Does The Internet Have Psychological Benefits?

781 words - 3 pages

The issue of the Internet having psychological benefits has two sides, as does any issue. James E. Katz and Philip Aspden present the yes side of this issue. Katz and Aspden used a national random telephone survey to back up their side on the issue. The survey conducted in October of 1995 compiled the individuals who took the survey into five specific groups. The groups consisted of those not aware of the Internet, non-users aware of the Internet, former users, recent users-those who started using the Internet in 1995, and longtime users-those who started using the Internet prior to 1995. The survey questioned community involvement (community, leisure, and religious,) involvement in existing communities (face to face, family, Internet,) and friendship formation (Internet and beyond.) They drew the conclusion that the Internet is helping to form new friendships and social relationships. Therefore, giving people the chance to join new groups and organizations other than those in their own community.

Robert Kraut et al. presented the no side of this issue. Kraut focused on two major themes, Internet for entertainment, information and commerce, similar to the television, meaning it could reinforce social bonds or reduce social involvement, and interpersonal communication, similar to the telephone rather than the television.

Interpersonal communication is the dominant use of the Internet. Kraut also tied a lot of his arguments to the national survey conducted by Katz and Aspden.

After reading both arguments I found myself agreeing more with the no side of this issue. I agree that the Internet, " is causing people to become socially isolated and cut off from genuine social relationships." This is because many people who use the Internet spend a majority of their time doing so, therefore cutting off social ties to the community, home, and workplace. But, if you look at any new source of technology whether it is when the television or even the telephone was introduced to the general public, people were excited to use it. Therefore, these people spent a lot of their time doing so. The same goes with the Internet. But I also feel that the "Internet frenzy" has in many cases ended. It's become old. For example, many people I know friends or family, when the Internet was first introduced into their homes they...

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