Internet Impact In The Society

Internet Impact on The Society

The introduction of the Internet changed every aspect of social, economic and political approach to life. Previously, cultural and business interactions were limited to the traditional face-to-face transactions.  Exchange of culture and cultural concepts faced numerous challenges when the concept of the internet was introduced into the picture. With the emergence of the internet era, there arose a new approach to how the society performed regarding professional activities and cultural concepts. The Internet now pervades every aspect of daily life. Depending on the level of access to technology that an individual has, there is much to be achieved through the Internet regarding communication, business and cultural interactions. Notably, the social and professional interactions have made the Internet an indispensable element in their accomplishment. The existence of socialization, business and professional social media platforms, internet knowledge and usage has become a must for each. For example, from the professional angle, the LinkedIn social media platform offers a ground for the professionals to interact.  Other social media platform found on the Internet offers a platform for socialization, marketing and sales activities.

Impact Of the Internet On human Interaction

In situations where technology gets to a point where it is self-generating, it turns out to be so intrinsic within our culture that it governs everything that an individual does (Mesch, 2009). For instance, European Conference on Complex Systems et al. (2013) noted that the availability of Google as a resource makes us want to search any piece of information rather than memorizing it. The same scenario has happened to human interactions, as people are more interested in sharing real experiences in social media platforms. Interest in enjoying real life experiences has diminished as people want to share and tell others about their stories in social media than the real life interactions.

Social media websites make up a large percentage of the time that we spend online. Social relationships have moved from the direct physical interaction with the virtual world. Some people have more Facebook friends than they have actual friends (Earl & Kimport, 2011). Moreover, while many of us interact with others in the online sphere, some of us are more comfortable with virtual interactions than physical interactions. Furthermore, the ease of access to information has made it possible for a person to be continually in touch with what is trending in the society around them (Earl & Kimport, 2011).

The Internet is a place where social contact can occur without physical contact. The loss of real-life social contact leads to people living double lives, one online persona and one offline individual. The separation and alienation of human beings from reality is a problem well documented by Virkar (2014). Wilderer, Schroeder & Kopp (2005) noted that the rise of the Internet has led to new forms of interactions and social intercourse, which are not yet clearly understood. They posit that there is an increase in the quality of relationships through the filtering of unwanted advances at a much earlier stage of the process (Marsden, 2000). For instance, traditional dating involves several candidates, finding their likes and dislikes and then rejecting or accepting them (Wilderer, Schroeder & Kopp, 2005). Online dating, or dating through a mobile application, can narrow down the list of candidates at an early stage through listed likes and dislikes. New relationships are formed in social media through the congregation of people with similar views and interests, which Moore & Selchow (2012) described as rendering geographical barriers as inconsequential.

As a result of an excessive use of the Internet, the physical world becomes less important while the virtual world takes on a life of its own (Hauben & Hauben, 1997). This is particularly visible with websites such as the SIMS and second life where people take on a wholly different online persona with their own relationships separate from real life. Social interactions now mostly take place online with like-minded groups of geographically dispersed enthusiasts rather than face to face with people in real life. A group of people who like comic books does not have to be in the same physical location to work as the Internet has made those boundaries insignificant. Moreover, Mossberger, Tolbert & McNeal (2008) observed that some people are also passive online participants rather than active users of technology. For instance, most people choose to get their news and content delivered online. However, they do not always have an inclination to contribute to that content, even though some social media forums are very much dependent on peer provided material to survive. The social impact is such that there is less physical contact more virtual contact (Rosenberg, 2004).  However, there are not always just positive relationships on the web.

Research by Wilderer, Schroeder & Kopp (2005) noted that more people are spending extra time online than in the past. The extra speding has led advertisers to target online forums more than in the past. More individuals are online in a bid to validate their actual or perceived identities. The outcome of the above aggressiveness in marketing products online was explained by Wilderer, Schroeder & Kopp (2005) to have led to the problem at Youtube. Several companies stopped using the Youtube medium, as there was no guarantee that their advertising would not appear next to questionable content such as pro-fascist videos. This had a direct effect on video creators who rely on advertising revenue to fund their content creation, ultimately making them have to change their strategy. Businesses are gradually embracing the Internet because most people are becoming digital. Therefore, carrying out their marketing campaign through the Internet makes them reach a lot of people.

Impact Of Internet To Sharing Of Cultural and Professional Information

Advancement of internet technological concepts happened at a faster rate that the society could adapt to distorting how professional information is shared, accessed and developed over the internet. The Internet has a large number of websites that help the society navigate through our work, study and leisure times (Razmerita, Phillips-Wren, & Jain, 2015). In the ancient times, cultural information was shared through word of mouth, where the elders taught new members of the society cultural concepts (Honneth, 1991). However, with the introduction of the internet, new members of society can learn cultural concepts such as language over the internet. The same applies to the scenario of professional information sharing, where people such as athletes or boxers can learn skills through watching training sessions over the internet (Morgan et al., 2005). The above information shared over the internet has enabled speedy transfer of information and reliability due to the storage capacity in the internet

