The Internet’s Effect On Interaction and Communication With Others – Essay
Communication in our lives is a tremendous vital thing. Indeed, human beings are born to communicate with each other no matter what kind of lives they decide to live. Communicating with other people allow us to learn about ourselves as human creatures. It allows us to understand
our way of behaving, of thinking in different situations/places. Communication is also a medium of exchanges at every level. We can exchange ideas, concepts, knowledge, feelings etc. The communication process can occur through several different types. Indeed we can communicate through verbal communication thanks to the language we assimilated during our childhood which can vary according to our cultural belongings. Furthermore we learn non verbal signals (body language, paralanguage etc) which also depend on our culture. These signals communicate a lot about us, about the culture we belong to. Verbal and non verbal communications are linked in the communication process. People can communicate by using different mediums such as letters, radios, TVs, newspaper etc. The mass media indeed allowed people to become more interconnected thanks to world connected networks such as news networks or the Internet. However these kind of “virtual” communication which requires technology to work well, have some drawbacks that we will study in this paper.
This wild wide network of interconnected information called the Internet was a great human “invention”. It facilitated at the origin communication between people and between universities. The Internet is now widely spread all around the world. It is possible to send information from France to the United States in a couple of seconds. We are now capable of talking with lots of different people who can come from radically opposed cultural backgrounds. Broadcasting the news hasn’t been that simple up until now. If an earthquake occurs in Japan, French people will hear about this news only few hours later. Moreover, people can read books or download music songs, movies, games, software, and pictures throughout this network. To put it simple the Internet has a consequent amount of positive things to offer to most people. Most people think that it is a great useful tool: communication is faster and easier thanks to instant messaging software (msn, aim, yahoo messenger…), emails, chat rooms and forums. Physical contact is reduced or avoided which allow people to feel more confident about themselves, about communicating and exchanging ideas, opinions etc. This said, the drawbacks of this form of “recent” communication are very important and people have to be aware of those. First of all, physical contact and “physical” communication is reduced when we use the Internet. People spend hours chatting on the internet through emails or chat rooms and forums. We no longer go to a pub to have a drink with some friends; we now meet on American instant messaging or Microsoft network messaging to chat about useless small talks, futile things. In addition, these kinds of chatting networks downgrade the action of “Writing”. As communication between people becomes more and more instant and fast, people take less and less time to write correctly using in depths forms of writing style. Our generation is using “emoticons”, abbreviations to express thoughts, feelings instead of using the words used by our ancestors. It will not be surprising to notice that the French language quality is decreasing among teenagers as the Internet is growing for instance. But the major drawback of the Internet is the fact that people use this network as a virtual medium of expression, as a virtual part of themselves. Indeed they create virtual worlds, virtual identities. As the internet eliminates physical contact between people it is understandable that people try to create virtual “themselves”. Thus we see more and more forums, chat rooms, “blogs” where people discuss or share themselves to each others without even knowing that they are confining themselves in a virtual thin cosmos. People feel confident, safe behind their screens but they become addicted and dependant of their virtual lives. The world’s physical beauty is forgotten, the most important thing is to come back at home and connect on our computers. People are so despaired in our western society that they create new identities in order to feel better. Most of people have to identify to objects, things, persons to feel like having a purpose in their lives. The Internet is “giving” the opportunity to people to create “blogs” which reflect their personality and who they are. However reality is different. It is true that it can be a positive thing to a certain extent but in the end, people end up forgetting their true purpose and what they are really looking for, which is human contact and interactions with other human “animals”. We are not “made” to spend our lives on a black square screen reading comments on our latest post on a forum dedicated to cell phones or celebrities.
Unfortunately this phenomenon is not going to stop. In my opinion, our western society based on mass consumption created these kinds of behaviors and will only end up accelerating these phenomenons because the mass media tend to broadcast false ideals, wrong values which destabilized people who try desperately to follow the prototype human being created by these people who only try to make money. Since my childhood, people try to influence me, to influence us on our way of thinking and our way of behaving. We try to sell you that you have to identify yourself to objects to feel alive. By binding yourself with “stuff” you will be able to gain an identity. Buying the brand new Ipod will make you feel better. You will be considered as a preconceived marketed researched fashion boy. People enter slowly in a race dedicated to materialism and objects. However, people don’t see that this race is their lives. Therefore we see people trying desperately all their life long to save money so that they will be able to buy this product or this car because they naively think that they will feel more powerful, more confident or even more proud about themselves if they do so. The main issue is that people create more and more artificial worlds. These “tricks” are created to answer to the mass media pressure which dictates us how we should behave, think, dress ourselves: what we should look like. They communicate ideals based on market studies, behavioral studies and psychological studies of people. They try to sell us information through news networks in order to format our minds. The time where they were trying to inform us, or selling us objects which could “help” us during our lives has never existed. The main purpose of the mass media is to make money. This fact will never change. Most of people think that information is broadcasted to inform us about world events but they forgot the ads between news bulletins. Most of people think that the Ipod nano was created to facilitate their lives and that Apple can not physically make a better mp3 player whereas this mp3player was made in order to make as much profit as possible by giving to people the very minimum amount of functions and storage. It’s all about the money in our society. Consequently, mass communication media networks mislead people by trying to sell them “fashion” objects, “fashion styles” which will generate lots of money. Obviously, few of us manage to fit to these criteria. Therefore the other part feels frustrated and tries desperately to fight against that fact, against the fact they do not fit to the mold. Actually, from a certain point of view we are not very far from the “1984” book vision written by George Orwell. Some people have the power, the power to influence us; considered as average people. We are watched, studied by powerful people who try to make as much money as possible. We don’t create new dressing styles, somebody creates it for us.
In this identity race, people forget their true needs, their inner will. The most important thing is to get a better job, to buy a better car, a bigger house etc. Money is the key to their success because with money, most people think that they can buy happiness and freewill. Thus, communication between people, either verbal or non verbal communication is distracted by the fact that we constantly want more. We want our neighbor’s car, house or even his wife. We desperately identify ourselves to objects which seem to give a sense to our living. We can compare to each other and compete with each other. Friendships, Love become old fashioned values stereotyped by Hollywood movie stars. We isolate ourselves in an individualistic microcosm created by the mass consumption society.