ITGS Syllabus

Monday, September 04, 2006

Topic 122

social impact of dependence on the Internet by Roger

1. What are the issues associated with this subject?

The emergence of the Internet as a worldwide system of communication, information exchange, education and commerce is opening up vast opportunities for more rapid development. It is eliminating barriers to communication imposed by space and time, leveling the playing field between rich and poor, and making possible universal access to information and services at very low cost. But recent research shows that some users of the Internet spend so much time logged on, that their personal and/or professional life suffers. This finding is connected by numerous accounts of people becoming "hooked" on on-line interactivity, accounts that have circulated in on-line discussions as well as in real life settings. It is becoming common to know of someone, or have heard of someone, that has become enamored with on-line activity to the point that they ignore important personal responsibilities. Factors associated with on-line interactivity that might be contributing to developing Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) are distinguished from factors associated with people proposed to be most at risk for, or suffering from, IAD. Recommendations for treatment of affected individuals are offered.

2. How did this technology emerge?

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik I, triggering US President Dwight Eisenhower to create the ARPA (Advanced Research Project Agency) agency to regain the technological lead in the arms race. ARPA appointed J.R.C Licklider to head the new IPTO (Information Processing Techniques Office) organization with a mandate to further the research of the SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) program and help protect the US against a space-based nuclear attack. Licklider evangelized within the IPTO about the potential benefits of a country-wide communications network, influencing his successors to hire Lawrence Roberts to implement his vision. Roberts led development of the network, based on the new idea of packet switching discovered by Paul Baran at RAND, and a few years later by Donald Davies at the UK National Physical Laboratory. A special computer called an Interface Message Processor was developed to realize the design, and the ARPANET went live in early October, 1969. The first communications were between Leonard Klienrock’s research center at the University of California at Los Angeles, and Douglas Engelbart’s center at the Stanford Research Institute. The first networking protocol used on the ARPANET was the Network Control Program. In 1983, it was replaced with the TCP/IP protocol developed by Robert Khan, Vinton Cerf, and others, which quickly became the most widely used network protocol in the world.

3. Who are the stakeholders?

The internet is a huge storage place for information where people publish and put a lot of different information on as part of their business or entertainment or other reasons for the general purpose of other people or the general public with internet access to view or use etc. So it depends mostly on the type of information or that’s there for example: inappropriate material such as pornographic material that now with its introduction into the internet as provided easy access to the public especially the issue of underage children of basically any age. Also it is also a place where certain inappropriate materials are readily available to virtually anyone who wants to find out more. So there should stricter policies to caution these sites that provide these inappropriate materials. The publishers or management should be notified or told to follow the restrictions. There are some other sites that are not that harmful but are for good purposes or either for leisure or entertainment but tends to consume a lot of the users time because it is very attractive, fun, enjoyable, interesting, or simply something that they couldn’t do in their everyday life. Online gaming is a typical example where users can spend hours gaming without realizing things around them.

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages for those stake holders?

The internet has a lot of sites where it was put there by people and all sorts of organizations etc. for basically for public viewing. The authors/creators usually put their names or some sort of reference. The advantages of these people putting their work on the internet is that people may actually benefit from it especially for educational purposes and they can either receive credit or may not it they choose to remain anonymous. People can use it a lot to gather or do research etc. and may order or purchase works from them.

But the disadvantage or these stakeholders is that people can pirate their work or use for other illegal purposes. People may become dependant on these specific authors and may demand or expect more works form them and may not be happy if products or work is not there. They may become unhappy and complain that the works/products or especially services are not ready for the customers.

5. What solutions can overcome the problem?

The growth toward reliance on the Internet has made it an easy global resource, which in turn allows everyone to cooperate in its construction, development and operation. This new reality has resulted in many stakeholders calling for a larger role in its international governance. International management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent and democratic with the full involvement of stakeholders and roles of the various stakeholders. Specifically, policy authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States and international organizations also have an important role in the development of Internet-related policies. Also the important role of civil society, and that of the private sector in the technical and economic fields.

There is indication that a vacuum exists within the context of existing Internet governance structures, since there is no global multi-stakeholder forum to address Internet-related public policy issues. It concluded that there would be merit in creating such a space for dialogue among all stakeholders.

There should be Internet public policy, oversight and the creation of an Internet Council in which Governments would take a leading role and other stakeholders would have an advisory/observer role.

6. What areas of impact does it affect?

Issues related to Internet governance do not generally affect just one country without also impacting others; in fact, they can impact all countries. Among the first Governments to encounter and address these issues was that of the United States. Most Governments of both the developed and developing worlds have now also become concerned by these issues. The participation of States in international Internet policy setting and oversight has become an important factor in giving them confidence to encourage investment, and to increase reliance on modern technology such as the internet.

National Governments are the most representative entities for the public, as they are appointed by the people, and they are responsible for the development of public policy within their territories. It therefore follows that governments must also be responsible for the setting of international public policy. The private sector and civil society cannot take the place of Governments in undertaking this role. However, their participation and support to Governments through the provision of advice and opinions is an important element in the successful execution by Governments of their policy setting and oversight role.

Since the Internet is a global network which knows no national boundaries, and the security of the Internet is of concern to all States and impacts their national security, it is not reasonable for one Government to undertake the oversight role on behalf of all the Governments of the world.