However, the lack of proper verification of the information being shared has in some cases been blamed for an inordinate amount of fake and culturally eroded content proliferating in the online sphere. As a topic is trending on Facebook and Twitter before it even makes the television breaking news, any fake news story spreading on social media will spread more rapidly (Mesch, 2009). Additionally, the concept of privacy has taken on an entirely different meaning as the individuals are under constant scrutiny over the internet (Porter, 2013). There are many aspects of a person’s life that are not private anymore once they have an online presence such as a social media account. The above makes it much easier for individuals to be bullied or harassed at their professional work setting (Lutterbie, 1997). Cyber bullying is an attempt to assert some form of dominance in the online world. This is a very prevalent problem and has led to suicides in the past. On the other hand, Dainton & Zelley (2005) argued that some online users’ actions are consistent with a want to continually test the boundaries of what is and what is not correct. This makes it more likely for people to get bullied or workmates to get harassment from their co-workers due to exposure of their private lives over the internet

Notably, the existence of the Internet age has transformed the way business is conducted with reference to storage, data manipulation, organization and marketing (Razmerita, Phillips-Wren, & Jain, 2015). There are multiple benefits that have emerged from Internet use, in relation to both personal and business growth. In some cases, the files are stored in the “cloud” and can be accessed from any device or location, given connection. In some instances, Bakardjieva (2010) noted that the Internet platform has enabled the shift of business positioning in the market from brick and mortar entities to the E-commerce or Internet-based shops (Mossberger, Tolbert & McNeal, 2008). This has had an undeniable impact on the workplace and people within them. Some companies do not have physical office cubicles for their employees, rather opting for “work-from-home” arrangements instead.

Theories To Explain The Impact Of Internet On The Society

Social construction and technological determinism are both paving the way in which society moves hand in hand with technology. The Social construction denotes the way in which society adapts to technological advancement while technological determinism defines how society is forced to move in a given direction as a result of technological advancement (Mesch, 2009). An example of the ‘social construction’ experience of technology would be the choice for businesses to conduct all their work online, as well as universities to have online courses away from the traditional brick and mortar platform (Blessinger, 2015). Kuhse & Singer (2006) illustrated that technological determinism has highly affected how people associate with each other regarding business and interms of social life. For example, to get employment in some organizations, one is forced to have skills in operating the social media platforms.

Individualism has risen considerably since the advent of technology allowing us to have social interactions without leaving the couch (Ben-Arieh, 2014). It is also true that websites such as YouTube are more popular than traditional media such as the television. As a result of this, the media landscape has moved to a different format. While the television relies on content produced by the few to be consumed by many, online media rely on content produced by the masses for the masses (Ben-Arieh, 2014). Moreover, people get most of their information online in places such as Facebook and Twitter while the printed and online newspapers have been on a steady decline. The above could lead to negative side effects such as the proliferation of fake news and the lack of censorship (Ben-Arieh, 2014).

Conclusion

The internet has impacted the society through downgrading the value of human interaction and access to unlimited social and cultural information and level of interaction. In a number of ways, the internet has had a huge negative impact on how the society and professional engage with each other. The access to unlimited information over the internet has made it easy for professionals and new members of the society to learn, but an extra cost. The cost of the access to unlimited has led to bullying, harassment, and sharing of culturally eroded content over the internet. The theories of individualism, social construction and technological determinism best explain how the humans have been impacted negatively by the internet usage. However, the positive implications of the internet on the society illustrate that the concept of the web has become an indispensable part of the human life.  Abandoning the use of the internet would be catastrophic c to the level of human relations with aspects to business and sharing of information in a speedy and reliable manner. To deal with the challenges of the negative consequences of the Internet in the society, it is recommendable that government agencies apply regulation of information shared over the internet.

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bakardjieva, M. (2010). Internet society: The internet in everyday life. Los Angeles: Sage.

Dainton, M., & Zelley, E. (2005). Applying communication theory for professional life: a practical introduction. California: Sage.

Honneth, A. (Ed.) (1991). Communicative action: Essays on Jurgen Habermas’s The theory of communicative action. Cambridge: Polity.

Lutterbie, J. (1997). Hearing voices: Modern drama and the problem of subjectivity. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Ben-Arieh, A. (2014). Handbook of child well-being: Theories, methods and policies in global perspective. Dordrecht: Springer.

European Conference on Complex Systems, Gilbert, T., Kirkilionis, M., & Nicolis, G. (2013). Proceedings of the European Conference on Complex Systems 2012. Cham: Springer.

Hauben, M., & Hauben, R. (1997). Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet. IEEE Computer Soc. P.

Marsden, C. T. (2000). Regulating the global information society. London: Routledge.

Moore, H. L., & Selchow, S. (2012). ‘Global Civil Society’ and the Internet 2012: Time to Update Our Perspective. Global Civil Society 2012, 28-40.

Morgan, K., & International Conference on Human Perspectives in the Internet Society. (2005). Human perspectives in the Internet society: Culture, psychology, and gender. Southampton, UK: WIT Press.

Mossberger, K., Tolbert, C. J., & McNeal, R. S. (2008). Digital citizenship: The internet, society, and participation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

 

Rahman, H. (2008). Developing successful ICT strategies: Competitive advantages in a global knowledge-driven society. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Rahman, H. (2008). Developing successful ICT strategies: Competitive advantages in a global knowledge-driven society. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Virkar, S. (2014). The Impact of the Internet on Global Networks: A Perspective. User-Centric Technology Design for Nonprofit and Civic Engagements, 25-40.

Wilderer, P. A., Schroeder, E. D., & Kopp, H. (2005). Global sustainability: The impact of local cultures : a new perspective for science and engineering, economics and politics. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH.

 

 

 

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