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  #1    
Old September 2nd, 2013, 11:31 AM
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LaVida
 
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Nowadays, most of us use the Internet on a daily amount. It has become a huge part in people's lives and it's difficult to imagine a world without it. Privately, we use it for shopping, sending mails, chatting, but it also has become a huge part in jobs.

Well, the Internet was originally "invented" to make communication easier. Something like an enhanced telepohone, you could say. Back in the 1960s, a network between computers from around the world was unthinkable. No one would have thought that something like the Internet would become possible within a relatively short period of time. Even 20 years ago, only very few people had access to the Internet. Additionally, back in the 90s, the Internet was extremely slow. So even people who did have Internet back then wouldn't have imagined that, in the near future, it will, for example, be possible to watch high quality videos online. To me, it seems crazy how fast technology has developed within about 15 years.

In 2013, it seems like most of us have become addicted/dependent on the Internet. It seems like people don't really think about anything anymore. They just go on the world wide web to get answers for their questions. But is the Internet really that reliable? Wikipedia can be changed by anyone, so malinformation is not so surprising.

What probably shocked me most was, when someone from Google said that their "final" aim was to get so much data from people, so that in the future, people will look on Google when they're wondering what they want to eat tomorrow and what they shall do with life. Hello?! Seriously? They want to determine people. They don't want people to think on their own so that they can order them around. At least that's what it sounds like to me. Actually, I value to be able to make decisions on my own. What about you? And if people continue to rely on the Internet so much, the future Google has envisioned, may not be so far away.

Coming back to what the original aim of the Internet was: Better communication.

However, thinking about it, doesn't the Internet make us grow apart more as well? When I still went to school (which was earlier this year), I usually went there by bus which was always extremely crowded. There were younger children (age between 10-12) and many teenagers.

I'm not that old, (I'm 20 years old), but when I was 11, I would always talk to friends on the bus to school. Nowadays, I see most of the children staring at their smartphone. Not only children, teenagers of course as well. Some still talk to one another but seeing how the bus was always so crowded and many children were on it, it was relatively quiet. Just because they were all busy looking things up on their smartphone.

Going on, the Internet seems like a great invention for people that are shy or introverted. You can talk to all kinds of people online, find friends etc. At first sight, this seems like a great thing. But only, if those shy people actually get up and meet those friends offline. But the Internet seems so convenient (you can sit at home while talking to people online), many will grow so comfortable that they don't actually go out and meet others anymore. This makes people even more distant from one another.

Of course, I don't doubt that the Internet does have its good sides. But it makes me worry at what ease many people use the Internet, share personal data etc. etc. We're so addicted to the net that we don't take into account its negative sides. Actually, I could have mentioned a lot more, e.g. pornography, lack of exercise etc. but I will keep it at that for the time being.

That being said, I want to hear your opinion on what I wrote. Do you completely disagree or do you think that I'm not too far off with my ideas.

Sorry for any typos. English is not my first language, although I do feel I'm fluent in it (: Have a good day.
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Last edited by LaVida; September 2nd, 2013 at 11:37 AM.
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  #2    
Old September 2nd, 2013, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaVida View Post
Going on, the Internet seems like a great invention for people that are shy or introverted. You can talk to all kinds of people online, find friends etc. At first sight, this seems like a great thing. But only, if those shy people actually get up and meet those friends offline. But the Internet seems so convenient (you can sit at home while talking to people online), many will grow so comfortable that they don't actually go out and meet others anymore. This makes people even more distant from one another.
I agree with you for the most part, that is, up until this paragraph. One doesn't necessarily have to get up and meet their online friends for it to be a legitimate friendship. The internet is great for introverts because they can be themselves without worrying about being judged or even physically abused. Many people say "Oh, just go out and meet people," but in reality that's not in the realm of possibility for a lot of people. To be able to find some social outlet is extremely important. Even though the internet may not be a person in the flesh, it is better than solitude (in the case of those wanting to be social).

The ability to connect people is still there. I don't think just because kids get smart phones they stop talking to friends on the bus. And let's not forget about all of the people you would've never seen or spoken too again had it not been for Facebook and other social media, not to mention the people you never would've met.

As for the completely autonomous lifestyle, I think, just like people thought robots are taking over the human race, that this technology won't get too out of hand.

Sure the internet has had a negative impact on society. But I think the positives easily outweigh those. It's almost like the car. More deaths have been caused by cars than one can even count, yet we depend on them.
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Well, I agree with you that talking to people online is probably better than not having anyone at all. I myself am not the most extroverted person and have had more online friends than offline. However, I've also come to the conclusion that actually meeting people and doing activities together is so much more fulfilling. You have something you can look back to. Always sitting at your PC talking to people online is surely not as rememberable. What is life when you spend most of the time staring at a screen?

I don't feel it's wrong to have online friends. However, I get the feeling that the Internet makes people become less and less outgoing. Introverts will never learn how to make real friends if they always stay inside. For them, the Internet may work as an excuse "oh well, I could probably make friends in my town, but as I can still talk to people online, why should I bother and get outside?".
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaVida View Post
Well, I agree with you that talking to people online is probably better than not having anyone at all. I myself am not the most extroverted person and have had more online friends than offline. However, I've also come to the conclusion that actually meeting people and doing activities together is so much more fulfilling. You have something you can look back to. Always sitting at your PC talking to people online is surely not as rememberable. What is life when you spend most of the time staring at a screen?

