Effects of Internet on Culture
Effects of Internet on Culture
Culture is the composition of values, beliefs, and systems of doing things in a particular society. Apparently, different communities have distinct cultures that are unique to them. The culture of society can be categorized broadly into four perspectives. These include learning of the values, participating in rituals, embracing the use of various symbols and signs, and modeling the societal heroes. It is imperative to note that the development of culture is mainly contingent upon the family structures, religious affiliation, schools attended, political systems as well as technological advancements such as the internet. The latter has been the major factor that has affected the lives of many youths and teenagers and even led to the emergence of new cultures in online communities. Thus, the internet has manipulated most of the existing cultures leading to numerous social implications.
Typically, there are unique cultures all over the globe. This implies that there are things that a society in one part of the world engages while the same activity is taboo in another society or completely unheard of. The internet has been used creatively by some people so as to promote their cultural predisposition while appreciating the cultural diversity across the globe. For instance, the native Indians in the United States have cultural festivities that are advertised widely through the social media as a sign of pride. Moreover, the Chinese advertise about their native cuisine through the internet, and many people are getting attend the events.
However, the internet has over time influenced people into adopting the various lifestyles that are not typical in their societies. This process is called cultural homogenization where most of the aspects are spread very fast over the internet and alter the beliefs and values of not only individuals but almost an entire generation. As such, the multiculturalism that existed in the past decade has slowly faded away in the wake of online sharing of information. As a result, most of the youth and teenagers have been accustomed to the online culture where they get their inspiration and lifestyle aspirations. For instance, entertainment genres have been reduced significantly into fewer categories. Additionally, homogeneity of culture has helped in understanding foreign values thereby leading to reduced cases of stereotyping as well as a misconception of people.
Notably, there are also negative aspects associated with cultural homogeneity. First, the majority are led a minority that is powerful and has an influence on what reaches the online community. As such, most people do not adapt to the cultures voluntarily but through undue influence. Those who choose not to comply with the proposed norm are deemed uncivilized and unfit in the modern world (You 714). This makes people forfeit the genuine and well-guided cultures and engage synthetic and often immoral culture. Additionally, the oneness of culture culminates into myopic view of the world and hampers individual’s capacity to think independently. Notably, the negative implications of cultural homogeneity overshadow the benefits; therefore, the internet is detrimental to the diversity of cultures.
The Internet has been praised for how it has made the work easier in schools, business world and among other sectors. However, there has been a hot debate regarding the creativity of people during the inception of the internet. According to the proponents, the internet has changed the people’s way of thinking and diminished their creativity. More so, Carr postulates that although the internet has become a multipurpose medium for most of us, it comes with the reward of chipping away the concentration and contemplation capacity (Carr 13). In the past, most inventions were stimulated by necessity. For instance, the invention of the printing press and photocopiers were necessitated by the tedious work of writing and rewriting of the same document severally. These needs have stimulated the creativity of coming up with various technologies that are existing today (Shiu 221). However, this has not been the case in the recent decades. Many people including have relied heavy on the internet hence hindering their creativity. For example, several students are finding it difficult to write a creative essay without the help of the internet. Consequently, this has led to the culture of plagiarism where the students are copying other peoples’ work directly from the internet. On the other hand, the opponents of the debate claim that the internet has enhanced creativity. This has been exhibited by how people have developed various ways of utilizing the internet. For instance, banks have come up with internet banking which has enabled banking in at the comfort of your house or office. Thus, the internet has changed the banking sector and among other areas in the economy. However, even though various creative ways of doing things have been invented, other accompanying vices have also grown such as hacking which has been a major problem in the world today.
Furthermore, the internet has significantly eroded the moral values of various people and culture. Due to high accessibility of internet from almost all parts of the word, all kinds of materials and information is being posted on the internet. Likewise, all people across every age group can now access the internet either through the net or smartphones. Thus, due to the subversive materials which are posted on the internet such as pornography, bomb recipe and among others, they have played a major role in eroding and corrupting people especially children regarding their way of thinking. Moreover, the obscene pictures which they stream on the internet affect their concentration even in school hence affecting their performance (The Telegraph 1). Also, individuals watching these materials such as pornography may be stimulated to practices what they watch thus infringing on their moral values. Furthermore, the recipe for making explosives posted on the internet may be disastrous since ill minded people may use this information to make explosive which may harm people eventually. Additionally, materials such as clothes that are posted on the internet may contribute in eroding the culture of various communities. For instance, people in developing countries have emulated the dress code in the developed countries thus affecting their way of living since some of the dresses are indecent in according to their culture. Moreover, the internet has facilitated other immoral behaviors such as cyber bullying which has even resulted in the death of individuals. The cyber bullying vice is common in schools where one student exposes the secret of another student on the internet leading to adverse effects such as discrimination, racism, and suicides among other effects.
Another effect that internet has had especially in the young people is the reading culture. The intellectual survival of all of us depends on the ability to access and synthesize information through the written form. Typically, books, as well as the print media, are the most common forms through which information is relayed either in academia or government transactions. As such, it is imperative that the reading culture is maintained to help in enhance the quality of language as well as retain an interest in seeking information. Nevertheless, the internet has drowned reading of hard copy materials, and the academic life of many youths has been on the receiving end. Reading habits have changed drastically due to the amount of time spent on the internet gathering often unnecessary information. The youths have development addiction-like attachment to the electronic gadgets, and they rarely spend a substantial amount of time reading. As such, it is apparent that most of the students do not read to gain relevant information necessary for advancing their lives but read merely for passing their examinations.
Consequently, it is important to note that the reading culture is jeopardized. This is because even the parents and the guardians are not interested in promoting reading and hence there is a proportion of cultural rot that can be explained by the failure to read. Therefore, reading should be embraced as among the most urgent reinstatements that are needed. This is because active reading from hard copy materials has a better outcome compared to the passive reading through online resources. This is in concurrence with Carr’s assertion that despite the fact that the net is very helpful in sourcing reading materials, there is a price attached to it, the price of reduced concentration as well as contemplation (Carr 13).
In conclusion, the internet has various effects across all aspects of the culture ranging from moral values, education, and homogeneity of cultures to creativity of people. In this regard, it is evident that the internet plays a major role in influencing people way of thinking hence affecting the creativity and reading. Moreover, due to the availability of a variety of information about various cultures, people are copying others culture and thus homogenizing the culture across the world. Therefore, this has resulted in the loss of some tradition and way of life among people. Additionally, it is vivid that the internet has eroded people’s’ moral due to the present of subversive materials such as pornography. However, the internet has various positive effects on culture since it provides resource materials for reading, promotion of cultures and among other benefits.
Carr, Nicholas. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. New York: W. W. Norton, 2011. Print
Shiu, Eric. Creativity Research: An Inter-Disciplinary and Multi-Disciplinary Research Handbook. London: Routledge, 2014. Print
The Telegraph. “Twitter and Facebook Could Harm Moral Values, Scientists Warn.” Telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph. 13 Apr 2009. Web. 11 Apr 2016.
You, Jong-sung. “Social Trust: Fairness Matters More Than Homogeneity.” Political Psychology. 33.5 (2012): 701-721. Print
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