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The Internet’s Effect on Relationships: Detrimental or Beneficial The ‘Net indeed plays a convincing role as a surrogate reality for those who become addicted to it. Not only can its users use electronic mail (e-mail), a method of instantly contacting anyone across the world who has an e-mail address, but users can also play interactive multiplayer games from text-based to graphical with other users, browse the World Wide Web to get information on anything they wish, download software and articles ranging from the bizarre to the educational — essentially, Internet users can get anything they desire.

It is conceded any online methods of ?nding information can be used purely for constructive and healthy ends, socially, for people may ?nd many large circles of others who identify with them and strengthen their own con?dence in people. A journal entitled Universal Access to E-mail: Feasibility and Societal Implications mentions that the Internet, e-mail in particular, allows networks to “support interpersonal relationships and facilitate the social integration of otherwise marginalized groups” and “facilitate citizen participation in the political process” by “[contacting] government representatives”.

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The “Civic Networks” study states very clearly, “Concerns that boundary-spanning networks might facilitate a breakdown of community af?liation, or disinterest in local affairs, appear unfounded. ” However, as a study entitled “Internet Paradox: A Social Technology That Reduces Social Involvement and Psychological Well-Being? ” stated, “These applications [e-mail, IRC chat, etc. ] disproportionately reduce the costs of communication with geographically distant acquaintances and strangers; as a result, a smaller proportion of people’s total social contacts might be with family and close friends.

Also, “Other applications on the Internet, particularly the World Wide Web, provide asocial entertainment that could compete with social contact as a way for people to spend their time. ” What it is saying in the latter quote speci?cally is that the World Wide Web (henceforth “the Web”) is primarily one-way communication – the author of a web site is the one talking, and the user only does the listening unless he takes the effort to write that author. In this way, the Web is more like television, and users can end up ?nding lifeless documents equivalent to human communication, since the pure ulk of information on the Web provides dynamic conversational input that other people ?nd in talking to actual humans. Comparing the two studies, it is obvious that there is wild debate about whether the ‘Net is harmful or not. Internet addiction has been a hot topic. The replacement of humans by computers as interactive beings is the main concern for individuals’ health. What feeds ‘Net addiction is the fact that the ‘Net removes all of the social and physical barriers to satisfying desires.

For example, pornography is readily available online, and for younger children and people with low esteem, what had previously kept them from buying pornographic videos and magazines, or watching pornographic movies, was embarrassment. However, while online, anyone, any age, can download as much pornography as they wish without fear of being identi?ed by other people. Whether this is healthy or not is a heated debate, for the most part irrelevant to the topic of this research paper. Nevertheless, the point is made that the ‘Net loosens the restrictive nature of society, a nature which has traditionally protected societal morality and manners.

By making any information available in the comfort of one’s own room, any pleasure or indulgence is perfectly acceptable and comfortable, regardless of the taboo it has outside of that room. Complementing the alluring addictive aspect of the ‘Net is the decline of communication amongst social circles in general as democratic oversimpli?cation gradually nulli?es the credibility and usefulness of religion and faith, and the growing suspicion towards other humans as violent crimes and cases of mistrust in close relationships such as friend-tofriend and lover-to-lover increase.

The “Internet Paradox” article described the societal decay as such: “In an in?uential article, Putnam (1995) documented a broad decline in civic engagement and social participation in the United States over the past 35 years. Citizens vote less, go to church less, discuss government with their neighbors less, are members of fewer voluntary organizations, have fewer dinner parties, and generally get together less for civic and social purposes. Putnam argued that this social disengagement is having major consequences for the social fabric and for individual lives.

