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The Internet and Society: Impact, Relationship - Essay Example

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This paper undertakes an assessment and evaluation of the impact of the Internet on society and its relationship with society. This in particular focuses on the evolution of the usefulness and relevance of the Internet to various aspects of the lives of society…
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Download file to see previous pages igion and the way people relate to one another via the various forms of social media (DiMaggio et al., 2001; Wahome, 2013; Kalathil and Boas, 2003; Howard et al., 2001). This paper explores those and other vital aspects in the context of the structure described above (Boase and Wellman, 2004; Hesse et al., 2005; Asur and Huberman, 2010; Shirky, 2011; Leiner et al., 2013). II. The Internet and Society: Impact, Relationship A. History The history of the Internet is said to be marked by a great deal of complexity owing to the multifaceted nature of its development and origin, spanning organization, technology and community aspects, among many others. The influence of the Internet in all spheres of human activity has something to do with the complex nature of its history too. The early sketches of the Internet, meanwhile, are said to be traced back to the 1960’s, first with the development of the concept of the Galactic network at DARPA by JCR Licklider who was then connected to MIT. Leonard Kleinrock, also from MIT, would create a prior paper on the theory of packet switching in 1961, a precursor technological concept that would be a prime enabler of the Internet. Lawrence Roberts would form part of the team at DARPA who would leverage this concept alongside the notion of the Galactic Network to advance work on the ARPANET from 1966 onwards. By 1972, the ARPANET had evolved to include a number of key enabling technologies that would form the foundation of a functional network of computers that could do electronic email exchanges, among others. Roberts would be instrumental in further enhancing the capabilities of the email application in the ARPANET, which would take off in the next decade after that to become a harbinger of the type of person to person interactions...
This article stresses that the Internet has become a pervasive reality, and one can argue that the dominant position of the Internet as provider of news and entertainment, and of the venues for social interactions via the social media, has implications on the impact of the Internet on the social and cultural fabrics that hold societies together, and shape their future. Outside of consumption of media content and entertainment, the literature too is replete with new social and cultural uses of the Internet, as in the case of the use of social media to bring down authoritarian political regimes, and as a means for people to enforce transparency in government, greater participation in political and social decision-making.
This paper makes a conclusion that the uses of the Internet in society continue to expand and to grow by the day, and judging from the literature, will continue on that pace to become an insistent reality and something that cannot be separated from the very fabric of society itself. The impact is profound and fundamental, affecting the way people relate to one another and to the social and political institutions that govern their lives. That the Internet has become a preferred mode for distributing and consuming news and entertainment content, as well as knowledge and general information, via social media and related platforms, has implications for the central relationship that the Internet has forged with society in general, taking over the place of traditional media channels in print and in TV, which in turn must find ways to stay relevant by likewise engaging their constituents via online presences ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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