Cyberspace and the Internet World: An Advantage or Disadvantage?

Table of Content

            The cyberspace has been influencing how people build, maintain, and control their identities at this day and age.  Some say that the cyberspace has been beneficial to them and their identities because they are able to talk to one another and share their thoughts, beliefs, and sentiments with others whom they may or may not know.  On the other side, however, there are others who say that the cyberspace has not been very beneficial because it is more like a private nightmare—a cold place, a place of separation, a place for the lonely and depressed, a place for those who wanted to scapegoat away from the realistic world that they have always had.  In the long run, whether it is beneficial depends on the purpose on why users enter the world of the cyberspace; in other words, it has something to do with context.

Main Body

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            Authors like John Dvorak and Russ Parsons seem to suggest that cyberspace is beneficial to the society because it is more interesting, more enjoyable, and more self-beneficial.  On the contrary, other authors like Jennifer Lee and Fred Kaplan say that it is not beneficial to the society because it leads to educational problems, as well as, an erroneous form of record keeping, such as those that are being kept as PowerPoint presentations.  Perhaps, the information needed can be found in the work done by Andrew Leonard.

Cyberspace Is Beneficial

            Based on the words of John Dvorak, the blogs of the cyberspace has been taking a huge turn nowadays because they are usually more interesting and more enjoyable than the web pages that already started to lose its momentum.  In his article entitled “The Blog Phenomenon,” Dvorak mentions five reasons on why cyberspace, specifically the blogs, appears to be very beneficial to users: first is for ego gratification; second is for antidepersonalization; third is elimination of frustration; fourth is for the benefit of sharing; fifth and final is as stepping ground for wanna-be writers.  In other words, it builds the social identity of users who want to do something more meaningful than to just look at pictures.  Russ Parsons also describes cyberspace as something that is very interesting and enjoyable, heightened by active conversations with people who are familiar with similar topics.

Cyberspace Is Not Beneficial

            On the contrary, authors like Jennifer Lee claims that the cyberspace has been causing educational problems in terms of grammar and the improper use or spelling of words.  Internet instant messaging comprises of letters that are spelled according to the least number of letters that can represent the pronunciation of a word or group of words like, for example, “u” for you, “r” for are, “ur” for you are, etcetera.  This cyberspace conversational style confuses students to the correct spelling of words during classes, especially when they are in a hurry.  This was what sixth-grade teacher Trisha Fogarty of the Houlton Southside School described as the “generation text,” as mentioned in Lee’s article.  Another disadvantage of the cyberspace can be found in the article written by Fred Kaplan, wherein he stated that…

“Almost all Air force documents today… are presented as PowerPoint briefings.  They are almost never printed and rarely stored.  When they are saved, they are often unaccompanied by any text.  As a result, in many cases, the briefings are incomprehensible.” (Kaplan 2003)

It appears that cyberspace and the Internet world has been keeping problems under the areas of education, specifically incorrect spelling of words, as well as in terms of record keeping.

Important Information by Andrew Leonard

            Going over what authors like Dvorak and Parsons say on one hand, and what authors like Lee and Kaplan say on the other hand, the answer on whether cyberspace is truly beneficial can be found in the words written by Andrew Leonard:

“Meanwhile, now that we are all connected, day and night, across time zones and oceans and corporate firewalls, we are beginning to lose sight of the distinction between what is work and what is play.” (Leonard 2007)


            Cyberspace and the Internet world are very helpful and advantageous in areas that can be described as play, such as hobbies, socialization, entertainment, information gathering, and building social identities.  However, in areas that can be described as work, such as those that have something to do with information provision and keeping, as well as, proper use and spelling of words under the education, cyberspace can be rather disadvantageous.  Context and purpose, on why users enter the cyberspace, dictate whether it will be beneficial to them.

Works Cited

Dvorak, John C.  “The Blog Phenomenon.”  5 February 2002.  PC Magazine.  22 October 2008 <,2817,12899,00.asp>.

Kaplan, Fred.  “The End of History: How E-mail is Wrecking Our National Archive.”  4 June 2003.  Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC.  22 October 2008 <>.

Lee, Jennifer.  “I Think, Therefore IM.”  19 September 2002. Archives.  22 October 2008 <>.

Leonard, Andrew.  “We’ve Got Mail—Always.”  August 2007.  Dr. Mary Hubbard Webpage.  22 October 2008 <>.

Parsons, Russ.  “A Shared Sadness.”  7 August 1998.  Los Angeles Times.  22 October 2008 <>.

Additional Reference

Turkle, Sherry.  “Cyberspace and Identity.”  Writing and Reading across the Curriculum.  8th ed.  Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen.  New York: Longman, 2003.  271-280.

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