Serge Bloch / www.marlenaagency.com
Serge Bloch / www.marlenaagency.com

Why the internet is bad for your health



The grind of the 21st century throws up obstacles at every turn. Nikolaus Oliver is on hand with advice to guide you through. This week: why the internet is bad for our health. It's 25 years since a company called Symbolics registered an internet address ending in .com - the first in history. What it started has become a global phenomenon. It took from 1985 until 1997 for one million dotcoms to come into existence. During the following two years the number rose to 20 million. The past decade has added a further 57 million and dotcoms are continuing to pile up at a rate of about eight million a year.

Personally, I sometimes get sick of the internet. Mainly, it's the advertisements that pop up everywhere and the spam (spam makes up 90 per cent of the world's e-mail traffic). Above all, it's the unpredictability: the random outages and disconnections, the way things abruptly grind to a halt and the site you've been searching for freezes while you can only sit and fume. And then there's the fact that every search risks bringing you into contact with mountains of irrelevant and eccentric material put up there by the socially maladjusted and underemployed.

But there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the internet can damage your health. Apparently, 1.2 per cent of web addicts are addicted and this manifests itself chiefly in depression. What's worse, internet addicts suffer much deeper depression than those of us who inhabit the real world. Five times deeper, I'm told, although I've no idea what the unit of depression depth is - surely not fathoms?

The question is, does the internet sap your spirits and make you feel gloomy or is it that when we're depressed we turn our backs on real life and try to lose ourselves in the virtual world and then feel even worse? We just don't know. Some experts go further and suggest that the internet is actually changing the human brain - that we are ceasing to be human in the traditional sense and are rapidly evolving into Homo Interneticus, a creature who is isolated, lonely, distracted and has an index finger that is permanently clicking invisible mice.

Nonsense, obviously, but it shows that the internet causes certain people (scientists, technology buffs etc) to lose their grip on reality. The path to health in the virtual world is not to take things too seriously, and not to let the virtual world interfere with genuinely important things like work, family and trying to get a ticket for next year's Formula One.

The five pillars of Islam
The Year Earth Changed

Directed by:Tom Beard

Narrated by: Sir David Attenborough

Stars: 4

CABINET OF CURIOSITIES EPISODE 1: LOT 36

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Stars: Tim Blake Nelson, Sebastian Roche, Elpidia Carrillo
Rating: 4/5

TYPES OF ONLINE GIG WORK

Design, multimedia and creative work: Logo design, website design, visualisations

Business and professional management: Legal or management consulting, architecture

Business and professional support: Research support, proofreading, bookkeeping

Sales and marketing support: Search engine optimisation, social media marketing

Data entry, administrative, and clerical: Data entry tasks, virtual assistants

IT, software development and tech: Data analyst, back-end or front-end developers

Writing and translation: Content writing, ghost writing, translation

Online microtasks: Image tagging, surveys

Source: World Bank

J Street Polling Results

97% of Jewish-Americans are concerned about the rise in anti-Semitism

76% of US Jewish voters believe Donald Trump and his allies in the Republican Party are responsible for a rise in anti-Semitism

74% of American Jews agreed that “Trump and the Maga movement are a threat to Jews in America"

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Company profile

Name: WallyGPT
Started: 2014
Founders: Saeid and Sami Hejazi
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Investment raised: $7.1 million
Number of staff: 20
Investment stage: Pre-seed round

List of officials:

Referees: Chris Broad, David Boon, Jeff Crowe, Andy Pycroft, Ranjan Madugalle and Richie Richardson.

Umpires: Aleem Dar, Kumara Dharmasena, Marais Erasmus, Chris Gaffaney, Ian Gould, Richard Illingworth, Richard Kettleborough, Nigel Llong, Bruce Oxenford, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Sundaram Ravi, Paul Reiffel, Rod Tucker, Michael Gough, Joel Wilson and Paul Wilson.

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

AGL AWARDS

Golden Ball - best Emirati player: Khalfan Mubarak (Al Jazira)
Golden Ball - best foreign player: Igor Coronado (Sharjah)
Golden Glove - best goalkeeper: Adel Al Hosani (Sharjah)
Best Coach - the leader: Abdulaziz Al Anbari (Sharjah)
Fans' Player of the Year: Driss Fetouhi (Dibba)
Golden Boy - best young player: Ali Saleh (Al Wasl)
Best Fans of the Year: Sharjah
Goal of the Year: Michael Ortega (Baniyas)

Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022

First match: November 20
Final 16 round: December 3 to 6
Quarter-finals: December 9 and 10
Semi-finals: December 13 and 14
Final: December 18


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