Mimi Bezooijen | 359174 | CM1007 | Group C Asignment 2 | Word count: 2.

493 Today’s youth and Technology Technology might have changed the principle of friendship for ever; the need to be physically close to someone in order to communicate has faded. It seems like all our relationships have transcended into the online world; we find our new lovers online, kids get bullied online, we maintain our friendships online, but what does this change mean? I for one have not decided yet. Sure, I can now remain friends with people who live in Australia or Italy, but I also use the internet to contact people who live nearby. The biggest challenge is probably the generation that grows up in this environment, for them internet relationships are more or less the standard. Therefore, an interesting field of research is the changes in children’s perception and standards of relationships. What are the dangers of children and young adults relying more and more on the internet for their social relationships? Making friends is a very important socializing process for children, a process Facebook may endanger. Thus, online friendships will come to replace “real” friendships. and over time this will lead to a generation that is unable to engage in day to day communication Getting closer or further away? New technologies play a significant part in our daily routines and leads to an interconnected world. McLuhan(1975) used the global village methapor to describe this phenomenon, and this is still applicable today. Internet has made the world more accessible and smaller than ever before, however it also made people less dependent on interpersonal relationships. McQuillen (2003) states "Paradoxically, the closer we get, the further apart we appear to be" . Children growing up in this internet focused society will most likely turn to the internet to manage their friendships. On the internet, most communication can be very hard to decode; textual messages lose the non-verbal cues we get in a face to face conversation, therefore sarcasm or humor may come across as offensive. Relationships that depend solely or mostly on technology will develop differently from face to face friendship (McQuillen,2003), mainly because internet conversation can never go as in depth as real life conversation because its loses all the non-verbal layers. The internet has rapidly become one of the most important aspects of children’s daily lives (Finkelhor et all., 2002). Internet provides an escape from real life and a place where children can find people with the same interest or troubles as them. Often, children form relationships with the people they meet in their online environment. In a study with 1501 children aged 11-16, results showed that 25% of the respondents formed close friendships with people they met online (Finkelhor et all., 2002). In the same research, 41% of the respondents claimed their online friends are more important to them than their real life contacts. This number is extremely high, and shows us were we might be heading. Many adolescents use their online life as an escape from their real life, but the fear remains that that the online life will become the most important one (Finkelhor et all., 2002). If real friendship succumb to the virtual ones, this will have great effect in the communication skills of individuals. Face to face communication will still be necessary in our daily lives, yet the socialization process that we get when engaging with our offline friends gets lost. This can be very problematic in the future, leading to an incapable society.

However. Koikkalainen and Oleaga even state that television and games play an important role in learning kids to share and engage with information. Children and parents used to spend time together playing board games or doing house chores. and may be the reason of an even bigger decline. Entertainment media does not portray the real world. The first waves of urbanizations did not lead to a decrease in civic engagement. This is another paradox. they believe children still socialize with their peers and communicate with them face to face..493 Koikkalainen and Oleaga (1998) looked at the role of media in children’s lives. The internet can be a danger for civic engagement. internet usage also lead to a decline in social involvement.Mimi Bezooijen | 359174 | CM1007 | Group C Asignment 2 | Word count: 2. children may not be able to clearly distinguish between reality and fantasy and may end up with fear of the outside world. 1998). With all the new media technologies that have been invented in the last few years. Of course. but mostly children are unaware of this. 1998). Children who grow up in this society will never learn the importance of engaging with their close environment. but they feel more connected to their online community. The society got very fragmented but was still very active. Depression. That is specifically why the internet gives civic engagement and social involvement a big push downwards. When people no longer need their close environment for personal relationships. they turn to their online groups. now the one of the most common thing to do with your family is watching television (Koikkalainen & Oleaga. urbanization has also lead to the decreasing of civic engagement. Civic engagement and social involvement have both decreased rapidly in the last years (kraut et al. Their conclusion stated that media did not change children’s perception of friendship. The expected result will be an society that is alienated from its close environment (kraut et all. 1998). The generation gap does not only exist between the haves and have not’s (elderly people who do not have access to the internet). The internet is the perfect playground for people who want to take advantage of children. yet the danger of the internet is that the unrealistic world is portrayed as realistic. People are . just now the subjects have mostly switched to media related issues. Another negative aspect of children is that they remain naïve for the consequences of their online life. Now. the heavy internet usage has negative outcomes on a person’s wellbeing. but is also very visible between parents and children. people do not turn to their environment for a social group anymore. This age-gap can also influences children in an negative way. parents do not have the knowledge to inform children of the dangers of the internet . Short (2001) argues that back then people got closer to a specific group and were very active in that group. Koikkalainen and Oleaga only focus on the positive aspects of children and media and they fail to take into account that video games and television programs also effect children in a negative way. even though the internet is used for communication. An active society is very beneficial for a country and for individuals. loneliness and stress Although the main use of the internet is engaging in social activities. It is important to know that tales have always portrayed the world in an unrealistic way. but the technology still plays a very important role. adults find it hard to keep up with the younger generation. being actively engaged in society make us feel useful and appreciated. Other changes The relationships between children and their parent has changed drastically. why bother being an active participant for your neighborhood? People are no longer a part of their local community..