At the societal level, social disengagement is associated with more corrupt, less ef?cient government and more crime. When citizens are involved in civic life, their schools run better, their politicians are more responsive, and their streets are safer. At the individual level, social disengagement is associated with poor quality of life and diminished physical and psychological health. When people have more social contact, they are happier and healthier, both physically and mentally (e. g. , S. Cohen ; Wills, 1985 ; Gove ; Geerken, 1977 ). What is being said is that the effect the Internet has on people, which is to say negative, mirrors the gradual changes occurring in American society over the last three and a half decades. American citizens are becoming more consumed with their own well-being and are losing their civic identities and interest, and the physical manifestation of such a loss is the rise in crime, corruption, and decline of con?dence in the country’s democratic superiority, as it pertains to politics, civil law, and the representation of the people.

People are far more reclusive than they used to be, and the fact that social contact is necessary for human beings, collective organisms, shows that we as a societal whole have a sickness. So what is going on is that some psychologists see a link between the disinterest in public participation in local and national affairs and the increase of instances of Internet addiction. But wouldn’t that con?rm that it is not the Internet which is the problem, but perhaps only a clear litmus test of what’s actually happening to the society as a whole?

The evidence for Internet addiction is overwhelming – no one denies that it exists, really, but people argue about whether the Internet is adding that element of addiction, or if it’s just satisfying the longing for interaction that we’ve lost over the years. The Internet removes all barriers that shy people never get past in reality, and therefore they are more comfortable online than of?ine. Some say this is addiction, others say it is using the most convenient and appropriate method for one’s personality. The main element of the argument against the Internet for communication is intimacy of relationships.

Andrea Baker’s research in “Cyberspace Couples Finding Romance Online Then Meeting for the First Time in Real Life” on couples that met online before meeting of?ine sheds some light onto this topic, showing data which shows that relationships online can be just as successful as of?ine ones. The problem with the research data was that it was acquired through voluntary participation, which involves a bias – couples with problems would likely not be as willing to participate. Baker listed what qualities of the people involved were attractive to their partners: “sense of humor, response time, nterests, qualities described online, and … having ‘something in common’. ” The results were overwhelmingly good in favor of online relationships. There seemed to be no lack of intimacy for these couples, and if anything, there was a marked distinction between the initial natures of the online relationships versus of?ine ones. The qualities listed by the participants were qualities which re?ected the characters and personalities of those involved, and not looks or sexiness or anything physical. Intimacy relies partly on physical closeness, but even more so on the spiritual connection the two partners share.

If anything, this shows online relationships can develop even more intimately than in relationships that begin of?ine. “After an initial period of extremely ‘nervous’ or anxious anticipation, many couples became very ‘comfortable’ and had that feeling of ‘coming home’. ” (Baker) This strengthens the argument that online bonds make relationships more secure, because the initial fear and fright of not knowing a person when ?rst meeting them face-to-face has already been conquered online – once you see the person, you already know about the inside, and you feel extremely comfortable with that person in a very short amount of time.

While I know it is a major no-no to include myself, ?rst of all for the purposes of a research paper, and second to include myself as a case study, I do consider my situation appropriate and relevant to the purpose of this paper, to summarize the debate over the Internet. My name is Ben Turner and I’ve been using online networks (Prodigy, The ImagiNation Network, Internet) for what amounts to about half of my twenty years alive. Most of whom I know and correspond with I’ve met through the Internet. In fact, I’ve even met my girlfriend on the Internet, and she lives in Sweden.

We were acquaintances for well over a year, and when we got serious about getting together, we still only met in real life after three or four months of talking online. There was no physical aspect to this relationship until our ?rst meeting mentioned above. We have been together for close to two years now, still living in separate countries, but our spiritual bond is very strong and we’ve managed to fall in love even more, without the bene?t of physical intimacy at our ?ngertips. Obviously, our relationship started and continues to be based on how well our personalities match each other, and the depth of ur love for each other represents an intimacy few of?ine couples even have. Meeting in real life ?rst may have enabled us to skip over getting to know each other mentally and spiritually as well as we do. It is understood that this is merely an isolated example and bears little accuracy for the bulk of online relationships, but I feel it’s important to note nonetheless. While in theory, it seems as though spending one’s time online, “communicating” with web pages and e-mails from strangers, would affect the ability for people to reach deeper levels of intimacy, this seems not to be the case unilaterally across the board.

