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Clash Of Opinions Essay

1253 words - 5 pages

Everyone views the Internet’s resources in a different way. Some view them as an aid in deteriorating the existence of human contact. Others see the resources as powerful tools to help humans in their daily lives and when used wisely, can be very beneficial to everyday life. Brent Staples, a columnist for the New York Times, and Janna Malamud Smith, a psychotherapist and writer, are just those people. Both have written very persuasive articles on the subject as well. Staples’ article, “What Adolescents Miss When We Let Them Grow Up in Cyberspace,” focuses on the negative outcomes of the Internet, where as Smith’s article, “Online but Not Antisocial,” focuses on more of the benefits of the Internet and how to use it to it’s full advantage. Both Staples and Smith mention topics such as Internet isolation vs. television isolation and online shopping to support their points, but they have completely different aspects on the effects of Internet usage.
Since Staples and Smith are not the same gender, they have different views on online shopping. Staples, being male, views online shopping to be “more isolating than watching television, which friends and family often do in groups” (296). In other words, if one were to go out and go shopping, one would be around people and friends and family could even tag along. Online shopping is a strictly solitary act because you are indoors with your eyes on the screen not needing to interact with other people or ask an employee for assistance. Seeing as Smith is a woman and a mother, her impression of online shopping is positive and she views it as time-saving (333). Instead of looking for parking, she can sit in the comfort of her home for only 15 minutes and have all of her shopping done (333). Once again the genders are at an impasse. Staples views online shopping as negative benefit the internet has to offer because it is taking away from human physical contact, where as Smith sees online shopping beneficial to her hectic life. Perhaps Staples feels this way because he misses family time and how things were. Perhaps Smith feels the way she does about online shopping because she has almost no time on her hands and the Internet is there to give her a break.
Adolescents use the Internet to chat with friends and create pseudonyms for themselves to have a more exotic experience online. Staples views this as a negative response to the expanding world of the Internet. He views this is a negative influence on young peoples social skills and how they interact with others face to face (296). Staples is trying to say that the more time young people spend on the Internet, the less time they spend outside learning from experience. Smith, however, states otherwise. According to her article, the Internet is the best alternative communication if someone lives far away (Smith, 333). Smith states, referring to her son, “Rather than sitting in front of the television to unwind after his homework was done,...

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