I don't feel it's wrong to have online friends. However, I get the feeling that the Internet makes people become less and less outgoing. Introverts will never learn how to make real friends if they always stay inside. For them, the Internet may work as an excuse "oh well, I could probably make friends in my town, but as I can still talk to people online, why should I bother and get outside?".
Sure it's more fulfilling to physically meet, and if it's a very strong friendship, two online friends may go out of the way to do just that. For a lot of people though, having this medium that they're familiar with and being able to talk to new people is plenty. If the person has a desire to be social and mingle, I don't think they would sit on the computer all day. And depending on the severity of introversion, physical social interaction could be less satisfying than an online friendship. I don't think the internet is hindering people, but opening more doorways for others. Ultimately those who know they should get out more, either will, or should buckle down and learn how to. The internet can be used as an excuse, yes, but so can a multitude of other things. Those who know they dislike the outside world can find comfort in just talking online, and I think it all comes down to the type of person you are.
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 02:06 PM
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One thing that I think is a negative effect of the Internet is the ridiculous amount of racist websites. Australia is full of hate sites, mainly run by 60-year-old lowlives who are proud to be descended from convicts. One I remember actually lamented that Australia's white population was declining.

Then you get crap like Stormfront, which glorifies the Nazis. Stormfront users are even worse, and some have been linked to hate crimes.

The worst is the plethora of Islamophobic websites, like Faith Freedom International, Jihad Watch, Dhimmi Watch, Westboro Baptist (who hate everyone who isn't them), Bare Naked Islam, and the sites of the English Defence League and Debbie Schlussel. These people are all so annoying and should get punished.
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Last edited by zakisrage; September 2nd, 2013 at 02:16 PM.
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zakisrage View Post
One thing that I think is a negative effect of the Internet is the ridiculous amount of racist websites. Australia is full of hate sites, mainly run by 60-year-old lowlives who are proud to be descended from convicts. One I remember actually lamented that Australia's white population was declining.

Then you get crap like Stormfront, which glorifies the Nazis. Stormfront users are even worse, and some have been linked to hate crimes.

The worst is the plethora of Islamophobic websites, like Faith Freedom International, Jihad Watch, Dhimmi Watch, Westboro Baptist (who hate everyone who isn't them), Bare Naked Islam, and the sites of the English Defence League and Debbie Schlussel. These people are all so annoying and should get punished.
Probably unintentionally, this post illustrates what is, to me, one of the worst side effects of the internet.

Lots of people look for other people to hate, and the internet makes hate easy. The internet has made it just that much easier for people to find other people to hate, since it not only provides an echo chamber for those who wish to hate, but provides an echo chamber, and a notable lack of criticism, for those who wish to hate the haters. So for every hate-filled bigot, there's a hate-filled bigot-hater. It seems that at this point, if I'm not reading screeching bile FROM bigots, I'm reading screeching bile ABOUT bigots. It's either their blithering hatred or the blithering hatred of their opponents, which means that it's hatred either way. And all that really does is increase the amount of hatred in the world.
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 09:40 AM
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The internet is actually just as bad for introverts as the real world. We're still told to make friends and "network" and people we barely know try to be our facebook friends when we'd rather not talk to them.

I think the internet is a mixed bag. In some ways it really helps people, like people who live in tiny towns, isolated places, with nothing to do and not much exposure to different ideas. (Just imagine being a gay kid in a religious town without the internet.) You can learn and grow a lot with just a little info here and there. I'm gonna date myself and tell you that I remember a time before youtube, before netflix, before smartphones, before all that instant gratification. The internet was more, what's a good word, special? It was something you reserved for certain times or activities and it was something you had in addition to what else you had.

Anyway, enough anecdotes. Yes, the internet can be bad when overused and the way it's organized now, with every item you own having wifi and the over-importance of social media, it is designed to be overused.
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 06:08 PM
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For people with some learning disabilities, like aspergers which makes social interaction with people difficult, the internet has indeed allowed them (me included) to communicate with people easier.

And for any people who are living a long way from family or old friends, it offers a cheaper alternative to long-distance phone calls and written letters (seriously, I don't know how much it costs to send a letter, but phonecalls to other countries are really expensive).

But some people are addicted to the internet. Those people talk to their friends online even if they're right next to them or only a few houses away.

Plus, in some places you can choose to be anonymous. This can be good or bad. Good because you can get to know someone's personality without revealing too much about yourself at once. Bad because of the potential for anonymous bullying.


Also, viruses.
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 06:18 PM
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I find it almost as difficult making friends on the Internet as I do in real life now, lol. I wouldn't get too attached to people from online if I were to give advice. I was really close to this girl, I actually considered her a true friend and she stopped ****ing talking to me once she got popular. So much for giving a ****, I guess. It was just as sad as losing my real life best friends, actually. But that shouldn't stop you from forming causal relation and being friendly with people online. And a lot of people say you can be more honest and be yourself, which is totally true in my case. I pretend I barely even know anything about Pokemon in real life and I pretend none of my real interests exist. Most people have to have some sort of social outlet, and if you don't have a substantial amount of people to interact with in reality this can be a significant filler. But really, the better option is always reality.

Off of the friendship page, I think the Internet is the greatest resource of anything EVER :D I can learn so much about any subject I choose, if I dig hard enough I find any book or movie I want, and I can get help understanding school subjects. Really this is a vast trove of learning opportunities, you just have to double check information.

I don't have a smartphone, and even if I did I wouldn't go online at school or whatever. I'd be too afraid of getting caught. But yeah, I see kids CONSTANTLY twiddling their thumbs on those damn phones throughout every class period. Any they wonder why they get bad grades :/
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