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Introduction to Sociology - Essay Example

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Name: Title: Course: Tutor: Date: Social Impact of the Internet Problem Statement Past research studies focused on the Internet basically as a tool for communication with Atwood, J. and Gallo, C. (2011) indicating that as of the year 2000, 90% of Internet users used the technology for sending and receiving emails…
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Download file to see previous pages With this rapid expansion of the Internet in human life, it would be critical to evaluate what social impact the Internet has. Literature Review/Discussion The means through which humans obtain and maintain their social connections reflects their culture and impacts on societal functions. The advent of the Internet has made the means by which social connections would be obtained and maintained infinitely greater. According to Atwood, J. and Gallo, C. (2011), the Internet provides limitless avenues through which people socially network and connect, providing tailored preferences for unique specificities. These capabilities have transformed the social practices around the globe coming with varied consequences. First, the Internet has been key in propagating the formation of social movements that Mohseni, M., Dowran, B. and Haghighat, M. (2008) indicate have been used for Internet activism. It has been used as a political tool to either campaign for political candidates and their ideologies or to discredit their opponents. An example has been given of the intense involvement of President Obama’s 2008 campaigns through the Internet. Atwood, J. and Gallo, C. (2011) indicate that the Internet provides a platform for lowered cost of finding, storage and communication of political information at not only convenient but also timely intervals. On work group effects, the research study by DiMaggio, P., Hargittai, E., Neuman, W. and Robison, J. (2001) indicates that the electronic communication riding on the capabilities offered by the Internet facilitates multitasking. Organizations have experienced transformation as they become more flat and have their structures networked hence more interactive organizations. Though a concern for employees, employers appreciate that the Internet would enable close monitoring of activities in the organizations. The Internet has also been said to provide an inexpensive way of posting information which eliminates earlier barriers like the need to record music, publish books or even film making. As such, the Internet has democratized the flow of information. But Matusitz, J. (2007) warns that even as the players enjoy savings on barriers of entry, the expenses that come with production and marketing still hamper the full realization of the benefits. The social media has been accredited for providing an opportunity for members of a society to interact and share their thoughts, ideas and knowledge. The diversity of the available Internet users provides a rich mine for this. Researchers indicate that the virtual communities formed online provide continued existence even when offline thus the importance of the Internet in propagating socialization. Atwood, J. and Gallo, C., (2011) further appreciate the comfort and convenience that the Internet has caused in networking through sites such as Skype, MSN Messenger and AOL among others. On the other hand, the Internet has been widely criticized for its negative social impact. Citing political polarization, DiMaggio, P. et al. (2001) observed that the Internet threatens to cause tension between social integration and polarization forces. The researchers argue that the Internet would weaken political commons and cultural centers that were created by newspapers and television networks. With the power of choice handed over to the consumer, ideologically inclined individuals would attend only to media reinforcing their prejudices. Despite government efforts to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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