How The Internet Is A Black Hole That Sucks It's Victims Into Isolationism

1225 words - 5 pages

The Cyber HoleFor many of us, the Internet is a powerful tool used for research, exchanging files and trading music, or sometimes it is viewed only as just one more bill to pay at the end of the month. For a growing minority, however, the Net is becoming a social magnet, sucking its victims away from real life. For these people, the Internet is almost a second chance at a so-called "failed social life." The Net is a rapidly growing social pit that lures people away from actual human contact, and, in some cases, even promotes the spread of hate; thus, damaging social relations.What can the Internet provide to its users? Well, perhaps a better question would be, "What can the Internet not ...view middle of the document...

Later, in 1990, The World becomes the first Internet dial-up service, which allows common people to connect to the Internet. By the mid-1990's, the Internet had connected millions of computers worldwide (Worldwide np). Since then, the Net has continued rapid growth.According to a study in January of 1993 by the United States Internet Council, perhaps fewer than 90,000 people worldwide used the Internet on a regular basis (State np). Today, however, more than 300 million people worldwide are using the Internet on a regular basis (State np). Five years from now, estimates predict that Internet users worldwide will surpass one billion, with over 700 million living outside Mexico, the United States, and Canada (State np). More importantly, the source of the Internet abyss, Internet communities, is growing more rapidly than ever.The core of Internet social communities is the "forum" (Siegel, Helps np). Sometimes called a "bulletin board", these forums are much more than a place to post recruiting calls for the local flag football team. Forums provide the solid backbone necessary for Internet communities. In these forums, users, under the cover of a screen name, go about their Internet social lives. According to an Ezboard (one of the many forum providing companies) press release, in a mere month Ezboard.com rose eighty spots from 458th most visited web-site in July to 378th most visited in August of 2000 (Siegel, Reaches np). Over 1000 Ezboard, never mind the hundreds of other forum sites around, communities are being created every day (Siegel, Ezboard np). The fact that so many of these communities are being created is one problem; what goes on in them is another.Innocently, users often use these forums as a way to expand their social lives, when in fact they will end up only limiting them. Internet communities do not provide for one trait that cannot be escaped in real life: looks, the underlying form of judgement in today's society. Because users cannot see each other, the basis of friendship formed on the net is personality. But the major advantage of an Internet relationship to a real relationship is that the Internet relationship provides a shield of anonymity. In real life, people cannot pick up and move when relationships go bad. In the cyber world, users can. After users have become accustomed to being able to find new people easily, rejoining real-life relations is often...

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