Two Sides of the Coin
Famous Indian yogi Paramahansa Yogananda once said “There are always two forces warring against each other within us. ” The forces that were mentioned are namely the “good” and the “bad. ” What makes something good or bad? Can we stick to one mere definition of “good” and “bad”? Like in many situations, addictions to certain things can be perceived as having two sides. Most likely, these addictions are seen as being bad. One of the most popular examples for this is the way Internet usage has been categorized among today’s college students.
The Internet has become a part of students’ lives and for some of them it has become an addiction. In many instances, being addicted to the Internet has two sides to itself. The high usage of the Internet among today’s college students can be either a bad or a good influence. It is often the case that “bad” gets the attention of the society. Why is the Internet usually seen as a “bad” influence on students and as the one “bad” entity that developed with technology? Finding the answer to this question will take a lot of time and research.
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There has been a lot of research conducted in order to further study the bad impact of the Internet. Dr. Christakis’ research results show that “for adolescents and young adults, this topic is worthy of special consideration, as they have been at high risk for behavioral addictions” (Seattle Children’s Research Institute, 2011). This article is important because it highlights why we must pay more attention to this topic. Dr Christakis’ research showed that four percent of 224 students were addicted to the Internet, which is an alarming percentage.
In his study he has also connote that high usage of Internet may lead to severe depression (Seattle Children’s Research Institute, 2011). Another effect the researchers have come across is that young adults are at a risk of facing Multiple-Risk Behavior due to the high usage of the Internet (Seattle Children’s Research Institute, 2011). This research has concluded that four and a half hours on the Internet a day can negatively influence the thought process.
There is always a lighter side of everything. A recent study shows that online networking sites, such as Facebook & MySpace, can support students to be cohesive academically and socially while bettering and perfecting learning outcomes (Inderscience Publisher, 2011). Research was carried out at the University of Science & Technology of China and University of Hong Kong in order to understand the impact social media has on college students. The results howed that the students used this as a way of keeping in touch and way of making friends, also as a way of “connecting with the faculty and other students in terms of friendship/social relationship, provide comments to peers/share knowledge, share feeling with peers, join Groups established for subjects, collaborations: notification, discussion, course schedule, project management calendar and to use educational applications for organizing learning activities” (Inderscience Publisher, 2011).
The Internet has become the most referred resources hub among college students today. The Internet allows students to access whatever information they require from anywhere in the world. The students can refer to books from international libraries, museums or to a college website to find required information they may need (French, 2010). Because of the resources hub the Internet has to offer students can find references with regard to any subject from books, articles or journals at their convenience.
Due to this convenience of the Internet, many Schools have built Internet use into the curriculum, to broaden the college students’ terminology and to make the learning process much easier (French, 2010). “According to the authors of Internet Applications of Type II Uses of Technology in Education, Internet use in schools empowers students to use technology to create their own learning environments ‘filled with enthusiasm and self-motivation’” (French, 2010). The aspect of going online and referring or owning an e-book is also can be cost effective and environmentally friendly.
Where would communication be without the Internet? The Internet has kept millions of people connected throughout the world. It may be a business meeting, talking to family or just staying in touch with your friends. The Internet has made communication more easy and consistent. With the Internet, options vary from sharing a photo with friends or talking to family half way across the world with just a click of button. These options have helped millions of people around the world to strengthen their relationships with their loved ones.
The Internet plays a big role of the heart for small business while helping them to prosper in the current economic climate, be efficient and more cost effective. According to a survey conducted by Easynet Connect, is it said that 45 percent of the small businesses consider the Internet to be “an important tool” which will help them combat the recession. (“Internet ‘most important,” 2009) As one group argues the high usage of the Internet is bad among college students, another would think otherwise.
However, the Internet still has become a fundamental part of our daily life consciously or unconsciously. We can go on saying it is good for our young adults or bad for them and eventually it will boil down to where to draw the line. Where can we draw the line? The answer lies in the hands of parents, schools and us as college students.
References Seattle Children’s Research Institute. (2011, June 27). Studies examine impact of media use among youth, recommend preventative measures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www. sciencedaily. om /releases/2011/06/110627162833. htm Inderscience Publishers (2011, May 9). Social learning: Can Facebook and related tools improve educational outcomes?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from http://www. sciencedaily. com French, R. (2010, July 7). Positive effects of internet addiction. Retrieved from http://www. livestrong. com/article/168003-positive-effects-of-internet-addiction/ Internet ‘most important tool’ for business. ( 2009, March 19). Retrieved from http://www. linkingmatters. com/internet-most-important-tool-for-business