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The Internet: A Social And Cognitive Crutch

1754 words - 8 pages

The internet, and some other technologies have vastly evolved over time. It has made many tasks much quicker and easier to complete. However, there are some negative effects associated with the use of the internet and other technologies that many people, find so glorious. Where we once had to go out to meet new people we can now simply log on to our favorite social networking site, and make copious amounts of online friends. There was also a point in time where we had to recall most of our information from our brain, but now we can simply type the question in the search bar, and thousands of results are at one’s convenience. Therefore, it is possible that these applications of the internet are affecting our cognitive and social abilities. Choosing to use the internet over our own abilities could be leading to internet dependency and on some levels addiction.
Although the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, doesn’t recognize internet abuse as a disorder, it does have traits equivalent to their criteria that can lead to a mild dependency such as: having a strong desire of use, failure to fulfill role obligations, and in some cases hazardous use. In addition, the DSM 5 states that at least two symptoms result in a mild dependency. Therefore, an argument can be made for internet dependency. There are certain personalities that are at risk of addiction. According to Kuss, Griffiths, and Binder (2013), in a study of 2,257 students only 3.2% of students were diagnosed with an internet addiction diagnosed off of the DSM5 criteria. However, the use of social networking significantly increases an individual’s chances of being addicted to the internet. Kuss et al. (2013), had also mentioned that both introverts as well as extroverts use and can be dependent on the internet. Individuals who have higher self-esteem and a lot of offline friends use social networking to maintain those relationships, as well as to create new friendships. Those with low self-esteem who are often shy and have fewer face-to-face interactions use social networking to compensate for not having those relationships (Kuss et al., 2013). The study demonstrated that shyer people tend to have more social interaction through the internet. However, it is important for these people to not hide behind the internet. Those with low self-esteem should learn how to cope with that, and improve their social skills, which are important to maintain. There is not a large number of people who become addicted, but there are still millions of people who social network and draw themselves closer to an internet dependency. Those who are using social network to make friendships while avoiding face-to-face interactions really have a problem.
Many people consider social networking, and online dating successful and beneficial to people. For example, Cacioppo J.,Cacioppo S., Gonzaga, Ogburn, and VanderWeele (2013), conducted a study and found that, one-third of marriages in...

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