St. John The Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Newark NJ

The Internet: Is it an Exit (to Progress) or a Dead End?

The internet is a thing that we, the people of the 3rd millennium, can not imagine our lives without. Could our grandparents only imagine that their future generations would buy food and clothing without leaving their homes, use technology to compose electronic letters replaced traditional hand written letter, or communicate with their family and friends in the most easiest format through the help of mobile apps?

Let us all agree to the fact that, sometimes we do not notice how our hand extends to the laptop or mobile phone to turn them on and see new photos of our friends on Facebook. It is almost already like a reflex. However, how often do we think about how much time does the internet take away from us and how it happens to us?

According to a web design research company “Go-Gulf”, people together as a whole who are in "online" mode on the internet have spent their time “online” for 4 million years. More than 40% of the planet's population are users of the internet. At the time this article was being written, there were 3 798 564 897 internet users, and this rate increases by approximately 400 users every minute. In 1995, however, only 1% of the planet’s population of our planet were users of the internet. When looking at internet users from a geographic perspective, Asia takes the first place of the most users, while the Oceania has the smallest number of internet users in the entire planet.

Today, people use the internet in may different ways: send e-mail, receive more detailed information through search engines, look at the weather forecast, buy foods or clothing at the online stores, read and watch the latest news, communicate and interact with their friends, and etc.

As it turned out, the use of social networks becomes the most "laborconsuming work" for internet users. A simple/typical internet user spends about 22% of his time on social networking sites. An interesting fact about Facebook users is that the average Facebook user "sits" on Facebook for about 7 hours, 45 minutes and 49 seconds per month. At this very social network web page, about 800 million updates take place every day. It's hard to believe, but the average duration of a video that is uploaded to YouTube is 60 hours, and Google daily finds answers to more than a billion requests.

On January 23 of 2016, Pope Francis, after a meeting with the head of Apple Tim Cook at the Vatican, said the following words: "Internet, social networks and text messages are "a gift of God” if they are to be used wisely." According to the words of the pontiff, e-mails, text messages, social networks and chats can also be forms of communication between people. However, “technology does not determine whether communication is sincere, but in is the human heart and our ability in partnership with our brain to use the available means at our disposal”, added the Pope of Rome Francis.

In order to keep up with the times, the church in the recent years has been and continues to try to use the internet in order to spread the Word of God not only through its websites but the church also tries to preach through the social networks of Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Our parish information is also present on the internet.

The internet is a thing that of course is useful; however, let's not forget that it can cause a great deal of addiction. Therefore let us keep in mind that we may immersed ourselves into the virtual world, but we should never forget about the reality of life and the real life around us; there is much more emotion and colors in it.

P.S. - At the end of writing this article, the number of internet users has increased by 26,135 people and presently consists of 3,798,591,032 people.

Father Mykola Bychok, CSsR