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“The Internet does More Harm than Good” by Bernard Joyce

Internet sign and an arrow
© Creative Commons - transCam
Bernard Joyce presents his views on the use of the internet at the National Finale of the Europe Direct Soapbox Competition 2014

Does the internet do more harm than good?

Do the books we read do more harm than good?

Does my hand do more harm than good?


Ladies and Gentlemen,


This afternoon, what if we had to decide?


If we decide that the internet does more harm than good, then let us take out our smart-phones and iPads and we'll take a hammer and smash them!


If on the other hand, we decide that the internet does more good than harm, then let us, on bended knee, pay it homage and then go out from here and spread the good news–e-vangelise!


Before the Internet, there were books. Gutenberg's printing press meant that everyone in the world, including you and I, would have access to knowledge.


But many thought that the printing press did more harm than good and for decades—centuries--in fact right up to the present day--books are burned because of the knowledge that they contain.


In school, I remember reading in one of those book, that if my left hand caused me to do harm, then I must “cut it off”. And if I then went off and caused harm with my right hand, I must try and cut that off too?


You see, ladies and gentlemen, life is full of difficult decisions, every day, every hour, every minute we make decisions. Sometimes we make good decisions and often we make poor decisions.


The “Good News” is that we have freedom to choose:


In our world of always-on connectivity:


- We can choose to connect with our children by spending quality time with them OR we can permit the internet to connect to them for us!


- We can choose to have meaningful relationships with our friends OR just network.


- We can use the internet to help us make informed decisions OR we can continue to be drip-fed the information that the mainstream media needs us to know.


Ladies and Gentlemen, if the internet does more harm than good, then we also need to ask ourselves: am I “more harm than good”?


If the internet is causing me to do harm, then I can choose to “cut it off”.


But remember, the freedom to choose is a freedom not afforded to all, so every day, every hour, every minute: let’s make the best decision!



 Written by Bernard Joyce

Published: Wed, 20/05/2015 - 22:39

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