Internets Social Effect Essay, Research Paper
In our modern society, technology has impacted out lives in almost every aspect imaginable. Our life style has become one of the new eras, dealing substantially with strands of new technology each day. Today, many households contain at least one personal computer. The simplest things have all changed in account of newer, better, faster, and more efficient forms of advanced technology. A primary focus can be taken alone on the impact computers have had in our changing world. To narrow the scope further, I have analyzed the impact that the Internet has had upon people, and their lives.
The Internet is a conglomeration of worldwide networks linked together, which we as users have public access to. In the beginning the Internet consisted of ?four main computers linked together, which they called the ARPANTET?(Shelly-Casham, 7.3). Today, the Internet ranges across the globe, containing information far beyond that of which it?s creators ever imagined. To date, the Internet contains information on almost any subject ever imagined. Advantages of the Internet are its speed, capacity, and low cost. These characteristics are the ingredients to the reformation of our society, as technology advances, people have become more eager to receive the most possible, in the least amount of time for the lowest amount of cost. The Internet has allowed our world not only to expand, but also has added some unique twists to the world we now live in. Today, our society has entered the ?Information Superhighway?. This name is commonly associated with the Internet, as it is the beginning of something that has never been seen before. One can get information and pass it along to someone else in a matter of minutes. People have access to shopping, other people, information and other places. The Internet allows us to increase our communication through channels with others around the globe, share what they offer, and displace if further throughout the network. In addition to these advantages the Internet offers us, there are many disadvantages.
The Internet has bred a new generation of crime, and unconfined malicious information. When a user logs on, s/he has the choice as to the information s/he wants to access. The disadvantage is that there is a huge amount of information on the Internet that if applied incorrectly, could hurt many people. As an example we can reflect upon the mass murder in Littleton Colorado. The two boys who committed this gruesome act had been sharing their plans over the Internet with others, plans that included ?how-to? messages for creating explosives. Other messages they sent contained life-threatening comments directed at fellow peers of their class whom they did not like. These types of usage on the Internet are what have created a new era of criminals.
Not only has the Internet produced a new era of crime, it has produced a new disorder. Internet Addiction Disorder is a condition that gradually develops in a user through time. The addiction begins innocently. At the start, you are not even aware of the possibilities that may form from your excessive computer use. You begin to take an avid interest in emailing with your friends and family. Once the novelty of keeping in touch with your colleges wears off, and researching starts to boar you, you may possibly expand your computer usage to chatting. It is something that is becoming more acceptable in our lives, but it is still looked down upon by many skeptics. Chatting through the Internet involves choosing an appropriate nickname for yourself (i.e.: trout), and then finding a room where you feel compelled to spend time in. Once you have entered a room your fellow chatters may say, ?Hello?a/s/l (age/sex/location) please?. There the addiction commences.
Once you have become involved in meeting people online, it is difficult to break such a habit. There are people whom are logged on the Internet all day, if not all night, loosing sleep, causing disturbances in family life, and loosing touch with other people around them due to their addiction to the Internet. The prevalence of Internet Addiction Disorder has been increasing in number, hence a support group, among many; The Internet Addiction Support Group has been developed. Symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder are as follows: ?A) Psychomotor agitation, B) anxiety, C) obsessive thinking about what is happening on the Internet, D) fantasies or dreams about the internet, E) voluntary or involuntary typing movements of the fingers.? (Goldberg, 12). These symptoms begin to cause conflict in ?social, occupational, or another important area of functioning? (Goldberg, 12). People, who become addicted, use the Internet to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms, which are similar to those brought on by the halt of drug use. The disorder is recognized by the ?persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to minimize the Internet use? (Goldberg, 15). The Internet is rapidly becoming an addictive source to a lot of its users. Users of the Internet include students, domestic engineers, and business professionals. Some of these users spend a ?minimum of thirty-eight hours per week on the net? (netaddiction.com). These individuals ?loose touch with reality and reeking havoc in their studies, family lives, and even their careers? (netaddiction.com). There are three main levels of addiction: 1) ?I?m not addicted-users, 2) the ?I only use it when I have to- user, 3) the ?Internet Junkies? (netaddiction.com).
The ?I?m not addicted-users? are those that try to convince themselves that they are not addicted to the Internet. This group includes anyone, especially students attending college or university who do not go online during the day, to prove that they are not addicted to others, but in the evening spend all their time on chat rooms. Not only is this directed at students in college and university, but also it can be anyone that tries to hide their addiction by say that they only go on when it is necessary for them to go online. The next form of Internet addiction is the ?I only use it when I have to?, these people make up convenient excuses to go online, to try to hide their addiction from others. Finally the last form of addiction is the ?Internet Junkie?. This user is unlike the addicts in the previous groups. This user neither sneaks online, nor makes excuses to being online. Rather, this user ?puts their life on hold while engrossed with their computer usage? (netaddcition.com).
In analyzing the Internet and its offerings, it can be said that is provides a lot of advantages to go along with its disadvantages. With proper usage, and control one can enjoy the convenience that it brings to our lives. Convenience such as online shopping, and chatting to long distance friends, and relatives without the long distance charges. Also it provides us with information at our fingertips with out having to go to a library to search for it. Although, without proper usage of the Internet a backfire of Internet Addiction Disorder, crime, and malicious practices may arise. As the Internet continues to grow, and evolve, so will we as users? developing whatever the Internet shapes us to be. The complete impact of the internet is difficult to assess, because it is still changing, but ?in fact, one of the things that may be lost in the unending stories about the internet, Internet companies and internet users, is that this is really a revolution- but like must truly major changes, it is a revolution measured in decades, not weeks and months, and no one, including the most direct participants, really knows how it will change our lives? (Reynolds, 273).
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