Throughout history, a significant number of technologies created by humanity have had a considerable impact on culture. There is now a pronounced sociocultural gap in society between those who have access to the Internet and those who do not. The former have new opportunities, free and prompt access to information, from weather to job-seeking, which undoubtedly gives them great advantages. If the Internet becomes accessible to everyone, it will be a huge advantage not only for the education system but also for the culture of society as a whole. The object of this study is the impact of the Internet on modern and traditional culture.
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Usually, the Internet is shown as a novel and highly effective representation of culture in the mass media, but there is more to it than that. The Internet is not just one of the ways of storing and transmitting the cultural experience of humankind. It is a way of organizing cultural content, which makes a significant change in the structure of the culture itself. In terms of the scale of its impact on world culture, the Internet phenomenon is comparable to the invention of writing and printing. If traditional book culture exists based on the text, then with the advent of the Internet, the form of organization of cultural space becomes hypertext. The linear sequence of the book text is replaced by an infinitely branching, repeatedly intersecting, interrupting and again intertwining into a network sequence of virtual text.
The Way the Internet Shapes Global Culture
The Internet impacts culture in a large number of ways. It is invoking the blurring of national borders of culture, overcoming of language barriers, destruction of partitions between such aspects of culture as science, art, education and entertainment. In such a culture there is an opportunity for each person not only to perceive the content of culture passively, but also to influence the world of culture. With the advent of the Internet, the foundations of solitary beginning in culture are undermined, which means the decline of closed cultures. This carries the potential for inter-ethnic, confessional, national or political unity. Thus, the Internet heralds the birth of a culture of global dialogue (culture as a dialogue of cultures). This is an open culture in which each of the participants has his or her voice, can connect his or her voice to the voice of others or influence the overall sound. The Internet phenomenon opens up a new horizon of culture – a focus on global creativity and the individual contributions of everyone.
The Internet has changed the roots of the employment sphere. An example is the various ways of doing business on the Internet. On the one hand, it is an opportunity to organize websites, professional blogs, on the other – electronic services to create them, write books, promote business websites, promote corporations and sell real estate. Today, many Internet opportunities are estimated in those funds that were invested in the website, and it is a large amount of investment, often their feasibility may be in question altogether. Classifieds of employers at the moment have long since crossed the national boundaries, and advertising the results of their creativity is an Internet exclusive, firmly established in the practice of Internet users.
The impact of the Internet has most significantly changed the lives of young people. Friendships and interactions are increasingly conducted online via text messaging, and such interactions have severe cultural implications. Online communications have influenced the evolution of language, created new rituals and symbols, and had a significant impact, in particular on the identity of young people. Indirect exchanges often shape and reinforce a person’s status. Therefore, what happens to individuals through their online interactions does matter about how people perceive themselves at all.
Studies often show that children would prefer to be outdoors, playing with their friends. At the same time, everyday culture is often shaped by children’s desire to create their own space and enjoy the measure of independence from adult control. It can be argued that through digital technology, many young people are trying to regain some of the freedoms they cannot find in real life.
Many children’s bedrooms have computers with online access, which creates a separate autonomous space where children can experiment and develop their personalities, and can evade parental control. Thanks to the rich possibilities of independent socialization, young people try to personalize their interests and needs, to find like-minded people, all this happens in isolation from other family members. Children see the new media as a means of establishing links with their peers outside the sight of their parents. Adolescents also seek to protect their spaces of interaction from the control of adults.
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The Positive and Negative Influence of the Internet
The Internet has become an essential medium of knowledge, both through free training and through the provision of paid services. It is eliminating the distances and offers immediate and easy access to information and communication (Diomidous et al. 1). Trust in this form of learning, and whether it is safe and reliable, generally applies to each resource individually. The World Wide Web has become an excellent opportunity for the non-academically privileged to accumulate more knowledge in the subjects they need. Entertainment is another big reason why many people explore the Internet. Playing games, talking in chat rooms or merely surfing the web is among the reasons why people use the Internet. Numerous games can be downloaded for free. Competitive gaming has become a real thing, and people can now build a career in gaming (McCulley). The Internet is also used by people to find their soulmates via various dating websites and apps.
Thanks to the numerous services, it is possible to perform both personal and business transactions on the Internet. Booking airline tickets, transferring funds, utilities and taxes can be done without leaving the comfort of a home or office. Some websites offer fast booking and route planning schemes according to the preferences of their customers. E-commerce is used for all types of business, which includes transferring money over the Internet. Online transactions have become the norm in almost all types of business. E-commerce, with its massive reach for a variety of goods and services, makes it possible to deliver the order to the customer at his doorstep. Marketplaces and online auctions allow customers to bid, buy and sell goods.
However, in addition to the benefits of the Internet listed above, there is also a negative influence, such as the problem of Internet addiction. It has achieved high public and scholarly visibility in recent years, driven by an increased preoccupation with the amount of time being spent online by children, young people and adults (Johnson and Keane 15). Internet addicts show inability and active unwillingness to be distracted from the Internet even for a short time and annoyance and irritation arising from forced distractions. They show a tendency to lie to friends and family members; forget about home affairs, education, important personal and business meetings. Not the least of these is the neglect of personal hygiene, the abuse of coffee and other tonic agents.
It is also worth noting that the use of the Internet for banking, social networking or other services often makes personal information vulnerable to theft. There are no absolute ways to protect our name, account numbers, address, photos and credit card numbers from unauthorized use. There are a large number of online stores that provide low-quality products and also fraudulently attract potential customers through false online auctions. It is rather difficult to return the funds for low-quality goods and to defend the rights of the consumer which are regulated by the law.
It is possible to draw a conclusion about the undeniable influence of the Internet on traditional and modern culture, public consciousness and society as a whole. The field of research on this topic lies at the intersection of many fields: art, philosophy, psychology, sociology, pedagogy, political science and history. Today, the synthesis of art with new information technologies is indisputable as well. This led to the appearance of such new types of art as interactive installations, game design, digital poetry, pixel-art and many others. The Internet as an information and communication environment has an undeniable impact on the development of modern society.
Diomidous, Marianna, et al. “Social and Psychological Effects of the Internet Use.” Acta Informatica Medica, vol. 24, no. 1, 2016, pp. 66-68. Web.
Johnson, Nicola F., and Helen Keane. “Internet Addiction? Temporality and Life Online in the Networked Society.” Time & Society, vol. 26, no. 3, 2015, pp. 267-285, doi:10.1177/0961463×15577279.
McCulley, Manuel. “The Impact of Internet on Society.” WiMaxxed, 2017.