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Internet - Essay Example

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Internet explosion in the present generation serves both positive and negative functions in society. This is with regard to most scholars who show…
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Internet and Political Interaction New information and technology system today has drastically changed the way people relate and interact socially and politically. Internet explosion in the present generation serves both positive and negative functions in society. This is with regard to most scholars who show optimism about the internet, and others who are pessimistic about the effects of internet use in society. Internet is quickly taking over face-to-face interactions in all aspects of the society, including social, political, economic, and social spheres. In the global political sphere, the internet has become as effective as the face-to-face interactions, in providing political knowledge to people, and spurring them to political actions.
The internet has influenced the political interactions of different regions of the world. This includes America, the Middle East, Africa, and the other entire world parts. In America, the transformation of politics by the internet was influenced by the 2006 white house and congressional selections. Internet continues to play a political role in the advertising different party candidates, helping in party fund-raising, and the spread of both positive and negative information. In the USA, both Democrats and Republicans have used the internet in their political campaigns. These have made use of their party blogs, candidate blogs, use of e-mail, and the interactive websites to aid their campaign process. This has been efficient in assembling crowds for rallies, raising money for the parties, and increasing the party preference for people. What has accelerated the use of the internet is because it is less costly and yet it is highly efficient, compared to the traditional methods, which are slow and involving. Howard Dean is known for his use of social media during his campaign for the Democratic Presidential ticket, through MeetUp.com, where he managed to get 190,000 online supporters. Through the internet, Dean was able to raise millions of dollars in a matter of a few weeks. Apart from Dean, McCain also utilized the internet in his campaigns in the year 2000. He raised $6.8 million, and had 40,000 online supporters. This shows that the internet is influential in political interactions today (“Journalist’s Resource” Web).
In the Middle East, there are concerns that the internet highly contributed to the political upheaval in the form of the Arab Spring, which started in 2011. The internet is mainly blamed for influencing negatively the politics in the area, as it has contributed to the sustenance, if not catalysing of the Arab Spring. A study conducted in Egypt and Tunisia, which are among the major players in the Arab Spring, showed that more than 60 per cent of people on social networks share their political views online. Additionally, Iran has the highest number of people on Facebook in this region, followed by Egypt. These post their political views online, which are both negative and positive, with some being inciteful, thus spurring political indifferences and violence. However, the debate on the role of the internet in the Arab Spring continues today (“Journalist’s Resource” Web).
The limitations of the internet in this light are that, currently, not all people can afford the internet. In some developing countries, technology still lags behind, and most have no access to internet. Additionally, the wealthy and the average-income earners mostly use the internet. Internet use requires knowledge, which some people lack, hence, they cannot make efficient use of the internet. Therefore, there is a disparity in internet use among groups of people based on socio-economic status and educational level. With regard to this, the whole population cannot participate in politics online, except those who can comfortably afford the internet.
Works Cited
“Journalist’s Resource.” The Arab Spring and the Internet: Research roundup
n.d. Web. 8 February 2013. Read More
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