An issue faced by users of the internet, if you understand it, then you can get around it.
How does the world become social and anti-social at the same time? Since the introduction of the internet and forums online, the world began to become sociable through the virtual world, but anti-social in reality.
Where people are more concerned about their online friends then the people actually around them. Youngsters, teenagers, young adults and adults alike, would switch their computers or laptop on the moment they walk through their doors. The mentality that the computer and internet has become such an importance in our lives, have taken the society to another level of a human lifestyle. No longer would we need to physically meet a person to discuss recent issues or share each others problems in life. No longer is there a need to make a phone call or take the time and effort out of their daily lives to meet a friend at a cafe or for lunch. When communicating online take so much lesser time and effort of someone’s life.
From the convenience that the internet offers the society, no longer need to be outdoors to get things done. Companies have email address for clients and customers to contact. Online shopping is so readily available to deliver globally, groceries can be bought and ordered online, with the option of a same day delivery or repetitive orders on a weekly basis. In fact, there is no need to cook either, because food can be so conveniently ordered online , and delivered right at your door step in an hour.
Facebook, Twitter, friendster, Linkedin, My Space are all social networking sites, which allow people to add friends, talk to one another, post messages and keep in contact with one another. ‘Social Networks’, are websites which allow a person’s social life to expand, where a list of five hundred friends or followers may be on someone’s profile. That however, does not mean that they are all friends, the option to be anonymous when adding a friend online is always possible. People are being sociable online, but have become unable to be physically sociable in the real world. The lack of confidence is a major problem physically for many people in the present generation, when at most time, people spend being someone else online, or believe that they can be themselves better through the virtual world.
It is different when a person is given the time to think about what and how to handle and say things online, and find it difficult to face society in reality, without a keyboard, computer screen or chance to type it all out or delete before sending. There are certain things which the internet allows people to do, where they are not able to do in reality. For example, the want to block or delete a friend online takes only five seconds. But to delete a friend in reality is almost impossible, firstly, also because it is harder to tell someone you do not want to speak to him or her again in the face. The computer screen, serves a sense of security for many, where people are in different time and space of the present, and if things get ugly online, all they need to do is close the window, or switch off the computer.
Socializing online means that a person is able to get away with things easily, or so they think. Because of the revolution of the internet, the behaviour of being anti-social is on record high. Manners is something hard to come by anymore, as manners is not something that a person is required to have online, where expression and tone of voice cannot be conveyed through text alone. Although the use of emocons were probably created to serve the purpose of avoiding tension or misunderstandings online, it still isn’t the same as speaking to a person, where eye contact, body movements and real human expression are seen, felt and heard. Words can be hurtful and harsh, misunderstandings through communication online do occur quite frequently. When the wrong words are said to one another online, it can lead to the user taking a deeper step away from society, because of the self-esteem and confidence that may have been knocked down online.
Parents do tend to worry when their children spend majority of their time online, rather than going out playing sports, but this evolution is something no one can stop. In fact, unless a parent locks their child up in solitary confinement with no access to the outside world, it is impossible to stop children from being sucked into the reality of the virtual world. Even without a computer or internet access at home, children are still able to get to these technology at school, friend’s place or an internet cafe. The risks of trying to keep your children too safe, will only result in larger damage later. Today’s technology is not an option, it is not whether we want to choose to learn or accept it or not, but rather, it is something we need and have to accept and adapt to. There is no hiding from the present, and there is no running away from what the future will become.
The best and really only way to handle this, is to accept the present, accept the internet and what it brings. Learn from the internet, teach your children about the internet, make them aware of its purpose, benefits and dangers. Teaching them is what they need, children need guidance, not a dictator. Be mentally prepared to accept technology and what is brought along with it, because only until you as parents accept it, you cannot possible teach your children about it.