Internet and its Impact on Daily Life

Internet and its Impact on Daily Life. The Internet is fast becoming a natural, background part of everyday life. In 2002, more than600 million people worldwide had access to it (Manasian 2003). Children now grow up with theInternet; they and future generations will take it for granted just as they now do television andthe telephone (Turow & Kavenaugh 2003).

In California, 13-year-olds use their home computeras essentially another telephone to chat and exchange “instant messages” with their schoolfriends (Gross et al. 2002). Toronto suburbanites use it as another means of contacting friendsand family, especially when distance makes in-person and telephone communication difficult(Hampton & Wellman 2001). And people routinely turn to the Internet to quickly find neededinformation, such as about health conditions and remedies, as well as weather forecasts, sportsscores, and stock prices.

Internet and its Impact: Historical Context

The Internet is but the latest in a series of technological advances that have changed the world in fundamental ways. In order to gauge the coming impact of the Internet on everyday life, and to help separate reality from hyperbole in that regard, it is instructive to review how people initially reacted to and then made use of those earlier technological breakthroughs.

Impact

On no issue has research on the social effects of the Internet been more contentious than as to its effect on close relationships. such as those with family and friends.

Internet and its Impact

Two studies that received considerable media attention were the HomeNet project by Kraut et al. (1998). and the large-scale survey reported by Nie & Erbring (2000; also Nie 2001).

Both reports concluded that Internet use led to negative outcomes for the individual user. such as increases in depression and loneliness, and neglect of existing close relationships.

Outcome

Analyze relevant critical thinking issues utilizing concepts and evidence.

Adapt a global perspective, evaluate the credibility, objectivity and accuracy of sources of information in order to make well-informed judgement and decisions.

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