How is the Internet reshaping what we mean by culture?
During the 20th century, electricity, the telephone, the automobile, and the airplane made the world more accessible to people and transforming our society in the process. Most people had to call their local bank to check their statements. Or wait for the paper invoice in the mail. The latest score for last night's hockey game were found in the local newspaper. Then came the accessible worldwide system of interconnected networks called the Internet. "The Internet is the publicly accessible worldwide system of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using a standardized Internet Protocol (IP). It is made up of thousands of smaller commercial, academic, domestic, and government networks. It carries various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, and the interlinked Web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web." (Wikipedia). The Internet has changed the way we communicate, the way we learn and the way we trade. Communication trends have changed in the past few years that no one would have predicted. It is evident that the Internet is reshaping our culture and changing the living habits of individuals, the structure of organizations, and society.
Less then a quarter of a century ago, the Internet was only used by a small group of scientist to conduct scientific research. At the time computers would only be found in information technology departments and research labs. Today it is safe to say that the majority of North Americans own a home computer with Internet access. With the Internet in regards to culture and the impact on individuals is quite fascinating. It seems anyone with a computer is tempted daily with opportunities that can be ethically questionable. A teenager for instance who would never shoplift can download music or movies off the Internet for no charge. Some argue, "Change is good" but dealing with such a powerful and compelling cyber-entity that has the power revolutionize virtually anything can be a dangerous tool. "The main advantage of any new technology is that it amplifies human potential." (Gates). With help from the Internet we see more individuals getting involved with cyber-bullying, stalking, and pornography to an extreme level. "Last year in the United States, the initiative prosecuted 865 subjects and shut down 2,638 child pornography Web sites"(DesRochers). However with these implications "the Internet gives people the opportunity to put their knowledge to work and take advantage of greater opportunities to lead productive and fulfilling lives"(Gates). With the Internet it gives many people the ability to work online and grants others to chance to apply to jobs online. With the aid of the Internet the educational system is vastly improving, it gives students the opportunity to look for precise information that they would not find in books, newspapers, magazines, or encyclopedias. It is a doorway to a vast amount of knowledge and with a simple "click" it can spark up anyone's adventure. The Internet has become a hot spot in the world of business because of its rapidly expanding users. Small-businesses and organizations have been concentrating their resources on using this new medium. In fact its common knowledge that the Internet manifests so quickly that it has affected nearly every organization in the world. The Internet is completely changing and revolutionizing the way companies and people do business today. Many businesses are now going online to offer very unique products and services that have never been offered before, changing how the economy operates on a global scale. "Companies already present their products, their services on the Internet and so they get more flexible." (Temmel et al.). With the rise of this medium it gives companies such as Bell Canada and Roger's Cable the incentive to offer Internet Service to households and businesses. In...
Cited: October 10, 2005, April 1, 2005 http://tinyurl.com/cc76f
DesRocher, Rose "Is your child in the playground of danger" Time to Teach, 2006
September 23, 2004 http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/040923/d040923a.htm
StatsCan "Household Internet Use Survey" The Daily July 8, 2004.
StatsCan "Internet service provider industry" The Daily December 22, 2004
Temmel M, Theuermann M, Ukowitz E, Vogrin T "The Impact of the Internet on our Daily Life", 2006
"Internet" Wikipedia Online. 2006. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 1 April, 2006
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