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  #1    
Old January 23rd, 2014, 08:22 PM
Kanzler
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The internet is the most free and vast medium of information there ever was. It is not limited by time nor by space, it is both instantaneous and reasonably pervasive. With the digital age, we are the masters of the information receive like no other time before - we control what we want to see, where we want to see it, and when we want to see it.

But at what cost to the quality of our information? It's easier than ever to surround yourself with opinions you already agree with. News can be made convenient, even bite-sized through social media. Even though the internet may be limitless, human attention is finite.

Does the internet free us to the wealth of all knowledge and opinions or is it a tool which we use to (unknowingly) enslave ourselves to our own biases? Does it narrow us or make us more open-minded?
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Old January 26th, 2014, 04:46 PM
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Surprised this hasn't been answered, tbh.

I think the internet honestly solidifies truths we know, and if that narrows our scope of intelligence, then so be it. It's what comes with intellectual freedom, eh?

Some would argue that the internet makes us more open-minded; I oddly have to concur with this as well. Thing is, I see knowledge as a double-edged sword; it gives us the facts, but it's truly up to us on whether we take that knowledge and run with it or ask for more. Interesting it is, no?
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Old January 28th, 2014, 01:09 AM
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On the internet you can either do one of three things:
Option A) Find someone's opinion that concurs with yours and merely adopt their reasoning.
Option B) Find somone's opinion that counters yours and merely adopt their reasoning./
or, my favorite
Option C) Actually research the subject and learn about it before you draw any conclusions. Rather than just agreeing that x is good/bad because of x, learn why people say that and decide for yourself if you think that it is a bad thing--or even true or not.

If you follow the first two options, you'll probably get a pretty narrow mind rather quickly. If you do the third, then you will probably expand your horizons. That aside, the internet in general makes us more curious because we have the ability to actually sate our curiousity. Because of that, we will actually look up a lot more things and begin to consider them. Whenever I am in an argument with friends or family, even if I think I am right(which I usually am) I typically look it up on Google and do a little searching to find out. If I'm wrong, well hey, I can admit that. And I learned somthing new. So I guess a lot of it has to do with your mindset because I know a few people that wouldn't handle the situation in quite the same way I do.

While this might not be completely related, the internet makes us overconnected. We no longer value communication or contact with each other. It creates a lot more boredom then we previously had, that is for sure. Nothing is a mystery anymore. Instead of meeting up with your friends after school on a Friday and talking about how your week went, you instead tweet them: "Pooping rite now" "Eating Dinner" "Oops, I forgot to wash my hands and now I'm sick."
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Old January 28th, 2014, 08:33 AM
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It's all based on how you use the Internet. You can use it to research and discover a clear understanding on a topic and create you down viewpoints around said topic. Or, you can quickly find the answer and not really learn a thing about the actually topic.

It's sad that the second one is normally the one people choose. Even when people are told to write a research paper on a topic, they don't absorb the information, they just skim for facts and just reword them instead of actually learning the topic at hand.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 06:11 PM
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I don't really think the internet itself determines our openness (or lack thereof); hubs of information have already existed for centuries in the form of libraries. Vastness shouldn't really affect this IMO.

It has always come down largely to the nature of the user: what mindset are you going in with? To learn? To validate preconceived notions? To refute others? And so on.
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Old January 29th, 2014, 06:28 PM
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I wouldn't compare tumblr to the libraries of old. At least in libraries you could expect those inside it to have an obligation to academic pursuits and values. Social media, on the other hand... I know of several people who get their news off of tumblr. I also know of several other people who have become internet feminists. I think the internet's made it easier to homogenize what we pay attention to - saturate our communications with information and opinions that agree with our own. To give another example, it's just as easy to like and share something as it is to close the tab or dislike it - a click, essentially. Given people being people, I'd imagine their internet use to tend towards things they like. While it comes down to the individual, people are still people. Perhaps this is a cynical assumption, but I imagine most people end up closing their minds instead of opening them.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Post
I wouldn't compare tumblr to the libraries of old. At least in libraries you could expect those inside it to have an obligation to academic pursuits and values. Social media, on the other hand... I know of several people who get their news off of tumblr. I also know of several other people who have become Internet feminists. I think the Internet's made it easier to homogenize what we pay attention to - saturate our communications with information and opinions that agree with our own. To give another example, it's just as easy to like and share something as it is to close the tab or dislike it - a click, essentially. Given people being people, I'd imagine their Internet use to tend towards things they like. While it comes down to the individual, people are still people. Perhaps this is a cynical assumption, but I imagine most people end up closing their minds instead of opening them.
I agree, most people will. But I don't think you can exactly blame them. Society trains us from the day we are born as to what is "good" and what is "bad." If you don't approach it with a bit of an impartial attitude--ready to learn--from the beginning, then you most likely aren't going to get much out of it. If you go onto the Internet thinking that what you said about a controversial topic is true, and you Google something, or get some news from a Tumblr page you follow that also supports that same belief, of course it's going to only reinforce said opinions. And, while I agree that is how people use the Internet, that is because that is how they were taught to use the Internet. Not so much in a traditional sense, but taking examples and behaving in a way fulfilling the status quo. While the Internet is a tool, it is also a social outlet for a huge percentage of those who use it. Whether it be Facebook, Youtube, or even a website like PC. Due to that, we are still exposed to the pressure to conform or fit in, and honestly, despite what anyone says, I would say that most people feel that tendency at least a small amount. That narrows your mind. I mean, if were pro life, why would you be following a bunch of pro choice Tumblr pages? You wouldn't. Unless you were already an open-minded person to begin with. So if you, like you said, got all your news from Tumblr, you would only be exposed to the news from a probably heavily biased source. If you tried to speak out against anything this biased source posted, you'd get nothing but hate and probably a few death threats or something.

