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The Internet: Helpful Or Harmful For Social Interaction?

1076 words - 4 pages

Introduction
The Internet:
Helpful or Harmful for Social Interaction?

Tonight our main topic is interaction through Social Media websites via the Internet. People can become instantly connected with other individuals through texting, messaging, and on social networking websites on the Internet. The question is, however, whether these instant connections are helpful or harmful to social interaction? Some say yes and some say no. These connections can help people connect all over the world, the resources available to people on the internet are numerous and someone can connect with people they never would have otherwise, with the internet. However, with these connections, misunderstanding can occur, misreading an email or misunderstanding cultural differences can be quite easy without a physical being in front of you to pick up physical cues from (Baron and Branscombe, 2012). The question still remains though do these instant connections help with communication among people?

Explanation
With so much use of the Internet in this day and age, are people actually connecting on an organic level? Can lasting relationships be formed using the Internet, whether it’s a friendship or a romantic relationship? What are problems that occur with communicating just through cyberspace? These are some of the questions that I asked in researching this topic.
It turns out there seem to be both pros and cons to communication through the internet. Some think communication over the internet improves one’s relationships with others. However, then there are those who believe that communication through cyberspace is unhelpful in improving one’s relationships with others. There are legitimate contributing factors to both arguments. Let’s take a look at these factors.

Research
The internet has been said to connect people and lets them improve their relationships with others. People are constantly interacting with friends and family through the internet and the top use of the internet is for communication with others (McKenna and Bargh, 2000). In fact, 70% of people who use some sort of social networking site on the internet use them to keep in touch with family and friends (ProCon.org, 2013). It was also stated that the social networking sites on the internet can also help people make new friends and can help people who are very shy face to face expand socially (ProCon.org, 2013). It helps spark up relationships between people that might not normally talk to each other in person and can result not just in an online relationship, but a face to face relationship as well. The internet can also help family and friends keep in touch if they are living far away from each other. With social networking web sites like Facebook or the video communication application, Skype, it is fast and easy to connect with someone that’s half way around the world.
An article written by Sen-Chi Yu and Chien Chou in the British Journal of Education Technology states that cyberspace could...

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