The effects of ICT on the individual

1. Internet e.g. email, websites, messenger, chat rooms

2. Communication e.g. mobile phone, video phone, video conferencing, information points

3. Entertainment e.g. games console, MP3 player, digital TV

4. Mobile access e.g. laptop, PDA, Wi-Fi, WAP

5. Data capture e.g. digital camera, voice recorder, scanner

6. Financial transactions e.g. ATM, EPOS, smart card

Internet

How the Internet Is Used

The internet is used in many different ways such as; communication, finding information, publishing, commerce and for online learning. The most widely used facilities on the internet are; The World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail (e-mail), newsgroups, chat and publishing. The web is the most popular and fastest growing part of the internet. It provides easy access to a vast range of information stored on computers all over the world.

E-mail allows people to send messages from one computer to another almost immediately. It is widely used and has become an alternative to the conventional letter post, the fax, and telephone. Newsgroups are discussion groups that usually focus on one particular subject and therefore enable people with common interests to communicate. Chat is similar to a telephone conversation, except people type instead of talk. People can hold conversations with one or more people by typing their messages on the screen. These appear instantly on the screens of everyone involved. Publishing is not just for organisations or businesses. Anyone can create their own Web site or weblog and ‘publish’ their files on the World Wide Web.

Benefits of the Internet

There are a numerous benefits of the internet such as communication, information, downloading software, services and e-commerce. People can benefit from internet communication because people can communicate in seconds with a person who is in the other part of the world. We can also e-mail people from all over the world and we can chat for hours with loved ones. Information is probably the biggest benefit the internet offers. Any kind of information on any topic in the world is available on the internet. People can almost find any type of data on any kind of subject that they are looking for. There is a vast amount of information available on the internet ranging from government law and services, market information, new ideas and technical support. Another benefit is downloading software. This is one of the most happening and fun things to do using the internet. People can download countless games, music, videos, movies, and lots of other entertainment software from the internet, which are mostly free. Many services are now provided on the internet such as online banking, job seeking, purchasing tickets for favourite movies, guidance services on a range of topics, and hotel reservations. Often these services are not available off-line and can cost more. Ecommerce is the idea used for any type of commercial planning, or business deals that involves the transfer of information across the globe via Internet. Ecommerce has got a real incredible and wide range of products from household needs, technology to entertainment.

The internet can also provide children and adults alike with a world of exciting opportunities. It offers:

1. educational games and programs

2. research information for school projects and business

3. the opportunity to communicate with people from all around the world

4. the opportunity to share resources and ideas with people that have the same interests

5. Shopping around the world without leaving a computer.

Disadvantages of the Internet

The internet can have some disadvantages such as theft of personal information, spamming and virus threats. Theft of personal information is a disadvantage because if someone uses the internet, they may be facing great danger as their personal information such as their name, address, credit card number can be accessed by other people. Spamming means the sending of unwanted emails in bulk which don’t provide a purpose. These illegal actions can be very frustrating for people. Viruses are programs which interrupt the usual function of computers. Computers attached to the internet are more prone to virus attacks.

Entertainment

How Entertainment Is Used

Entertainment is used in several ways such as games consoles, MP3/4 players and digital TV. Games consoles are used as entertainment by playing games, watching movies, surfing the web and listening to music. MP3 players are used as entertainment by listening to music. MP4 players are used as entertainment by watching video clips, looking at pictures and listening to music. Digital TV is used for entertainment by watching TV programmes. Digital TV has over 30 channels to watch.

Benefits of Entertainment

There are various benefits of entertainment. Entertainment sets peoples minds free, keeps people chilled out, releases stress, and it makes people feel happy. Entertainment is fun and keeps people occupied for long amounts of time. You can also use entertainment anywhere in the world as you can watch movies, play games and much more on mobile devices such as mobile phones, iPods and tablets.

Disadvantages of Entertainment

There are some disadvantages of entertainment as people can get carried away watching a movie, playing a game on a games console or listening to music using a MP3 player can make people late to appointments and meetings. Entertainment can also steer people away from work or studying as entertainment is addictive.

Mobile Access

How Mobile Access Is Used

Mobile access can be used to access different things while on the move using a laptop, PDA or other devices. Mobile access can be used to access emails and to surf the web. Mobile devices can be used to access the internet via Wi-Fi (wireless internet) or via WAP (Wireless application Protocol).

Benefits of Mobile Access

Mobile access can be used almost anywhere in the world even on Mount Everest. Mobile access is wireless so there isn’t the hassle of carrying wires around. The price of mobile access isn’t over priced either and in fact some Wi-Fi hotspots are free to access and use. Mobile broadband can also be used in areas which do not have broadband. Mobile broadband can also be pay as you go so it is paid for when it is used instead of monthly.

Disadvantages of Mobile Access

Standard broadband or home broadband can sometimes be a lot cheaper than mobile broadband. The speed of mobile access can be slower than standard broadband. The download/usage limits for mobile broadband are quite restrictive.

Communication

How Communication Is Used

Communication can be used with mobile phones, video phones, video conferencing and computers. Mobile phones can be used to communicate by texting and voice calling someone. Video phones can be used to communicate by seeing the person someone is talking to on the phone. Video conferencing can be used to communicate by seeing and speaking to numerous individuals at once. Computers can be used for communicating by sending an email to someone, chatting to someone in a chat room and video calling or voice calling someone using a program such as Skype.

Benefits of Communication

Communication can be used all most anywhere in the world using many different devices. Some forms of communication can be free such as using a free messenger program on a computer for example Windows Live Messenger is free to chat to someone, free to call someone who has Windows Live Messenger using a microphone and video calling someone who has Windows Live Messenger. Programs like Windows Live Messenger and Skype can be used to communicate with people from all over the world for free.

Disadvantages of Communication

Communication can have some disadvantages as the cost of some communication devices can be expensive. Calling someone using a mobile phone can sometimes cost quite a bit. If a webcam is used to communicate to someone sometimes the webcam can be hacked so a hacker can see you. If someone communicates to someone using the internet and the connection is slow things could be misinterpreted.

Data Capture

How Data Capture Is Used

Data capture is used to capture many different things for example photos, speech and documents. Data capture is used in different ways such as taking pictures with a digital camera, recording a conversation using a voice recorder, scanning a barcode using a barcode scanner and copying a photo or document using a scanner.

Benefits of Data Capture

Data capture is a great way of capturing memories by taking photos using a digital camera. It is also a great way for people who are in a meeting and need to remember what was said in the meeting, people can do this by using a voice recorder. Data capture is also very helpful in shops as products can be scanned for a barcode using a barcode scanner. Another benefit of data capture is that if a backup of a printed photo or document is needed then it can be backed up by using a scanner.

Disadvantages of Data Capture

Some data capturing devices may not capture data properly for instance a voice recorder may stop recording randomly or the device may not record properly causing voices recorded to be muffled. Another disadvantage may be that barcode scanners in shops may not be updated properly so some product barcodes can’t be scanned as they won’t appear on the system.

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