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Television vs the Internet

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Television vs the Internet

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  • August 2008
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‘The internet is more fatal to the cohesion of the community than television was in its time.’ The widespread availability of the internet has produced a serge in communication in today’s society. The introduction of television to Australia in the 1950’s could be said to have had a proportionately similar effect. In today’s world the internet enables people to research, communicate and entertain across the globe at the touch of a computer key. However, the internet is sometimes seen, as a technology that contributes to the breakdown of the structure of community. In this essay I will discuss whether, the internet, in introducing a technology that enables the transfer of a seemingly unlimited quantity of uncensored information world-wide instantaneously, has had a catastrophic, and in many ways a fatal influence, in the breakdown of the conventional image of a ‘community’ within society while at the same time contributing an exponentially growing knowledge base to many. The internet has caused societies to redefine the word ‘community’. While the following definition of a community may have been reasonably accurate in the fifties it would not be accurate for today’s much broader concept of community. When television was introduced a community could have been described as “a specific group of people, often living in a defined geographical area, who share a common culture, values and norms and who are arranged in a social structure according to relationships which the community has developed over a period of time.” (Miller, 2002) Additionally, in pre-television times the means of communication were radio, newspapers, books, and letters and in a capacity limited by cost, the telephone. (Flew, Gilmour, 2006) This resulted in communication often being restricted to the immediate neighbourhood, township, and provincial city, State or Nation. Individuals within communities were not reliant on a box in the corner for information and entertainment. They had grown up in...

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