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Internet: Sociology and People Essay

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Internet

Internet has become a big part of our life these days because of the many things that we can get from it from the latest news and research findings to self- expression. We also get to learn about the latest trends in our profession and instantly become fashion chic. It also updates us of our favorite basketball tea, and thespians. Truly, it becomes a great help in the workplace, education, entertainment, health care, and communication. However, the Internet has also served as a venue for the infringement of copyright. Everyone has the access to information which makes it almost impossible to protect copyright. This for of piracy is really widespread on the web. Aside from this, the proliferation of pornographic materials is undeniably one of the alarming things that has brought about by the Internet.

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It does not only corrupt the minds of the young people that are exposed to them but also it paves the way for the degradation of human dignity. It also strains the moral make up of society. The Internet also alienates the person from his social self. While most think that talking to loved ones through the computer screens allows or offers the same satisfaction of social needs just like engaging in conversations personally, there really is a big difference between the virtual self and the social self. This could further lead to addiction which could hamper a person’s way of living and those who are directly in contact with him. The Internet was intended to be used for military purposes. However, due to its versatility and applicability, we have it as how it is used today. It exists as our friend when used properly and our foe when misused.

THE INFLUENCE OF THE INTERNET ON PEOPLE’S SOCIAL AND PSYCHOL Uploaded by nikolovska1 (149) on Jul 8, 2007

THE INFLUENCE OF THE INTERNET ON PEOPLE’S SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL REALITIES

The influence of the Internet has caused a change in the way we communicate, learn and shop. The Internet is probably most famous for the ability to spread information, fact or fiction. We were once limited to news editors of a local paper, then to national cable news. Now anyone can search the globe, visit local papers in foreign countries, and see the views of all sides. This ease of information has also brought with it a large amount of hoaxes, money schemes, and fallacies. There is no question that easy access to the Internet, like the introduction of mail service and the invention of the telephone, has changed the nature of people’s connection to others in their social world. Mail made possible connections among people without physical proximity, and the telephone facilitated communication among distant people, making rapid connections possible across long distancies.

But has this communication revolution changed the pure nature of interpersonal and group processes? On the one hand, since the primary use of the Internet is communication, some people might speculate that the Internet will have positive social consequences in people’s everyday lives because it increases the frequency and quality of interpersonal communications among people. People with easy access to others would feel better connected and more strongly supported by others, leading to happiness and engagement in families, organizations, communities, and society more generally. But, on the other hand, the ease of electronic communication may lead to weaker social ties, because people have less reason to leave their homes and actually interact face to face with other people. The Internet allows people to more easily work from their home, to form and sustain friendships and even romantic attacments from their home, to bank from their home, to vote and engage in political and social issue based discussions with others (from home). In this variety of ways, Internet communications can potentially displace face-to-face communications.

I think this point is important because psychologists in many researches have described and proved such face to face and telephone connections as being of higher quality, when viewed in terms of their contribution to satisfaction and well-being. Reading a seriees of longitudinal and experimental studies (e.x. McKenna, Green, and Gleason), who test a theory of relationship formation on the Internet, these researchers directly adress the argument that the psychological quality of Internet social interaction is lower than is the psychological quality of traditional face-to-face interaction. Consider my own use. I’ve received several e-mail messages in the past hour. My boyfriend confirms the dinner for tonight. Even though it is weekend, my coleagues send me questions about the pending exam expects a quick answer.

So does some graduate student from Europe, that I recently met on “MySpace” with an urgent request for a letter of recommendation. My friend Ksenija sends me an IM to tell me the latest news about her new love. And so on and so on… I assume that I am also living a virtual life, and what’s the most interesting of all, all of my friends online, are also my friends in real life. And if they weren’t that in the past, I somehow managed to bring my cyber friends into my real life, so I could here in my real life enable real communication, real face-to-face “talks”, real exchange of emotions, feeligs of happiness, satisfaction and well-being. I’d say for me, the Internet is a great new way for doing old things. So, what else conclusion can I bring except the one that Internet life cannot stand on itself without real-life communication. It is simple: If we understand the qualities of face-to-face communication that influence the impact of such communication on people and their social interaction, we would be able to predict the probable influence of any new communication technology.

However, researchers show that people sooner or later convert their cyber contacts into more traditional face-to-face, the same as I do. People use the Internet, in other words to help them achieve their real-life goals. And rather than technology’s changing people’s social and psychological reality, in other words, people change their use of technology to facilitate their creation of a desired social reality. Internet users should closely examine their behavior, to ensure that excessive time online will not negatively impact their personal well-being. We shouldn’t throw our computers out the window, but neither should we charge on blindly into complete dependence on the Internet. As with many things in life, it seems that moderation and balance are key to maximizing the Internet’s positive effect.|

The Internet has provided a new medium with which children and teens can bully their peers. While no direct physical harm can actually be done, the rise of Cyber Bullying can be much more dangerous than the bullying that takes place on school grounds. The Internet provides a false sense of safety and anonymity, which means that more and more children are likely to engage in ridiculing their peers and spreading vicious rumors. Children that would never dream of belittling one of their classmates face to face won’t think twice about doing so in a chat room, on their MySpace page or in a blog. How does the expression go? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? As we all know, this simply isn’t true. Hurtful words and false accusations can do a world of hurt and can sometimes even lead to physical harm, especially among people who are young and impressionable. The Internet allows users of all ages, not just young people, the opportunity to reinvent themselves and their image. If they don’t feel accepted at school they may go looking for acceptance on the net, and as we all know, for young people acceptance often comes at the expense of others. What makes Cyber Bullying all the more problematic is the fact that it can be difficult to regulate.

Teachers and other staff are present at school to observe students’ behavior and hopefully put an end to bullying when they witness it. However, more and more young people are being given unlimited and unsupervised access to the Internet, which is more vast a place that we can imagine. Parents who aren’t watching what their children are doing on the Internet, whether its because they are technologically challenged, incredibly naive, or just negligent, have no idea what sorts of behavior their children are engaging in. When most parents finally wise up, they are shocked and appalled at what sites little Ryan has been visiting or who precious little Jamie has been conversing with. Possibly the most dangerous aspect of the Internet is the way that it encourages dangerous and hurtful behavior.

Young girls are praised for posting inappropriate and revealing photographs of themselves and ridicule and rumors among classmates are answered and supported with even more hurtful behavior. It is up to society as a whole to help bring this problem of children and the Internet under control. The Internet is a wonderful tool, don’t get me wrong, but it is very hard to regulate and it is very easy for children too obtain a myriad of images and information that should not be seen by their impressionable eyes. Unfortunately, many parents are naive to this problem and refuse to believe that their children would get involved in anything dangerous or inappropriate on the Internet. Programs and other tools are available to help parents monitor their children’s Internet usage, but these alone are not enough.

Young people today are more likely to know more about these devices than their parents, and often can find ways to bypass them. Therefore, you also need to be limiting the total amount of time that your children spend on the Internet each day and know what sort of access and supervision is taking place when they are visiting friends. Never, ever, allow children to have a computer in their room or their own laptop. The computer that your children use should always be in a main and heavily trafficked room of the house, where you can keep a watchful eye on their activity. It is up to you to help make this world a safer place for your children and you cannot underestimate the danger that is lurking in your very own home every time they sit down in front of the computer.

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