Writing an essay on the internet can help you acknowledge the advantages of the technology as well as reveal the disadvantages to be cautious of. Below are some excellent internet essay topics followed by facts and ideas that will help you create a strong argument. Select the right focus and get ready to wow your professor with a well-written piece.
Writing About the Internet: Essay Types and Topics
The internet makes a great topic for an essay about technology and can be suitable for a variety of essay types. Here are 10 of the most popular and the most exciting topics to research:
1. Pros and cons of the internet. How has the internet changed our lives?
Both variants of the essay question presuppose coverage of both positive and negative aspects with a brief statement of your own opinion in a conclusion. In fact, you may use the same ideas, tuning the response to the prompt you have received. For example, One benefit of the internet/ One way the internet has changed our lives is that it has allowed us to work and hire remotely.
The same goes for the essay question – The effects of the internet on our lives. The meaning of the prompt is the same but this wording is more suitable if you are mastering a cause and effect essay type.
2. Is the impact of the internet on society rather positive or negative?
Unlike the prompts mentioned above, this is a question for an argumentative essay. This means that you should select your stance and argue for one of the two possible thesis statements: (1) The internet has a positive impact on society, some negative effects being associated rather with the misuse of the technology, or (2) Despite certain benefits, the internet has rather negative than positive effect on modern society. Thus, in the body of an essay, you need to present facts and ideas that support your stance and refute the possible counterarguments.
3. Internet addiction essay
Internet addiction will make an excellent topic for a sociology essay. If you need to write an argumentative essay, a good question to investigate would be if internet addiction is a real thing. Discuss online gaming and the fear of missing out associated with social media addiction. You can also write a problem and solution essay, focusing on the prevalence of internet addiction and suggesting a viable way to tackle it.
4. Is the internet making people stupid?
Carr’s argument on Google making us stupid is the best starting point for writing an essay on this topic. If you support Carr’s opinion, the lack of concentration and gradual loss of deep reading skills are the main arguments to bring up.
5. Is the internet the guarantee of democracy or its demise?
Again, this is an argumentative essay topic that requires taking one position only. Writing this essay, focus on benefits such as the inability to censor and conceal important information and ability to mobilize protests or threats to democracy like the spread of fake news and the ability to manipulate opinion of the masses.
6. Should the internet be considered a basic human right?
Highlighting the debate over the right to internet access or arguing for one stance on the topic is a great choice for students who want to stand out with their internet essays. Do you believe that free internet access for all can be our reality any time soon? Will that come at the cost of being manipulated into buying things (voting for people) we don’t need?
7. Should speech on the internet be censored?
People tend to be more eager to use hate speech when responding to news and comments online rather than offline. What is more important: to create a safe space for everyone online or to guarantee the freedom of expression (a similar debate is not taking place in relation to free speech on campus)? Who should be responsible for censoring hate speech and how can we be sure the censors do not abuse their rights?
Consider the blocking of accounts of notorious politicians and the role of Facebook and Twitter authority in deciding which voices can and cannot be heard on the net. Should there be more intervention to counteract the misinformation that some countries spread worldwide (Russia being the most prominent example)?
8. Internet privacy and safe internet use
The issues of cyberbullying, online grooming, cybercrime, and corporate data breaches call for the proper education of people about the hazards of the internet. Should such courses be compulsory at school? For young parents? For employees?
9. The impact of the internet on marriage and sex
Porn and dating sites as well as the availability of educational resources on sexuality matters seem to have a major impact on sexual and marriage life. Is this impact rather positive or negative?
10. Information in the age of the internet
Investigate how immediate access to information has transformed the value of theoretical knowledge and analytical skill. Is modern education keeping pace with societal change and can the internet help to bridge the gap? Are we living in the post-truth era now?
Advantages of the Internet
Here is a list of the benefits of the internet, which you may further research or develop in your essay:
- Facilitates the tasks of daily living from shopping to finding the necessary services, getting medical consultations, and following the fastest routes to our destinations.
- Provides instant and easy communication with family and friends worldwide.
- Promotes research through the availability of vast amounts of data and easy sharing of research results.
- Gives access to new helpful tools for doing business (including the benefits of using online tools, online advertising, working remotely, etc.)
- Gives access to a larger pool of talent for a company and the ability to choose a better employer without having to limit to a local search.
- Enabled online learning resources and forums that boost dramatically the access to education.
- Allows joining communities that are not present or cannot be easily found locally, e.g. LGBT communities, ex-pats, eco-activists, unique professional unions, etc.
- Ability to draw public attention to societal issues and initiate powerful social movements like #metoo and even revolutions.
- Introduction of new types of entertainment.
- Social media and blogging sites facilitate self-expression through the ability to share creative content, one’s expertise, and preferences. [Find out more about the pros and cons of social media from this post]
Disadvantages of the Internet
- Affects people’s ability to focus and concentrate and harms long-term memory functions (not an assumption but the conclusions of scientific research now).
- A constant flow of news from around the world and our own friends can be very overwhelming and increases the level of anxiety. At the same time, frequent use of the internet, social media sites, in particular, leads to the fear of missing out (FOMO) and even internet addiction that doesn’t let us limit the amount of news we are exposed to.
- Is a heavy environmental burden that goes largely unnoticed (see this post for further information).
- Allows online bullying, trolling, and grooming that are more difficult to investigate and counteract than offline attempts.
- Algorithms are created in a way to please a user and, thus, serve the content that a user will most probably like and agree with. This limits our access to different viewpoints and perspectives, deepening the division between groups that support opposing ideas.
- Cybercrime is a serious issue and ever-increasing dependency on the internet for medical, financial, and governmental matters can lead to unprecedented consequences.
- Post-truth politics and armies or bots can easily manipulate the sentiments of the masses.
- Negative online reactions create the illusion of action and make the community feel as if they accomplish change; however, it often only allows them to cool down and not care about taking real steps. This phenomenon and its effects can be best seen from the research on censorship in China that allows criticism of the government but censors content related to social mobilization.
- It is not possible to say that online communication harms a “real” one, as both forms are very much real and make an integral part of our lives now. In fact, much research says that online communication can foster, not harm offline communication. The only documented negative effect is the prevalence of watching pornography, which lowers social interaction and bonding with caregivers in adolescents and is the strongest predictor of decline in marital quality over time.
- Constant computer use during the working day triggers a number of physical health challenges, starting from obvious vision and musculoskeletal problems to heart problems and earlier death associated with the long sitting time.
How to Write an Internet Essay
Here are the steps of writing a successful essay:
- Select a narrow topic or the focus of your essay (previous sections must have helped you with this step already);
- If you are required to cite credible sources, do your research; otherwise, brainstorm the points you would like to make;
- Outline the structure of your essay, briefly indicating what points you will develop in each paragraph or section and how much space you can devote to each (sticking to the required word count is very important so, to make the argument balanced, calculate an average amount of words you can use to develop each supporting point);
- Create a draft of a thesis statement basing on the points you are going to make;
- Search for interesting facts or statistics that will help you write an interesting essay introduction;
- Write your essay using the outline you have created, then reread and revise a thesis statement if necessary;
- Format the layout and the citations and check your essay with one of the online grammar checkers (these will not really edit your essay for free, but will help you catch occasional mistakes and unintentional plagiarism). If you feel like there may be wording and structure issues in your essay, create an editing order and I’ll help you fix that.
Which topic for an internet essay excited you the most? What positive or negative effects have you noted in your own life? Please share in the comments – I would love to know!