In fact, the features available on the Internet, e-mail and the Web and the ability to contact political representatives, rock stars, and other famous people, would seem to strengthen the argument for more healthy communication and interaction. Real-life society is more a display of the ostentatious and outgoing, not representative of the more introverted personality types, and the Internet is a haven for these people to ?nally express themselves.

Attempts to attach negative elements to the Internet seem to be a waste of time, applying validity to logically invalid hypotheses. The Internet has long been the place where the introverted and shy walk and thrive, and therefore that should be kept in mind in all experiments done for the Internet. Comparisons made to a more extroverted real world are not accurate. Studies looking into this would have more of an impact on the online community and what it means to belong to it. More and more, the Internet seems to be a scapegoat for today’s societal problems.

What decay sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists have noticed in the last half century shows us that we are a society in dire need of some form of freedom, some way to express oneself without being cast out from one’s niches and comfort zones. The Internet, which, without any argument, is a wonderful technological advance for business, also will play a crucial role in the community of the world in the future, but in its nascent state, it is still the subject of fear and misunderstanding for those who don’t use it very intensely.

It is blamed for today’s problems, as television long has been, while everything it does is inherently good for human interaction. Admittedly, it can be abused and people can pull away from the real world, spending long hours alone while reading web pages and playing games and other solitary tasks. But why should this be a problem con?ned to the Internet? Any hobby or interest can be misused and abused, and anyone can become addicted to anything. What interests you also has the possibility of consuming you if you have a personality prone towards that vulnerability.

Right now, the Internet is too immature and young to be analyzed with any certainty. On top of that, psychologists are exploring the wrong areas and with the wrong motives and predictions of outcomes to really grasp what is happening to individuals who use the Internet. Its ef?ciency and ?exibility aside, the Internet is the one tool that is guiding us where we want to go, which is communication on an international level, so that we may meet those rare people who identify with us, and so that we may gain perspective from those of other backgrounds.

Granted, there must be balance when using the Internet, for it can be both good and bad, but this is not unlike other elements in society, and we must recognize that and begin to look at ourselves, not at networks of computers, for the source of our society’s ills. http://benturner. com/other/online_relationships. php Technology Addiction and Virtual Reality With the proliferation of technological devices and the widespread use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, people are receding deeper into catacombs of fantasy.

Irreplaceable social skills are being lost in the process. Text messaging is no substitute for physical human contact. Despite its potential use as a tool for social networking, the collective use of technology has had the opposite effect by trivializing conversation and by diminishing social interaction. People are more enamored with the technology than the quality of the communication. They are spending huge sums of money on the latest technology in order to avoid the stigma of “phone shame,” when older technology will suf?ce or personal contact is required.

Monotonous chit chat is no substitute for real conversation about the important issues that affect us all. As technology gains primacy, people are forgetting how to communicate with one another. We no longer know how to live in the natural world. Cell phones, IPods, Blackberries, Androids, high de?nition television, and computer games are little more than expensive toys that distract us from living authentic lives. Like pornography, electronic devices isolate people and prevent them from forming meaningful social etworks that might promote revolutionary ideas. The pervasive addiction to complex technology has led to the evolution of a passive consumer culture that is incapable of acting in its own self-interest. It has rewired the human brain and signi?cantly reduced attention spans. As a result, skills such as reading and writing are diminishing. Intricate social interaction is on the wane. People are becoming increasingly withdrawn and isolated from their neighbors and from their communities. They are alienated from nature.

People inhabit virtual worlds because they no longer possess the psychological capacity, spiritual fortitude, and social skills required to live authentically in the actual world. Unable or unwilling to comprehend the implication of events such as the false ?ag operations of 9-11 or the problematic issue of global climate change, we retreat deeper into fantasy. Electronic technology is the opiate of the masses. Taken to excess, technology is a form of escapism no less destructive than the hallucinatory world created by heavy-duty recreational drugs or by hardcore pornography.

