Young people spend a lot of hours daily in browsing the Internet as well as using social media sites. Examples of activities that young people do online include checking emails, the social network site, or watching music videos in YouTube. The modern technological breakthroughs have infiltrated all the aspects of human lives and made enormous effects on our day-to-day activities in terms of the way we communicate; socialize with other people and travel. Some of the technological developments that have revolutionized the way human beings socialize as well as communicate are the social media and also the Internet. The increase on the Internet usage as well as social media has a lot of impact on young people’s education, literacy, and social lives (Rich 1).
The Internet has facilitated the access to educational materials on popular sites such as Wikipedia. A student can simply search for an assignment and get hundreds of articles on that assignment on the Internet. The rise of the Internet has as well led to some activities that are reducing the literacy levels of students. According to Barker (Szyperski 45), Wikipedia is the first site to pop up when one searches the Internet for a subject on the Wed, due to its popularity. Wikipedia has at least 2.2 million articles published, and the number keeps rising. However, the information that is found in Wikipedia may not be 100% accurate since the editors of Wikipedia comprises of nearly everybody. Despite its unreliability in a number of information, it is very popular amongst students and may, therefore, affect the literacy of young persons.
Internet Addiction: Healey (34) refers the internet as a behavioral addiction. This is a form of addiction where a person is addicted to an activity or action; that is, does it to extreme levels. The major indications of internet addiction among young people is their deprivation of sleep so as to spend time on the Internet and neglecting vital activities like work or family so as to surf the Internet. The American Psychological Association has officially recognized Internet addiction as a disorder. Spending numerous hours on the Internet or other social sites may deflect the focus as well as concentration of young people from attending to other activities. It reduces individual’s level of motivational level, particularly that of students.
Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights: the rise on the Internet has led to many young people infringing intellectual property rights of other scholars in education by copy as well as pasting information directly from the Web. This results in a serious academic crime that is referred to as plagiarism. The Internet has made easy for the occurrence of academic plagiarism in institutions of learning. As this intellectual possession of content is damaged, there is a risk that whichever ethical responsibility for the effects of a person’s communicative deeds is inclined to be dispelled. In this situation, this practice does not only affect the profit streams of the owners of property rights such as individuals and large companies, but also their communication rights which have been infringed.
The Internet, along with social media also hinders physical interactivity between young people. The improvement of technology has created a totally unique approach to communication and interaction. Rich asserts “The internet has led to diminishing “typical” social behaviors” (p.56). Over-Reliance on the Internet, as well as social media, cuts many young people off both socially and psychologically from other people” Barbour (43). Many young people are interacting with others through diverse platforms such as the social media networks, which have been brought about by technology. This technological development has hindered the physical interaction ability of a lot of people. Döveling, Christian &Elly (34) asserts that heavy reliance on technology hinders the social development of individuals.
Too much dependency on the Internet can leave individuals with a feeling of isolation (Barbour 76). Even though the Internet provides a lot of benefits to the young people in this modern society in different ways, over-dependence upon it normally leaves people with a lot of pressure, confusion, as well as vulnerable to making mistakes in case there is a system breakdown. For instance, when there is network hitches, and an individual cannot browse the Internet, this may result in bringing all activities to a halt.
In conclusion, social media, and the internet are crucial among young people but also have negative impacts on their literacy, education, as well as social lives. Young people should be encouraged not to be over-reliant on the Internet, but instead spend some time reading books. They have made the lives of young people be much easier, and there is no need of asserting that they are bad. However, it is important that young people to avoid being over-reliant on the Internet and social media. We ought to place restrictions on the level of the Internet and social media intake that we consume. Therefore, all the stakeholders involved ought to play their part in ensuring that the Internet and social media does not negatively impact education, literacy as well as social lives of the youths. This will then enhance a great contribution in making sure that people derive optimal utility from social media and the internet.
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