Ever since its popularization in the mid-1990s the internet has brought about a huge impact on our everyday lives and has already become part of our culture. It has been a primary source of information, communication, business opportunities and entertainment thus it has continued to grown in the modern era of science and technology (clickz.com).
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This paper analyzes the impact of the internet in our daily lives through habits formed and how it has shaped our culture today. We will be examining both the positive and negative effects brought about by the internet in shaping the modern society and culture today by observing daily habits formed through and by the internet.
The internet has greatly contributed to modern society by providing services that allows people to obtain knowledge and information readily, communicate with anyone around the globe conveniently, put up businesses or look for employment opportunities without the hassle of logistics and legworks and be entertained at the comforts of people’s homes.
On the other hand, although the internet has provided people convenience and comfort, it has developed negative habits and behaviours slowly giving rise to a culture being spoon fed by the power of technology. People have become dependent on the internet for information and knowledge that they no longer do their own research through reading books, magazine articles, and or scholarly journals thus becoming lazy.
Communication and connecting is slowly becoming impersonal through emails, instant messaging or through means of social networking sites. The rise of internet scams has made people sceptical and pessimistic over new ideas. Lastly the ready availability of entertainment means of the internet has promoted the distribution of piracy and pornography. The growth of the internet has greatly improved our culture and society today with services it offers in the enrichment of our lives at work and at home.
Primarily, the internet has provided easy access to information and knowledge by anyone at a cheap cost. It has given superior flexibility to working hours and location especially since it is accessible almost anywhere by anyone and allows users to connect via wireless internet.
In this age of wireless technology wifi signals are readily available in coffee shops, shopping malls and offices. The creation of mobile devices such as cellular phones, laptop computers or other gadgets and gizmos allows people to create their own wireless internets through 3Gs. For students educational materials such as course guidelines, virtual universities and groups to scholarly literature become readily available in the internet.
Google has been a popular search engine for almost everyone who wants to acquire information on anything under the sun. The internet has played an important role in both formal and informal education. Second, the internet has enabled people to communicate with others around the globe through emails, instant messengers and social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. It has given rise to new forms of social interactions, activities and organizations.
Through constant communication of peoples from different cultural backgrounds, the internet unifies diverse beliefs and practices from different cultures. “The ‘faceless’ nature of the communication in computer mediated communication may often reinforce the bureaucratic or hierarchical dimensions of interaction (Vioskounsky 103).
Business and other opportunities flourished with the growth of the internet. Almost all top brands from food, clothing even real estate have their own shopping sites or numerous amounts of advertising whether it has something to do with selling or looking for employees are seen all over the internet.
Lastly, the internet serves as a major source of leisure. Many people use and access the internet to watch movies, download music, play multiplayer games in online communities (internetgames.about.com), read the news or connect with other people via forums and social networking site.
The internet has become a part of people’s everyday lives in attaining information, communicating and connecting with others, developing businesses or scouting for opportunities and entertaining oneself. However, together with its benefits, the internet brings along with it some negative effects to society and culture especially in developing behaviours among its users.
The easy access of information from the web can develop laziness and attitudes of dependence among internet users. The internet interferes with a person’s deep thinking that leads to creative imaginations and works because of the readily available materials in the internet (Carr 276) while cyberslacking, recreational surfing on the job, has lead to drain corporate resources. “Ever the killjoys, bosses are taking a dim view of all this virtual goldbricking.
They see it as an insidious, profit-eating virus, costing corporate America more than $1 billion a year in wasted computer resources, according to SurfWatch, a maker of software to police cyberabuse”(thedailybeast.com). It is true that the internet promotes communication with other people around the globe but a strain occurs with the growing impersonal tendencies of internet users with personal conversations.
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People tend to communicate over a faceless chat or email rather than a face to face personal conversation. Most people are likely to shy away from real life interactions and confine themselves to internet forums and social networking sites. Loneliness has been correlated with internet usage (www2.bc.ed).
People most often use the internet as a means or outlet to filter their feelings and share their stories in the form of status messages in their Facebook accounts, tweets on Twitter, personal blogs or online forums. Self destructive behaviours occurs when loneliness coupled by depression dominates internet user’s mind rooting from their isolationist behaviours brought about by their unwillingness to interact with people personally.
Lastly internet harm comes in the form of copyright infringement and pornography. With the widespread availability of films, audios, literatures and the like uploaded in the web everyday without the consent of owners and producer, internet users who take advantage of these stolen goods promote piracy thus the morality and respect for the law of individuals has been put to question.
Another concern is the wide spread of pornography which corrupts people’s minds and ethical values. “The Internet corrupts people’s minds, influences and changes people’s moral perspectives and ethical values. Driven by the profits in the numbers of hundreds of millions of dollars, the pornography merchants have opened pornographic websites, massively producing various kinds of sex information” (Guangrong 3).
In our modern society, the internet has provided services that brought comfort and convenience to our home and offices. However, it has also caused negative behaviour and habits among internet users who do not have discipline. The internet has shaped our present culture influentially making it a part of our daily lives and activities from inquiring information, setting up a business or even for leisure purposes.
Dangers of abusive internet use has gravely affected the lives of its victims which resulted in loneliness, depression and isolation for some users who had opted to shy away from personal interactions while in terms of businesses problems of cyberslacking arises most often in offices where company resources are being drained. Another problem with the wide spread of the internet is the promotion of piracy and pornography which affects personal ethics and morality.
Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains. New York: Stanford University Press, 2010. Print.
Guangrong, Ru. “The Negative Impact of the Internet and Its Solutions.” Rev. of Internet,. The Chinese Defense Science and Technology Information Monthly1998: 3. Print.
Voiskounsky, Alexander. “Internet: Culture Diversity and Unification.” Proceedings Cultural Attitudes Towards Communication and Technology. Ed. C.Ess and F. Sudweeks. Australia: University of Sydney, 1998. Print.
“Brazil, Russia, India and China to Lead Internet Growth Through 2011.” Clickz.com. Incisive Interactive Marketing LCC, 2011.Web.
“Cyberslacking.” Thedailybeast.com. The Newsweek/ Daily Beast Company LCC, 2011. Web.
“The Relationship Between Internet Use and Loneliness Among College Students.” www2.bc.edu. Boston College, n.d. Web.
“Top Online Game Trends of the Decade.” Interntegames.about.com. About.com. 2011. Web.