Computers & Internet: Anyone Interested in Another Article Arguing on Their Sake
Updated on January 30, 2007, 1:19 PM - Written by Tim Buttner
Is there anyone left remotely interesting in hearing about all the different sides on the effect of the computer, the Internet, and those who use them? It seems the issue, or fantasy issue, is one that lots of people have comments on, but yet doesn't seem to be a real issue at all. Although people do argue that the computer and the Internet is an issue. Is there really an issue surrounding the computer, the Internet, and the people using the technologies?
According to Abby Ellin there is. She dedicated an article, The Laptop At My Attention Span about how in college classrooms students are no longer paying attention and surfing the web, checking E-Mail, and chatting online with friends during class. To some it has become a nuisance that spells out the rudeness of this generation. There are some professors who don't mind, and others who do mind. There are students who take offense to the issue, while others don't see it as a concern. Ellin believes that it is the computer-bearer's responsibility to have control and that if, "they can't, here's my suggestion to them: Take a computer to the Metropolitan Opera. Log on. Write e-mail. Check your portfolio. At the end of the night, you'll be lucky to still have a computer" (23). Possibly there is an issue here amongst students who use computers, but the better word is misuse.
There seems to be plenty of people ready to knock the computer for the way people are making it do certain tasks. Apparently now people can practically date right from their computer. Brent Staples wrote about adolescents' addiction to cyberspace in the degree of unsocial behavior. He talked about how when he was a kid, there was his first girlfriend and the interactions with her father. The fear that he tried to impose was a building block for Staples' essential communications with the adult world and gaining an understanding to it. Staples believes that computers and the Internet has superceded this by allowing kids to e-mail, instant message, and online chat each other without having to come into contact with adults. Not only this but, kids can be whomever they wish to be. They can create a new identity. Staples closes his article with, "But teenagers who spend much of their lives hunched over computer screens miss the socializing, the real world experience that would allow then to leave adolescence behind and grow into adulthood" (515). Slowly and progressively issues are starting to emerge in this wonderful technology.
Video games, most of which are tailor-made for computers and the Internet, are another technology sweeping the nation and the issues board. Apparently they are creating anti-social behavior with their violent themes and lack of allowing kids to get outside and play. Go onto the web and find slur of articles describing the downside to games' impact on the mind of young kids and adolescents. Of course that involves you to get on a computer and search the web. Go pick up a newspaper. There is bound to be some article that pertains to this hot-button issue. Was Columbine caused by this anti-social behavior violent game addiction? It seems a lot of people want to point the blame. And these games that are Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG) are also huge. According the article Diachotomy of Online Gaming Effects by g31 (some cyber blog poster):
Most people think of online gaming as a solitary activity for the technology savvy, but recent evidence proves otherwise. Despite the surprising statistic that women over the age of 40 play the most online games, MMOG aficionados are generally males between the ages 18-30. This demographic bracket encompasses college-age students, which the article states as using MMOG as an effective mode of social group interaction.
Apparently this sort of game is something that doesn't create anti-social behavior. This sort of game is causing people to be social, but in the context where they must be at their computer to do so.
The other side of argument is that computers and the Internet are bringing people together in new and exciting ways. Okay, it has come down to the fact that there are issues surrounding the Internet, computers, and the people who use them. Yet, should it be an issue? With the given evidence of unsociable lives, anti-social violent behavior, a lack of morality with the generation using the technology, and everyone who argues against this side, it seems so. This is a strange new issue that seems to have more people riled up and on picketed sides fighting each other and calling the others idiots. When will these people learn to fight about issues that actually mean something, such as our failing education system?
Ellin, Abbey. The Laptop Ate My Attention Span. Ed. Nancy V. Wood. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2007.
Staples, Brent. What Adolescents Miss When We Let Them Grow Up in Cyberspace. Ed. Nancy V. Wood. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2007.
g31. "Diachotomy of Online Gaming Effects." New Media & Community – g31, <http://www.mysocialnetwork.net/blog/410/g31/2006/11/diachotomy_of_online_gaming_ef.html>. November 26, 2006. (January 27, 2007).
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