Fantasy does not provide us the means of living an authentic life in the midst of nature. Moreover, it has not produced a worthwhile culture of close-knit communities based upon common need with high regard for the public welfare and planetary health. Charles Sullivan, 2010 (http://dissidentvoice. org/2010/11/technology-addiction-andvirtual-reality/) Technology Addiction and Virtual Reality How Computer Addiction Works? Obsessively checking e-mail. Playing online games for 12 hours or more at a time. Placing more value on chat-room friends than real friends.

Neglecting family, work and even personal health and hygiene. These are all symptoms of a new form of addiction that has surfaced only in recent years: computer addiction. Few people are literally addicted to a computer as a physical object. They become addicted to activities performed on a computer, like instant messaging, viewing Internet pornography, playing video games, checking e-mail and reading news articles. These activities are collectively referred to as Computer Mediated Communication (CMC). Computer addiction focused on Internet use is often called Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD).

The various types of computer addicts have different reasons for their habits. Obsessive chat room use or e-mailing might ?ll a void of loneliness, while excessive viewing of pornography might stem from relationship problems or childhood abuse. The matter is further complicated by the fact that a computer is a useful tool. It’s not like heroin, for example — there are many legitimate reasons why someone might spend hours using a computer. Negative Effects of Computer Addiction The user withdraws from friends and family as he spends more and more time on the computer.

Relationships begin to wither as the user stops attending social gatherings, skips meetings with friends and avoids family members to get more computer time. Even when they do interact with their friends, users may become irritable when away from the computer, causing further social harm. Eventually, excessive computer use can take an emotional toll. The user gradually withdraws into an arti?cial world. Constant computer gaming can cause someone to place more emotional value on events within the game than things happening in their real lives.

Excessive viewing of Internet pornography can warp a person’s ideas about sexuality. Someone whose primary friends are screen names in a chat room may have dif?culty with face-to-face interpersonal communication. Over the long term, computer addiction can cause physical damage. Using a mouse and keyboard for many hours every day can lead to repetitive stress injuries. Back problems are common among people who spent a lot of time sitting at computer desks. Late-night computer sessions cut into much-needed sleeptime. Long-term sleep deprivation causes drowsiness, dif?culty concentrating, and depression of the immune system.

Someone who spends hours at a computer is obviously not getting any meaningful exercise, so computer addiction can indirectly lead to poor overall physical condition and even obesity. Ed Grabianowski (http://computer. howstuffworks. com/internet/basics/computeraddiction. htm) How Computer Addiction Works Technology and the Breakdown of Communication Signi?cance • Communication is at the core of every relationship, personal or professional, that you hold in life. A breakdown of communication caused by technology can affect your job, your friendships, your relationship with your signi?cant other, and your family relationships.

Tone • In face to face communication your nonverbal communication, like facial expressions and body language, reinforce the tone of your message. These nonverbal indicators do not exist with technology based communication, making your message more likely to be misinterpreted. Addiction • Addiction to Internet communication (unhealthy daily dependency to the Internet), such as social networking websites and chat rooms, can lead to a breakdown of communication. An addict is more likely to become oblivious to his surroundings, putting his personal and professional relationships in jeopardy.

Written Communication • Often times with typed communication, like text messages or instant messages, users will use abbreviations like “jk” (joke) and “brb” (be right back) in the message. For individuals who are unfamiliar with these abbreviations, the message will come across unclear. Privacy • Carefully choosing your method of communication is crucial for preventing a breakdown of private communications. For example, email is more appropriate for private communication than publicly commenting on a person’s social networking pro?le.

By Zachary Fenell, eHow Contributor (http://www. ehow. com/facts_5772739_technologybreakdown-communication. html) Technology & the Breakdown of Communication The Effects of Technology on Relationships ISOLATION Much has been written about the dangers of Internet addiction. From pornography to merely sur?ng the web, the Internet is clearly the television of the 21st century, an electronic drug that often yanks us away from the physical world. Like any addiction, the real cost, for those of us who are truly addicted, is to the number and quality of our relationships with others.

