Is the Internet Good for Us?

Free Essays

“Closeness Is Not Related to Distance” is an advertising slogan, seen at the Blackberry Store at the Hartsfield International Airport. From a subjective viewpoint, has the Internet and other technologies added to our sense of connectedness and well being in our families and communities? The Internet was lauded as the technology that was going to connect the world together with the ability to communicate and work with people of like minds who may live around the corner or across the world.

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When it appears on the surface people are communicating more frequently with their intimate circles and others of like mind, what is the quality of those relationships? We access the Internet in many ways; mainly through computers and our phones. “Residential broadband subscriptions among American households overall grew sevenfold between 2001 and 2009. It found that the percentage of households that connect to the Internet using broadband grew to 63. 5 percent in 2009 from 9. 2 percent in 2001, reflecting increases across nearly all demographics.

The report — prepared by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Economics and Statistics Administration — is based on a Census survey of about 54,000 households conducted in October 2009. ” (Tessler, 2010) Currently, the Internet is the primary source of information. People use the Internet to find movies, weather, traffic information, and for the news, just to name a few usages of the Internet. And that could be considered for all media platforms.

Cellphones are given to children for parents to be aware of their whereabouts and to help facilitate the superbusy lifestyle of today’s family. Computers are expected to be acquired to help children with the increasing demands of school. Schools increasingly use computers for instruction. Increased use of technology in all levels of education are helping teachers in the classroom. From providing additional practice for remedial work to helping a child learn the same material In a different way, technology is needed in our K-12 classrooms.

In the post-secondary world, the Internet has allowed more people to get a college education. The use of the Internet to provide education for busy or homebound adults supports the improvement of the individual and our economy. The development of Blackboard and other online educational technologies helps a person move up the career ladder and provides a more career educated individual to assist in building the new economy for the future. Computers and the internet are embedded in the contemporary business models.

Depending on where you stand in the economic equation, the Internet allows a worker and a company to be more efficient with resources. People can communicate in a time sensitive manner. For example, instead of making a phone call, interrupting someone while they work, an email can be sent. The culture of business has set up this expectation that emails are checked at least once a day, so if a response is not needed immediately, an email can be sent when the person thinks about the issue and the response can be sent when the recipient opens her email on her schedule.

Meetings are scheduled over the Internet or at a minimum over a LAN network. Businesses, organizations, institutions, and individuals are using social media like Facebook to Increase expose and promote their events, services, and products in a focused manner to a targeted market based on friends and their common interests or affiliations. For example, my Facebook has friends from my spiritual community, my past community affiliations, high school, family, and my career field. Not many, but a few are people I have never met and in different cities.

I hear about events in Pittsburgh, Charlotte, and even Columbus. But does the Internet compete with old fashioned interpersonal interaction. In a study, ?? using a chi analysis using independent T tests studying the relationship and depression of low and high use Internet users among adolescents, the results show that low Internet users had better relationships with their mothers and friends, but there was not any differences between low and high Internet users in the relationships with their fathers. Results show weaker social ties with higher Internet use.

The study showed no differences in common demographic factors. The study did not conclusive evidence as to whether those who had already had weak social ties were drawn to the Internet or excessive Internet use decreased social ties. (Sanders, Field, Diego, Kaplan, 2000) Another study by ??? studied 169 people in 75 households in the first two years of Internet using longitudinal data to study the effects of the Internet on social involvement and psychological wellbeing. People in the study used the Internet mainly for communication in the study.

The outcomes disclosed that more use of the Internet resulted in declines in family communication and participation, declines in social participation, and increases of feelings of loneliness and depression. But the studies also examine two causal factors, displacing social activities and social ties. (Kraut, Patterson, Lundmark, Kiesler, Mukopadhyay, and Scherlis, (1998) Using the Internet can replace other social activities such as watching TV, reading a book, or listening to music. But the above examples are passive activities and can or cannot be social in nature.

All can lead to social withdrawal. But the problem is people use the Internet more to communicate than to find information, according to the study? ///. Even so using the Internet for communication eventually led to more intense and longer use. And this longer and intense use led to decreases in social interactions and increases in depression. Though the original purpose of the Internet was to connect people near and far, does it really attach people in meaningful emotional connections. It is a paradox, the Internet helps maintain ties in already established relationships.

It helps family members stay connected through social media, pictures, videos, and email. Long distance friendships are maintained even though people are living very separate lives. It is even advertised that one in five intimate relationships now begin on the Internet. This is consistent with the findings of Katz and Aspen’s (1997) survey that 22% of all people who had been using the Internet for two years or more had made a new friend. There is not any comparison data in this study as to how people are making friends without using the Internet.

On line friendships are more limited as they cannot provide tangible support like picking you up at work while your car is in the shop. On line friendships have a difficult time providing you with completely honest feedback about the difficult situations in your life due to not being present in your life. Though many of us try to hard to be completing honest and objective when discussing the issues in our lives, it is only human to perhaps not present the complete picture. So the context is always slightly distorted. Meaningful friendship is based on constructive honesty.

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