But, if you wipe the social aspect out of it, it alleviates some of the pressure to automatically believe the popular opinion and be liked by people. Honestly though, if you do that, is entirely up to you. The same could occur in a library. The Internet could provide mistruths, but I bet you a lot of published authors do too. It honestly depends on your mindset. You could search for unbiased information, you could cross-reference information from the two different sides, or you could take all your information from one side. On the internet, or at the library, it doesn't matter. What I think makes the internet so exception is that it has so much information so readily available. While a library has a great amount, unless you actually live by a HUGE one, you might not actually have much going for you in the library. I know my local library is terrible, tbh, I think it only has a handful of books from this decade. When I went to high school, the newest books the library had were from like 2005 with the exception of like the encyclopedias or when the book fair came around. The internet has access to so much more information, and as long as you approach it with an open mind as you would tangible information, then you should be fine.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 06:59 PM
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If anything, meeting different types of people has made me aware that people that think differently than I do. As someone who didn't interact with the outside world (or the "real world" if you call it) too much, it has made me realize that my opinions are not premium, especially as I rarely enter debates with my own friends. However that's just my opinion (obviously) and I won't try to defend it.
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Old February 5th, 2014, 08:41 AM
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The way I look at it, there's the web then the deep web. Our mind has been narrowed on the regular web, that is where the government can control our actions and what we view. Things can be censored, and we see everything that they want us to see. Then there is the deep web. According to BBC, 97% of the intent is deep web and 3% is the normal web. The deep web scares the crap out of me, I've been in the deep web a few times and nothing is uncensored. The government can't track you, and everything, I mean everything is on the Deep Web. It's really kind of scary. It depends how you use the internet, you can be shaped into one direction, or you can open your mind and view a myriad of infallible, almost scary amount of information. Conspiracies form on the internet, secret groups meets on the internet. Some of the most famous people havem ade all of their moneyo n the internet! We can control what we see, and we can see it all if e use the deep web. BE careful though, cause once you get a taste of it you can be sucked in.

As humans, we do have short attentions. some can concentrate mor ethan other, and we can learn everything we want on the internet in a theoretical way. I believe that we can learn more from the world. We don't know what the Louvre's really like unless we visit there ourselves. I beleive that the internet frees us to a cornucopia of knowledge. The expanse of the internet is crazy to think about, it is always ubiquitous and will probably always be there. It is growing millions of kilobytes a second. It can be a good tool or a bad tool.

The ideologies we learn off of the internet affect us psychologically and socially to some degree I believe. Overall, it simply depends how we use the information and the internet.
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Old February 11th, 2014, 06:05 AM
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The internet has a great splendor of it's own, and it has certainly broadened my views on issues. I've gained a fair bit of knowledge over the years I've been online and the pros definitely outweigh the cons in this case. Of course there're definitely going to be instances of confirmation bias when it comes to online discussions, but these can be worked on in a proper setting where discussions and debates are open and civil. It is only through this where we can separate the wheat from the chaff.
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Old February 11th, 2014, 02:56 PM
Kanzler
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But what do you think would be the case for most people? Of course we all make our individual decisions about how we use the internet, and of course we can use it to help or hurt ourselves. That's obvious enough. What do we have to say for society as a whole though? My perception of the utility of the internet to most people, is it too pessimistic? Should it be something we address as a society? And how?
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