree that a library and book medium holds a sentimental and nostalgic charm for the history of how information has been passed, The internet reflects a sense of globalization, connectivity and interaction between information consumers and information distributors.

The internet provides a window to the world in connecting not only people, but information instantaneously. This allows the table of ideas to be further broadened and thus, continues the exploration for understanding of ideas and learning. Of course, an internet connection is necessary, just like access to a library or bookstore is necessary for books, but once a user is connected the information that is accessible is limitless.

While books also provide information, they are limited to the scope of the view and context that the book is created. Likewise, the information a book contains is limited to the number of pages in the book, and many times a full scope of the credibility of the author(s) is limited.

The vastness of The internet allows for all types of information with differing contexts to exist. With any source, evaluation is essential to allow all sources to be reviewed. Being a communication major and journalist, it is always crucial to check the source of information. Much like writing techniques, there are tests that can check the currency, relevance, authority, accuracy and purpose of information posted. These sorts of tests allow internet users to become more engaged and efficient in getting the most from their web experience and tell if the source is reliable or not good to use.

Too many times, students and professionals alike make the mistake of thinking The internet is not a valuable resource. If the sole source of information that a person uses for research are sites such as Wikipedia, then yes, I would have to agree. However, sources that contain information databases, which include peer reviewed journals, studies and valid information are great to use. In this setting, information from more than one location and viewpoint are accessible and furthers the cause and phenomena of connecting people across the globe. Likewise, The internet allows one to investigate an author and to learn the background and intentions that they hold in distributing their message and information.

The internet also provides an outlet to current and relevant information. While some information is timeless, when the most up-to-date information is desired The internet is the medium to turn to, unlike a one-time published book that is stuck in time.

When deciding where to go for information, I would generally suggest using all sources to prove and fully support a thought or point, but the internet is a great place to start and embellish on initial findings, as it can act as a connection to other places which, when using books, may not be possible. When used properly, The internet can be a door to the rest of the world.

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