We may enjoy online relationships using social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, for example, but the difference between these kinds of interactions and interactions with people in the physical world is clearly vast. As long as we expect no more from these online relationships than they can give, no good reason exists why we can’t enjoy the power of social media sites to connect us ef?ciently to people we’d otherwise not touch. The problem, however, comes when we ?nd ourselves subtly substituting electronic relationships for physical ones or mistaking our electronic relationships for physical ones.

We may feel we’re connecting effectively with others via the Internet, but too much electronic-relating paradoxically engenders a sense of social isolation. DANGERS Making our meaning clear electronically presents extra challenges. For example, we write things like “LOL” and “LMAO” to describe our laughter, but they’re no real substitute for hearing people laugh, which has real power to lift our spirits when we’re feeling low. I’ve also observed people using electronic media to make confrontation easier and have seen more than one relationship falter as a result.

People are often uncomfortable with face-to-face confrontation, so it’s easy to understand why they’d choose to use the Internet. Precisely because electronic media transmit emotion so poorly compared to inperson interaction, many view it as the perfect way to send dif?cult messages: it blocks us from registering the negative emotional responses such messages engender, which provides us the illusion we’re not really doing harm. Unfortunately, this also usually means we don’t transmit these messages with as much empathy, and often ?nd ourselves sending a different message than we intended and breeding more confusion than we realize.

Unfortunately, typed messages often wound even more gravely, while electronic messages of remorse paradoxically have little power to heal. Perhaps we just don’t think such messages have the same power to harm as when we we say them in person. Perhaps in the heat of the moment without another’s physical presence to hold us back, we just don’t care. Whatever the reason, it’s clearly far easier for us to be meaner to one another online. Let’s try not to be. Alex Lickerman, 2010 (http://www. psychologytoday. com/blog/happiness-in-world/ 201006/the-effect-technology-relationships) The Effect Of Technology On Relationships

Online Relationships: Virtual Reality, Or Just Reality The story seems simple enough: a married guy spends a lot of time online, meets a likeminded woman, and spends a lot of time interacting with her. This alienates the real wife. That may sound like the traditional “Internet lover” story, but in this case the online relationship is between two avatars, one controlled by the married guy and one by the “other woman. ” While the avatars bear some resemblances to their real-life controllers, they certainly are different in many ways.

And, as is possible in the online world of Second Life, a lot more is going on than two people chatting. They have businesses and property in Second Life; the WSJ article describes how Dutch Hoorenbeek, the avatar controlled by Ric Hoogestraat (the real-life married guy) spent a day building a virtual coffee shop in a virtual shopping mall he owns, presumably where other avatars can hang out and sip virtual lattes. Hoogestraat and his virtual paramour got “married” in Second Life, and share a virtual house. The love triangle has become a much more complex geometric shape in virtual reality.

The “Other Avatar” Unlike many Internet love stories, Hoogestraat has never met Janet Spielman, the woman who controls Tenaj Jackalope (the other woman, or would it be the “other avatar”? ) and apparently has no plans to do so. Hoogestraat’s wife Sue, however, sees little distinction. Though Hoogestraat insists that his online activity is “just a game,” the fact that he spends most of his waking hours online, many of them with Tenaj, makes the relationship as troublesome as if he were sneaking out a few nights a week – perhaps moreso. This one example is illustrative of the complex world we are entering.

Second Life has its own currency, property ownership, and other real-world characteristics. Indeed, many entrepreneurs have ?ourishing businesses and make both Second Life and real dollar income from their activities. Hoogestraat is one of those, operating a shopping mall and a strip club, as well as designing and selling bikinis and lingerie. He upgraded his own avatar with purchases from others: de?ned stomach muscles and hair that moves more naturally. Is it any wonder that Hoogestraat would prefer his virtual-reality self to the daily grind?

