Navigating the vastness of the internet

In the internet universe, there are more opportunities in the cyber world than the risks and challenges, especially when it comes to the direct link with journalism.

“The internet is the spirit everywhere” - indigenous child from Canada.

The study and opinions of the internet are not recent, but always necessary to understand what this “revolution” of the last decades came to install and we can get the best out of it, with the proper filtering, without incurring the dark and obscure character that it also owns. For, human evil - when it wants to - can penetrate and be everywhere. However, there are more opportunities in the cyber world than the risks and challenges, especially when it comes to the direct link with journalism.

In other words, it has the following opportunities: making the printed version known, making access to news more immediate, providing the most up-to-date news, allowing the consultation of archives in the media and other searches, facilitating the echo of readers, enabling online discussion, creating a meeting point, collecting revenue, providing journalists - and other Communication scientists - with new sources and, among others, improving internal communication.

While it presents the risks of “vampirization” of the news, the decrease in subscriptions on paper support (the same with physical books) and the outdated website. As for the challenges, it is necessary to take advantage of the potential and minimize the risks, invest more in the online versions and promote the complementarity between print and online.

One of those tones, of which I am most concerned - in the revolution generated by the incommensurability of the internet -, is its massification effect of (un) information, of removing critical mass to the human being as a thinking and thinking being. And it must continue to be. So many are left, and stick, for the first thing they find in the search engine, without checking the content in general and its credibility. It is folly done in speed.

It should be noted that the internet has evolved as a good and a necessity in the lives of a large part of the national population. While a dozen years ago, only 30% of Portuguese had it at home, currently (INE 2020) 84,5% of households have a domestic internet connection and 81,7% use it via “broadband” (3,6 more , 2019% than in 28, in both situations). However, Portugal is far from the top countries in this EU-XNUMX table (Eurostat jun.2019), occupying the 25th position, led by the Netherlands (almost 100%).

However, Internet users have increased significantly, at various levels. Even - and with this pandemic covidenha -, doubled the percentage in educational terms with the respective distance learning (negative: 60% ciberbullying generated in young people). And it skyrocketed with teleworking, in which 31,1% of professionals thus used the internet, a modality adopted and still in force.

However, it is not only and densely used for work purposes, but also for:

  • Entertainment - just over 80% use it for social networks and games, with Portugal, at this level, above the EU-28 average (4/5 users for 2/3);
  • E-commerce - is the biggest increase in the series started in 2002! Online shopping has grown annually, as well as its followers (34% in 2017; 36,7% in 2018; 38,7% in 2019; and 57%, estimated, in 2020). The Portuguese spent more than six billion euros, and is expected to reach eight billion by the end of this year. All of this is also possible in view of the expressive growth of companies online, with 82% having their own domain;
  • Internet banking - in a global context, which not only in Portugal, the beneficiaries of this type of navigation also progressed: 49% before the pandemic and 57% afterwards (data published in June).

Conclusion: digital has no barriers and the internetization of everything happens at an unbelievable pace. The changes in panoramas and paradigms are both uninterrupted and corrupt, in some sectors (and without moralisms). What can create adverse and complex disintegrations in this dangerous terrain of the internet. Let us know how to rise to the consular challenge and accompany it: it is never, nor will it be, stationary!

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