How Does Internet Affect Social Life

1939 Words 8 Pages
I. Introduction The research question for this paper is 'what effect does internet use have on social life? ' In a broad scope, technology is created by humans for the purpose of efficiency. The 21st century especially, has experienced a rise in technology, but more specifically internet usage. The internet serves as a gateway to what seems like infinite information, because anyone with a computer (or other devices with an operating system) and internet is capable of sharing information and media on the World Wide Web. Speaking of, internet connection is easily available to a much larger population today. In addition, several social media platforms have been established such as the most common ones being Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, …show more content…
Xiao focuses on the general Chinese demographics for internet usage, and reveals the statistics that "420 million Chinese surfing the Net... almost 32 percent of the country 's population... [which is a] 400 percent increase... since 2005" (Xiao 2010:1). Xiao refers to the message made by Dominique Wolton, an expert on this topic working as "research director at France 's National Centre for Scientific Research," who "cautions the Chinese against "interactive loneliness" and advocates more face-to-face communication in real life (2010:1). Wolton emphasises on the various media platforms (i.e. e-mail, QQ, Skype, Twitter, etc.) that he observed the Chinese population using during his visit to the country. He adds that the amount of use is excessive and despite the vast possibilities of online communication; it is not the same face-to-face interactions. Consequently, this "can make people more isolated and lonely" (cited by Xiao 2010:1). Wolton refers to an online survey conducted by health website '39.net, ' that provided statistics of 43.2 percent of 1.6 million Internet users playing competitive online farming games …show more content…
(2010) acknowledge research that emphasises the negative effect (loneliness) of Internet use. Morahan-Martin and Schumacher draw on HomeNet 's longitudinal case study of 169 individuals over two years by monitoring their activity and respondents ' self reports. The findings revealed that "greater internet use was associated with increased levels of loneliness" (2003:660). That being said, the authors conclude based on their own research findings that making such a claim is too general. Rather, the distinguishing factor is that of the respondents ' normal behaviour behind the screen; or the location of Internet use. In other words, people who are lonely to begin prefer anonymous Internet activities over real interactions, which encourages more time spent online - especially in isolated venues, leading to heightened feelings of loneliness. Whereas, those who are not lonely to begin with use the Internet to communicate with people they know via e-mail for the majority - from more social-oriented venues, thus the loneliness conclusion does not apply to this sub-sample (Morahan-Martin and Schumacher 2003, and Hampton et al.

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