Is the Increasing Use of the Internet Eroding Social Contact?
In the contemporary world, the Internet has exerted an increasing impact on business, science, communication, information transmission and everyday life. However, it is controversial that whether the utilizing of the Internet promotes or erodes social contact. Social contact refers to the acts or processes of having interaction between individuals in sociological hierarchy. In the following paragraphs, points of view of both sides will be stated and compared, and then from my perspective, I tend to support that the Internet decreases social contact for three main reasons. Online activities reduce reality communication, social applications impair Internet users’ passion for real lives and Internet users might lose their sociability gradually. As Stoll (1995) and Turkle (1996) argued, because most of time people one comes cross on the Internet are anonymous strangers, and communications are different from facing to a real person, instead, replaced by computers as medium, so such features of the Internet cuts off the ‘normal’ relationship between people. Thinking deeply, if one talks to a real person face to face, appearance, manners, tones of language, expressions and even distance between two people will all matter, while online interactions change these factors completely. In the virtual world, conversation can be relatively casual, informal, or even rude. In another word, online communication helps people escape from the responsibility of following social rules in the reality. In addition, according to Neustadtl and Robinson’s (2002) statistics research on social contact differences between Internet users and nonusers, several significant findings are on the same side of Stoll’s. During the decade which the Internet alters our lives most dramatically, the proportion of electronic mail raises and other ‘traditional’ ways of personal contact are partly replaced by the Internet. By contract,...
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Neustadtl, A. & Robinson, J.P. (2002). Social contact differences between Internet users and nonusers in the general social survey. IT & Society, Vol.1, Issue.1, pp.73-102.
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Tyler, T.R. (2002). Is the Internet changing social life? It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. Journal of Social Issues, Vol.58, No.1, pp. 195-205.
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