The Advantages & Disadvantages of Personal Computers

By Breann Kanobi

Personal computers, also known as PCs, are used occasionally by most people in America. Many people use the computer every day at home or work, and some spend the bulk of their day sitting in front of a computer. Though the computer makes it much easier to communicate, find information and create documents and slideshows, it sometimes leads to physical problems and decreased contact with friends and family.


A personal computer provides you with the ability to stay in touch with hundreds of people. You can send emails and instant messages or video chat with a specific person for personal or professional reasons. If you want to send a message to many people at one time, you can write a blog or article or leave a post in a forum. Computers with a microphone are able to make free phone calls to landline or cell telephones. They can also send videos, photographs, songs, documents and audio files in just a few seconds.


Because of the Internet, most people are used to having information constantly at their fingertips. In just a few seconds, you can type a website URL into the search bar of your browser and visit a website full of information. There are online encyclopedias, books and user-submitted communities designed to provide specific types of information, such as video game walkthroughs. Offline, you can use digital encyclopedia software or play education games.


Computers provide a wealth of opportunities for fun and relaxation. You can play computer games, watch digital TV shows or movies, draw using a tablet and digital artwork software, create your own video or write a digital diary. However, computers often keep people from more traditional methods of having fun such as playing games with friends, reading books, watching TV or exercising. People with computers typically spend less time with their family and friends and may instead elect to communicate digitally, which does not provide the tone and body language required for effective conversation.

Physical Side Effects

Frequent computer use leads to a variety of physical problems such as wrist soreness, back aches, tension headaches and tight hamstrings. Laptop users are especially prone to problems because they must hunch in order to appropriately view the screen. People who spend all day on the computer are susceptible to tight muscles, strained eyes and carpal tunnel syndrome. Those with a personal computer are more likely to spend all day sitting, which allows blood to pool and can lead to more serious health conditions.

Internet Addiction

Internet and computer addiction plague a small percentage of computer users and mildly affect many other users. Severe Internet addiction may include addiction to cyber-relationships, online gaming, online gambling or adult content found on the Internet. People who suffer from Internet addiction feel anxiety when they are not online and may use the Internet to escape from depression, stress or loneliness in their everyday life. Though mild Internet use is healthy and normal, people who are addicted to the Internet feel as if they must constantly be on the Internet. This often leads to decreased work or school performance or losing touch with friends and family members.