Internet dependence and
Distortion of reality
People may not be aware of it, but the advent of computers and the Internet tremendously affects the way one lives his life. At this day and age, virtually everything can be accomplished through the use of computers and by logging on to the World Wide Web. Not only does the computer make everything appear simpler, but it also makes a lot of things move in a faster pace. As mentioned in one article, the Internet has already become a part of our life in the sense that food can be ordered, business can be conducted and potential mates can be found through the simple click of the mouse.
As aptly pointed out in the same article, “the potential of the internet has no limit and the speed will be faster” (Thanapura). It is believed that the convenience brought about by the Internet is the very factor which draws people to it. With its promise to accomplish a lot of things with a single click of the mouse, most people depend on computers in order to perform their daily tasks.
The problem lies in the fact that people become oblivious to the negative effects that the Internet dependence brings especially to the ‘real life’ of people. At first glance, it may appear that the only dilemma brought by the Internet is disconnection to the real world and real people as one can easily converse and connect with others through the World Wide Web. As correctly stated by Roach, “less time outside in the real world may make a person less socially apt in face-to-face interaction. Meeting new people online leads to loneliness because users cannot interact with these people face-to-face or meet them in real life” (Roach, 2005). It is worth pointing, however, that a graver problem lies ahead. Dependence on the Internet can likewise cause a person’s view of the real world to become distorted. Worse, it is also possible for an internet dependent person to confuse that which is virtual from that which is real.
When one uses the Internet, he is given wide latitude of freedom to reinvent himself. As one connects with others only through computers and without given the chance to physically interact with online peers, one can say things that may be untrue. To a certain extent, one can exaggerate everything that he shares to people met online. One can invent status by presenting pictures and photos of different properties over the Internet, regardless of the fact that said photos are not really and were simply manipulated by the sender (Boschloo, 2002). Additionally, when meeting friends, one can simply upload a fake photo in order for the online community to view said person as an attractive individual. It is true that most of the times, people upload photos that belong to someone else.
It is believed that this is one of the major reasons why most people would prefer meeting friends on the Internet than meeting friends casually in person-to-person gatherings. The Internet is considered a savior for individuals who are in desire to hide different traits and attributes such as physical condition, status or even their real age. The Internet is considered as a tool in order for people to achieve the status and meet friends that they could not have had if the interaction took place in real life setting (“The Internet’s Effect on Society”). Due to this kind of effect, people are now more enthused by the fact of socializing over the Internet instead of going out in order to meet new people. Worse, they believe themselves to be the very same person they described as themselves over the Internet. They tend to forget who they really are in real life. This is considered as a problem because this will also affect how the person will interact with his real world community.
This poses a problem because distortion of reality, although it promises temporary happiness to a person, can make a person more lonely in the process. Quoting Moody, Roach points out that
interaction and bonding with the members of the message board made them feel like part of a community and therefore less lonely socially, but more lonely emotionally because the relationships with these people wasn’t as personal as ones they would make in real-life. Internet usage can affect people in that it alleviates some loneliness but causes new loneliness (2005).
Although one can easily gain friends through the process of reinventing oneself in the Internet, loneliness may set in the moment one realizes that virtual life can never be the same as real life. Additionally, it worth pointing out that the wide array of information that we gather through browsing over the Internet can affect our brain processes. As mentioned by a former internet dependent in her web page,
Oftentimes, we do not realize the insane amount of input we expose ourselves to simply by turning on the computer. This is not to be treated lightly. Our brains have to process uninterrupted information that is spewing and rushing at us from myriad of sources ranging from emails, social media, music, videos, spam (it still exists on pc’s) and countless others. This means more choices, more decisions, more stress, a feeling of having accomplished a lot and yet leaving us with less satisfaction (“Internet Fasting”).
True enough, although it appears that things can be easier accomplished through the Internet, accomplishing things through normal modes of action can somehow be more fulfilling on the part of the actor concerned.
Aside from the fact that people can reinvent themselves through the Internet, the World Wide Web likewise enables a person to voice out an opinion without being judged about it since his identity is unknown to the readers. Truly, this is something that one cannot easily accomplish in the real world. “This means that people who have a certain view can promote it without being worried about others laughing or holding prejudice against them: the Net provides places where they can find other people who agree with them” (“The Internet’s Effect On Society). One can say even the most trivial or most untrue of things without being held liable for it in the end. It is believed that it is this freedom that brings people closer to the Internet. As they can do things in the virtual world that they cannot do in real life, they prefer to stay online and depend on their virtual reality.
It is worth pointing out that Internet dependence affects society in a way that more and more people connect through the Internet yet they lose the personal interaction and relations that were. In this day and age, it is not unusual to find family members and peers simply communicating through the Internet. Although this appears simpler and more convenient, the human interaction that one needs is slowly eradicated. This is believed to be proof that although technology advances, human growth as regards personal relationship deteriorates. This is viewed as a negative effect of the Internet as humans still need physical interaction in most of the things that we do. For instance, when it comes to meeting friends or even dealing with business associates, it is still better for individuals to come face to face with each other than to converse and closed deals through the simple clicking of the mouse or hitting of the keyboard.
Thanapura, J. Internet Television And Effects With Our Life. Retrieved on 25 November 2008 from http://www.abcarticledirectory.com/Article/Internet-Television-And-Effects-With-Our-Life/102586
“Internet access and its effects”. Retrieved on 25 November 2008 from http://blog.lib.umn.edu/kenne329/3401s07/2007/02/internet_access_and_its_effect.html
“Internet Fasting : How 2 Weeks Offline Can Affect You”. Retrieved on 24 November 2008 from http://zenhappens.com/internet-fasting-how-2-weeks-offline-can-affect-you/
Roach , R. 2005. “What people do on the internet and how it affects their lives”. Retrieved on 24 November 2008 from http://www.cse.ucsd.edu/~paturi/cse91/Presents/rroach.pdf
“The Internet’s Effect on Society”. Retrieved on 25 November 2008 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A650684
Boschloo, T. 2002. “How the internet affects social structures in real life”. Retrieved on 24 November 2008 from http://home.hccnet.nl/t.j.boschloo/how2destroy.html
Cite this Internet dependence and Distortion of reality
Internet dependence and Distortion of reality. (2016, Oct 24). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/internet-dependence-and-distortion-of-reality/