In real life, Hoogestrat is 53 and, to put it politely, won’t be gracing the cover of GQ anytime soon. He toils as a call center rep for $14 per hour, and has suffered from health problems. Is it any wonder that he prefers the virtual world of Second Life, where he’s a young, well-muscled, ?nancially successful entrepreneur who lives with a hot redhead in a three story waterfront home and operates a beach club, a strip club, and designs bikinis for a living? Should we dismiss Second Life and other online communities as a fantasy for needy losers? I think not.

While certainly online communities will have appeal for some individuals who either can’t cope with real life or simply ?nd it easier to interact with avatars than humans, many successful, socially gregarious people participate as well. While these individuals are less likely to be addicted or abandon real-life relationships in favor of virtual ones, they may ?nd some aspects of online communities hard to duplicate in real life. Individuals with special interests – hobbies, health issues, technical issues, and so on – may be unable to ?nd others with those interests in their local community.

Anonymity can be important, too. A tax accountant can’t very well call up a competitor for advice on a complex topic, but might not hesitate to discuss it with fellow tax accountants from other areas of the country. And even in a community like Second Life, real people are making real money using their creativity and business skills to sell products and services to others. The bigger question is whether many normal and successful people will be seduced into a sort of online addiction. As popular as Second Life is, it’s far from true virtual reality.

It’s slow, avatars are cartoonish, and still requires considerable suspension of disbelief on the part of the user. As virtual worlds get better, faster, and more realistic, I think their seductive power will increase. I’m not talking about romantic seduction, though that will certainly happen from time to time. Rather, more people will simply ?nd a reality that they can control more appealing than the reality around them, with bills, car pools, screaming kids, and so on. Of course, the more involved one gets in a virtual reality, the more mundane it may become.

The WSJ article describes the “work day” for Hoogestraat in Second Life: evicting tenants who didn’t pay rent, recruiting new ones, doing virtual construction work, even the tedious decorating of individual virtual coffee mugs. At some point, that’s going to seem a lot like real work. Will it be necessary to escape to a second virtual world with fewer responsibilities? Roger Dooley, 2007 (http://archive. internetpronews. com/ internetpronews-76-20070813OnlineRelationshipsVirtualRealityorJustReality. html) Online Relationships: Virtual Reality, Or Just Reality

Technology Addiction Will Lead to Our Evolution- or Enslavement In a post last month, I cited mounting evidence that electronic devices are hijacking the pleasure-creating circuits in our brains, giving rise to compulsive behavior in many users. This has created a growing number of people who become prisoners to virtual worlds while they engage in dangerous activities in the physical world. The results are disturbing. For the past 150,000 generations, evolution has designed our minds, brains, and body to live in only one world at a time.

When we attempt to live in two simultaneously — the physical and the virtual — the consequences can be very serious. The National Highway Traf?c Safety Administration has estimated that in the past year more than 3,000 people lost their lives in accidents related to distracted driving. As a point of reference, in 2009 there were 10,839 fatalities attributed to driving while intoxicated. Texting was cited as the probable cause in the 2010 Gray Summit, Missouri, school bus accident that killed two and injured 37. Texting was also the probable cause of the Metrolink train crash that killed 25 and injured another 135.

And hospitals are having trouble controlling the inappropriate use of electronic devices in operating rooms. In one case, a neurosurgeon who made ten phone calls during an operation caused partial paralysis in a patient. Bill Davidow, 2012 (http://www. theatlantic. com/health/archive/2012/01/technologyaddiction-will-lead-to-our-evolution-or-enslavement/250951/) Technology Addiction will lead to our Evolution- or Enslavement 5 Ways “Tech Addiction” Is Changing Human Behaviour Despite using science and technology to better our lives, we are the real slaves to technology.

We indulge in the need to always have something electronic in our hands – a tool that connects us to the Internet, our games or to our social networks. We’re bypassing the real world to get a digital quick-?x; our work, play and plans for stress release seem to depend on a broadband connection. It’s only a matter of time before the same need compels today’s generations to act, react, think and behave so much differently from the pre-connected generations, for instance… 1. A New Kind Of Danger On The Road Have you ever found yourself checking your smartphone for updates while still behind the wheel?

