Internet Use and Social Isolation
The article under consideration looks at the connection of increasing social isolation to the ascending usage of the Internet. These two processes are considered to be connected in modern society and most cases of social isolation are put down to the obsession with the Internet use or computer games. The article targets at proving that these two tendencies are interdependent, however, there is clear and profound evidence that although the Internet fosters mainly relationships online, it still does not influence interpersonal relationships of people. Furthermore, in some of the cases people tended to turn online relationships into off line ones.
The clear evidence indicating connection of the Internet use to people suffering of social isolation is that most of the times the later find it easier to communicate via the Internet tools, such as e-mail, and avoid face-to-face communication. This statement has been proved by a number of researches studying behavior of humans in relation to communication and the Internet. Thus, instead of going over to colleague and knocking on their door, people tended to send e-mail or a small text message. Furthermore, every research shows that people spend more and more time online to the detriment of personal relationship.
Nevertheless, the e-mailing seems to be more practical option for the person, who is under close scrutiny. Furthermore, it allows people to send a message to a large group of colleagues or friends at the same time, thus it appears to be more efficient use of time. Moreover, face-to-face communication demands bigger concentration and attention, while online you have a history of messages to remind you about the main issue of the conversation and, therefore, people are able to have a great number of dialogues at the same time.
The most important factor to consider in this study is that nowadays people tend to do everything as fast as possible and everyday life speeds up, thus new generations use all the tools to deliver the message faster. Furthermore, even though people use the Internet as a source of information, a great number of users are online to keep in touch with their old friends and newly made acquaintances, thus avoiding social isolation. Furthermore, they are able to follow the new events and new information about people online, and they stay informed about major changes in lives of people surrounding them.
Even though there is no clear connection between the Internet and rise rate of social isolation, it would be valid if the opposite type of study was carried out. It appears to be a good idea to study whether the presence of the Internet affects personal relationships of people, therefore, the question arises – whether the absence of the Internet would improve the social ties of a person. Thus, the researchers could study the actual impact of the absence of connection to the Internet on communication skills of people. The framework of the research could be as following, the participants should be forbidden to use the Internet for a limited period of time, and their number of communications and the interaction with their social surrounding should be studied.
It is reasonable to assume that the Internet has greatly influenced face-to-face communication, however, the first shift to impersonal dialogues was taken with the invention of telephone. Moreover, the Internet has proved to be a great asset in maintaining social contacts with different social fragments and people of different social status. Besides, it enables people to keep contact and communicate with a large group of people at the same time.