7. Evaluate the impact locally and globally.

Some research groups have come up with a list of possible outcomes of the dependence on the internet both locally and globally:

* The Internet creates its own hierarchy of access that retains and may even worsen the gap between rich and poor.

* The Internet's impact on physical and mental health has been largely unexplored in the public discourse. Problems with hands and fingers, with posture and with eyesight are the most common. But there are also incipient problems of Internet addiction and skewed mental development.

* The Internet is becoming more and more like television, though an interactive one. TV turned out to be an 'idiot box' for many people. If it will be mainly an expensive interactive idiot box, the Internet won't be much of an improvement.

8. What are the ethical issues?

Ethically dependence on the internet is not such a good thing ex: in school a lot of students (including myself) use the internet to do assignments for it provides easy, quick, and vast amounts of information at your fingertips. But this is not what should be done for most of the work should be done using brains and self research to gain the information. But sadly the ethics in today’s world regarding the use of the internet has declined dramatically for it does not usually require the users to raise questions about ethics when they are using it.

9. Who is responsible?

The people responsible are basically everybody because it is us who use the internet for usually nobody forces us to open or use the internet. But it depends on how/why/when/where we use the internet that defines the “overusers” for the “users” for some it may take only a few minutes on the internet while others for hours or more. But also the readily availability with easy access that may cause us to use the internet longer. Also it depends on the user or it the user is a kid then the parents are responsible for not restricting the child to a limited number of hours.

10. Who is accountable?

Adults should hold themselves accountable for the excess use of the internet but in children’s and young adults’ case, then the parents or guardians should be held accountable for letting them use the internet. Also the internet cafes and similar service providers should be held accountable because they seem to attract a lot of individuals of all sorts and also in large numbers and is a growing market as the progress of the internet has grown and expanded too.

11. What laws apply?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is one possible source where culprits can be brought to justice as in serious cases such as programmers or people that are guilty of spreading a virus or corrupting a certain large organizations systems etc. But those that are guilty for attracting a lot of people and causing them to do illegal or unethical things on the internet such as online gambling or even activities that are popular among the teenagers and adults such as Fantasy Sports as in every sport. This can be a place where certain products or surveys are taking place. There are a lot of sites that contain a lot of users that are exposed to all sorts of advertisements where some are not even allowed there. Law firms are authorized to take legal action against certain companies etc. that have been issued with warnings not to interfere with the web at certain sites ex: beer adverts in school sites.

12. Are there alternative decisions?

There are alternate decisions such as responsibility of user’s usage of the internet. The parents could maintain a limited time spent by the children on the net and restrict them to certain times. Internet cafes could alter their policies such as ID checks for underage people spending too much time on the net. Advertising of gaming sites should be advertised on a wide range and be limited to only a few gaming sites on the net.

13. What are the consequences of these decisions?

The biggest consequence of it all would be that not everybody will one hundred percent follow the regulations etc. such as parents will not keep a continuous look out for the time limit of their children’s use of the internet and slack off or be too busy. Other sites will offer positions to advertisement for payment or private sites may do the same etc. Some may complain that the internet is not a place to be under control and should be free to everyone to use it to their desire or need. Some people may defend their right to ex: gamble online or to do gaming etc. Not all internet cafes will do full ID checks every time cause they know they will lose their customers if they do that every now and then.


Social impact of dependence on the Internet by Sujit

The problem with this is that you are totally dependent on the internet that you can do nothing without it. For example when the internet was not available you would have used a telephone directory to find the phone number of dominos pizza. Now a days because we have the internet we don’t go through the process of turning pages. Instead we just click a few times on the screen and the information you need is their. Because we are dependent on technology, we are getting lazy to do things without the use of the internet.

The people who benefit by becoming dependent on the internet is the people who are too lazy to do some hard work. The advantage of this is that things can be done much more quickly. If you want some information you can go to Google and type what you want. You will find whatever you want in mere seconds. On the other hand by becoming dependent of the internet you are destroying the hardworking nature that is in you and your mind is not working as much as when you are really working hard.

One of the solutions to this problem is maybe building your mind power. When your mind power has reached ultimate level if you decide to do hard work you can do hard work because you are basically pushing aside the thought of having to use the internet. Another solution is put a device that allows you a certain time to use the internet. After that time has passed you can’t use the internet. If you do this you are restraining yourself from always using the internet.

Dependency of internet has a huge impact on your life. By depending on the internet you are basically becoming slaves to the internet. Though you are using the internet, the internet is controlling your mind by making you lazy. Because we are already slaves to the internet it is possible that for life we will be slaves to the internet.

The number of internet users are increasing day by day. As more people become slaves to the internet, things like books are worthless. Therefore the career of an author or someone like that will be affected greatly. No one will read their books. They only care about founding things through the internet. This is also the impact it has globally too.

The people who are responsible for the dependency of the internet is the internet users. If their were no users, their would be no internet. Because people are using the internet there is an internet.

The people who are held accountable for this problem are the internet providers. As the number of people using the internet increases they do things that will call more people to use the internet, maybe some special features.

An alternate solution to this problem could be to use a book and the internet at the same time. If you are searching for information, to see if a piece of information of reliable you might use a book to confirm that the information on the net is reliable and is not made up. It makes you use two things at a time so your mind is always on full power.


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