I do; when I stop at a red light, queue up at a drive-thru, or while waiting to pick someone up. It’s a silly thing to do, I admit, but I’d never do the same when the vehicle I’m driving is moving, but that’s just me. While we’re on the subject, drivers on the road are getting younger and younger; and the cars are getting bigger and more powerful. In many countries in the world, a 16-year-old who can barely hold his beer can legally go behind the wheel and speed 50 mph down the highway. Add the lethal dose of an addiction to their phones, a sense of eckless abandonment, and you have a recipe for disaster. The Impact Well, so many people are actually texting while driving, and getting into accidents that there is now a call by the National Transportation Safety Board (in the US) to ban texting or the use of electronic devices while driving a vehicle. Watch the news report and the video embedded in the link to get an inside view of how dangerous this phenomenon is. 2. The Digital Divide – At Home Individuals at every stage of their lives are now (over) exposed to technological gadgets. Pads are unashamedly used to babysit or pacify rowdy children from as young as 4 years old. Its easy-to-use interface, and colourful, entertaining and engaging apps attract the attention of these little ones, who reciprocate with the need of a constant feed of entertainment, day and night. Try taking the iPad away from the kid and you’ll see what I mean. It’s no wonder that the iPad can easily be classi?ed as a toyfor this reason. Now, fast forward this situation to a decade from now. You see adults sitting around a table in a Wi-Fi-enabled cafe.

Chances are they are not going to be talking to each other, not in the real world at least. At home, ?ghts and arguments will occur a lot more often between spouses due to a lack of communication, and it’s not going to get any better when this generation have kids of their own. Come to think of it, all of this is already happening right now. Technology has slowly eased its way into our lives and formed glass walls between individuals whocan communicate with each other but instead chose not to. As a result, well, you might want to readthis and this. The Impact

The good news is much of the world still operates on a non-virtual basis; the bad news is we are prepping the younger generation to function better online than off. You may view this as a good thing, with the world getting smaller and tech tools getting more powerful and everything, but our youths are not retaining general knowledge in their heads (you can thank Google for that), there is no need to be grammatically correct in textspeak (you can thank the 140 char limit for that) and well, social networks – they open up a new can of worms. 3. Searching For The ‘Like’ Button Of?ine Ever wonder why social networking sites are so popular?

My theory is that we have the burning desire to be the ‘popular kid’. In school, the unwritten goal was to have loads of friends, being able to share our ‘deep’ thoughts, have followers, and to a childish extent, show off the assets that we have – a pretty face, the latest tech gadget, a nice ride etc. Sound familiar? Social networking sites are apparent, virtual replacements of this. You have the friend’s list or followers; you get to post status updates or quotes, as well as pictures depicting fragments of your life or the things you encounter.

It’s like high school all over again, without the classes, of course. The one thing that this virtual counterpart does better than the conservative way is the spreading of information which is as easy as clicking ‘Share’. The Impact These systems have made it so easy to post these bits and pieces of your life online that if you stumble upon anything worthy of posting, you’d drop everything and do it. See a car accident, it goes online, see a dog begging for food with its master, shared, see someone trying to jump off a building,posted. Suddenly, even in the real world, you’re a surfer.

You don’t stop to help the victim get out of the car, actually drop some coins into the beggar’s cup, or call the police to come stop the hapless jumper. Nope, it’s all about accommodating these urges to have the post of the day. 4. All Things Short And Sweet Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. Personally, I can no longer sit through a full movie, which would explain why I haven’t been to the cinema for the longest time… but that’s not the point. The point is I can no longer concentrate on a single task at hand. That does not automatically mean that I am a multi-tasker, or that I am good at it.

It just means that I have too many things, at home, at work, at school that needed my attention. Again, that’s not the point. The fact that I can’t concentrate on one single task for a long enough period, is a source for worry. And I’m not the only one with the problem. And that is the point. We are turning into digital gold?sh! While we’re on the subject of ‘short’ things, let’s talk about short fuses. This is my most hated icon of all time… …because it indicates that I have to act like a grown up and wait. Patience is a virtue, one that this generation ?nds hard to pursue.