online relationships can never fully for fill our needs. which leads to people comparing themselves against unrealistic image of others. The internet has made people more connected and likely to collaborate with each other than ever before (Sawhney&Prandelli. The internet has created an environment where people can create. 1996). it provides youth who feel different from their environment with the opportunity to find like minded online. Facebook friendships mainly exist of posting on each other’s wall and liking pictures. the result of this escaping into online communities will undoubtedly lead to a society where people live isolated from their close environment.2011). especially when it comes to friendships. which will result in long-term loneliness. Amongst children and young adults Facebook is part of their social status. This can lead to long-term depression and low self esteem. These sites only show one side of us. However. even basic real life communication at work will be a challenge for some. Conclusion Although it remains a challenging and complex field of research. it’s an intricate game of popularity . It is quite disturbing that also children and teenagers have become dependable on the internet. The current generation will depend much more on their online friendships leaving a big gap in their lives. The current generation may run into big problems if they do not find a way to fulfill their social needs. only 18% claim they use Facebook for in-depth communication with their friends (Kim&Lee. collaborate and share with each other. communication may be harder because they don’t share the same context (Clark. Social networking sites like Facebook and twitter have a big influence on today’s youth (Gonzales&Hancock.Mimi Bezooijen | 359174 | CM1007 | Group C Asignment 2 | Word count: 2. . A positive tone? It is undeniable that the internet has also brought us great things. However. social networking can also make us more self aware of who we are and who we want to be. Riots were won thanks to twitter and Kony got famous due to a viral YouTube clip. Results showed that especially girls find it hard to cope with self presentation and the pressure to be perfect online. examples are gay communities. Also. but if the current generation continues on this path it will result in an superficial and fake Facebook society. Rogers and Young (2009) describe the paradox of loneliness by stating that because we have the need to feel connected to someone. However. there are some conclusions we can draw from our investigation. Guys mostly search for positive support of their Facebook friends in the form of likes and comments. Kim and Lee (2011) investigated the effects of Facebook on the well-being of its users. we go online to make friends. The internet has quickly become very integrated in almost all of our daily routines. and has also gradually replaced a lot of things leading to us depending on the internet for almost everything.2005).2010). but we remain turning to the internet to for social relationships. where in-depth relationships are hard to find. It is frightening to learn how much children and young adults depend on others to feel confident about themselves and their lives. friendship and slang that is very hard to fully understand for people who are a not part of it themselves. Because Facebook is a relatively new medium the long term effects are still uncertain. Because online friends do not share our day-to-day environment. If almost all relationships will take place in the online world.493 substituting strong relationships with weak ones which can be more easily maintained online.

