Being Online is RUINING our Planet AND our Health…

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

I've spent my morning watching Dispatches on catch up and it shocked me how much time we spend online, every day.

It’s not something we really tend to think about because we spend ALL of our lives online.

Our phones now tell us our ‘screen time’, our TV is watched on catch up services like BBC iplayer, 4OD, My5, hayu, NowTV, even Netflix. We even shop online for clothes, food, holidays, Christmas, we do online banking, we share our lives via TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat….even children are asked to submit their homework online. We’ve become an online society, even more so now since Lockdown in March.

The video clip below is that very Dispatches documentary....

Business meetings are held online with ZOOM, College and University lectures are virtual, even kids school lessons have been replaced by celebrities doing online learning…but how much of this is ruining our planet?

The answer…..pretty much ALL of it!!!

According to Dispatches we are constantly consuming data, which means we constantly need to be connected to a server. Those servers become data fields….HUGE buildings filled with racks and racks of servers consuming enough electricity in one day to supply 5 African countries with electricity ANNUALLY.

Facebook encourages people to create communities, go LIVE, post in their marketplace like Gumtree, join groups and make friends…..meaning you are CONSTANTLY updated by notifications, but for all of these notifications, LIVES, photos, videos, TV clips, music etc how much electricity does it use???

FACT: Facebook’s electricity use has increased in recent years as newer data centres have come online. In 2019, the company's electricity usage reached 5.1 terawatt hours, a significant increase from the previous year. Facebook has set goals to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent in 2020. In recent years, the company was able to separate growth in the business from increased emissions, reducing their greenhouse gases from the previous year. The technology company is also aware of its water consumption and has committed to a circular system that allows for the reuse of water consumed. By analysing their value chain and implementing changes into the supply chain, Facebook has been able to mitigate emissions from their operations.

FACT: Facebook is also moving towards using more renewable energy with a goal of reaching 100 percent renewable energy to support facilities by 2020. As Facebook builds new data centres, the company strives to add renewable energy to the electric grid and the facilities. This establishment of renewables also allows other nearby businesses to have the option to use renewable energy. Facebook is one of the largest corporate purchasers of renewable energy worldwide.

The above chart is an ‘expected case’ projection on electricity consumption up to 2030 where there is a MASSIVE increase in data centre electricity usage.

Already, data centres use an estimated 200 terawatt hours (TWh) each year. That is more than the national energy consumption of some countries, including Iran, but half of the electricity used for transport worldwide, and just 1% of global electricity demand. Data centres contribute around 0.3% to overall carbon emissions, whereas the information and communications technology (ICT) ecosystem as a whole — under a sweeping definition that encompasses personal digital devices, mobile-phone networks and televisions — accounts for more than 2% of global emissions.

That puts ICT’s carbon footprint on a par with the aviation industry’s emissions from fuel.

What’s worrying…and has appeared more and more on our TV for a number of months…is this Amazon advert...

They claim that by 2040 they want to be carbon zero negative.

But, is 2040 too late??? That’s another 2 generations….so, your children’s children will only begin to feel the benefit when they are young adults.

So what does Carbon Zero Negative mean?

One widely used definition is “achieving an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere of the earth”.

How does TOO MUCH Internet usage affect our health?

Using too much Internet can cause:

  • Brain Damage

  • Anxiety,

  • Addiction,

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Suicide (cyberbullying & trolling)

  • Relationship issues

So, when is enough, enough? Should we be setting a time limit on the amount of time we and our children use the internet?


There's only so much Internet we should be consuming every day, maybe it's time to put your phone down and switch off for the night.

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