And can you blame us? We read news all around the clock, not only on a ?nite batch of papers that contains news that happened 24 hours ago. True, those articles contain more details which are con?rmed and checked through but when it comes to getting the news ?rst, it’s Twitter for us. Straight from the horses’ mouth, 140 chars, and easy to spread and share. The Impact “So4those of u who weren’t payg attntn, 1)our attntn spans r gettg shortr, 2)we hv short fuses 3) we prefr 2absorb reli short bits of info. ” – 136 chars and you can read this. 5. Argh, Matey!

Read this the other day: an “A” student was failed by his English teacher for choosing to distinguish piracy from stealing in an essay. Not sure what to make of it, really, I’m no expert in Internet ethics. But try image Googling “piracy vs stealing” and you will be given a visual guide to the core of the debate. The gist of it was that while stealing removes the original item – like how shoplifting works – piracy makes a copy of the original item but leaves only with the copy. It’s an attempt to differentiate between the two but I’m not sure if it drives the point home.

Not that the differentiation matters. Everyone is making copies of things they didn’t pay for: movie torrents, mp3 songs, e-books, and college assignments. It’s a worldwide phenomenon and even though their lips may say it is not right to do so, their actions speak otherwise. If piracy is stealing, then the world is ?lled with thieves. The Impact If you think that you don’t want to side with the major ?lm or music studios, or major book publishers, that’s your choice. But I’d like to remind you that sometimes it isn’t about the money.

It’s about the credit and the acknowledgement of all the hard work one puts into something: an invention, a piece of work, an article, a music score, an info graphic, a template, a theme, heck, even the idea behind the “piracy vs stealing” image has to come from someone. But when the item is shared, copied, reused, repackaged, submitted or sold by someone other than the creator, it just doesn’t feel right. Pretty much like how a classmate blatantly takes your assignment and passes it up as his own, then gets an A for it (or an award), wouldn’t the feeling make you feel sick to your stomach as well?

On the long run, this would spell an end to originality and creativity, because if somebody else is going to take the credit, why would anyone come up with anything new anymore? Conclusion Despite the gloomy outlook painted in this article, I’m sure that the technology that keeps us connected to the Internet has done much good for our lives. However, do remember who is in control and act like it. When your digital devices are taking up too much of your life, you know it’s time to switch it off and enjoy life unplugged. Singyin Lee, 2012 (http://www. hongkiat. om/blog/tech-addiction/) 5 Ways “Tech Addiction” Is Changing Human Behaviour Technology Addiction “Let’s get HIGH on TECH” In one country, thousands of people salivating at the mouth await anxiously in line. Some have not eaten in days, have forsaken their families and are tired and listless as they wish to meet their daily need. Disappointment awaits their arrival at home, if they were to return home empty handed. Is this some African country where people await in line for rations to feed themselves or their family? Sadly, they await the arrival of a new version of technology.

Yes, man has displayed an excessive dependence on technology resulting in harmful effects for each individual and society in general. “Dr. Ivan Goldberg ?rst theorized the disease of “internet addiction disorder” (technology addiction) in 1995. There is some dispute as to whether Dr. Goldberg was serious when he came up with the disorder or was, as the New Yorker Magazine claims, attempting to play a joke on fellow psychiatrists who were also members of the online BBS (Board of Behavioural Sciences) he’d founded in 1986 speci?cally for mental health professionals” (Wells, 2007).

Though the theory of technology addiction has not been recognized many mental health professionals have argued that it should be included in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (more commonly known as the DSM-IV) due to its addictive and harmful properties. Technology challenges man’s very existence and the harmful effects of its addiction threatens him physically, intellectually, psychologically, socially and economically. DaezDund, 2011 (http://www. studymode. com/essays/TechnologyAddiction-668364. html) Technology Addiction

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