Another dark side to internet is the fact that it contributes to the decrease of social involvement. and to feel accepted. I grew up playing outside. Conclusion – 550 words. because the internet has become such an important aspect of our daily lives. . Online communities can provide children with the ability to come in contact with like-minded. Of course. this is a very negative and extreme idea. we must be very careful in the way we use it. and how interconnected the world has become thanks to it. and now I only use the internet as an addition to my friendships. Yet. Of course the internet has also brought as wonderful things. the case remains that the positives will not outweigh the negatives. and will lead to an society that is estranged from their close environment. This is disturbing. something that is vital in the growing process of children. In our society. Heavy internet usage can also lead to depression. and has enabled the users to take power. and their researches showed that the internet can be very harmful for our social environment and personal wellbeing.Mimi Bezooijen | 359174 | CM1007 | Group C Asignment 2 | Word count: 2. Several academics has made the effects of the internet their field on study.(2002) showed that a lot of people find their online friends more important than their real life friends. However. To conclude. because the internet calls for a perfect self presentation which is really hard to deliver for most teenagers (Kim & Lee. In my own opinion. The internet is great as a tool for connection the world. these online relationships will over time endanger the ability to engage in face to face communication. the internet is a wonderful invention. not something we are dependable on. yet the paradox is that we get further away from our own environment. the long term effects of this may be harmful.2003). Internet should be an asset to our life. Children who grow up with the internet being their most important form of entertainment and communication may not know how to maintain real life relationships. Yet. People tend to attach more value to their online communities than to their real environment. especially concerning is the fact that online relationships will come to replace our real life ones. We should make sure that the generation that grows up in this internet based society will still be part of their offline environment. The more positive attitude towards the internet is mainly based on how the power has shifted towards the users. because the communication is harder to decode properly(McQuillen. 2011). Yet. but the direction the society is heading is not very promising.493 Online lives have come a place for children to escape to. Research conducted by Finkelhor et al. not as a substitute. because online friendship can never reach the depth of real life relationships. yet these positives do not outweigh the negatives. which will lead to a more closed and individual society.

City. K.. J. Interactive Mark.D. W. J.Wolak. (1998) A Study of Finnish. (1996). Behavior.493 Reference list Clark. C. & Young. M. CyberPsychology & Behavior.. and Social Networking.. Bowling alone: America's declining social capital. and Social Networking.(2003) Escaping or connecting? Characteristics of youth who form close online relationships.K. Journal of Democracy. 19: 4–17. Robert. . (1995). theory. Kiesler. M. Spanish and Swiss Cases: Media Use and the Relationships of Children and Teenagers with their Peer. Suess. Using language. (2010) Mirror. (2005). Mitchell. and Prandelli. Juaristi. 6. Crimes against Children Research Center. Civic engagement and Urban America: analysis of urban trends. culture. Kraut. T. Finkelhor.J. A. . Volume: 14 Issue 1-2. The Relationship Between Depression and Internet Addiction. J. Mirror on my Facebook Wall: Effects of Exposure to Facebook on Self-Esteem. . 33-41 Putnam. R. Cyberpsychology. D. Suoninen. action. (2011). H. Cyberpsychology. .A. J. 65–78. C. (2001). V. 25-28 Sawhney. (1998) . . G. & Lee. Scherlis. Patterson. Short.. S. 514-528.. (1998) Internet Paradox: A Social Technology That Reduces Social Involvement and Psychological Well-Being? American Psychologist 53(9) Kim. J. Verona. volume 5 Issue 3. Pages 271-281 .. Behavior. European journal of communication 13(4). Mukopadhyay. The Facebook Paths to Happiness: Effects of the Number of Facebook Friends and Self-Presentation on Subjective Well-Being. policy.. University of New Hampshire Garitaonandia. Collaborating to create: The Internet as a platform for customer engagement in product innovation. E. New York: Cambridge University Press.P.Lundmark. Gonzales.Mimi Bezooijen | 359174 | CM1007 | Group C Asignment 2 | Word count: 2. & Hancock. R.

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