You are on page 1of 4

Why is the Internet so addicting? Two reasons: information and freedom.

People go online to get information (music, news, stock prices, etc). Logging onto the Internet is like a kid going to a toy store; there is so much to do and explore that once you get in, you never want to leave. People also go online because the Internet offers freedom to do whatever they want, to say whatever they want and to be whoever they want. This could have a negative effect since people will act in certain ways and say certain things that they otherwise wouldn't do in real life. Furthermore, because the Internet offers so much freedom, you can find your ideal self much easier, but it's not the same as your social self. The difference is due to you talking to a computer screen and you talking to a real person. Thus, the experiences we encounter on the Internet are not the same as the ones we encounter in real life. Even though our overt use of the Internet can cause a conflict between your virtual self and your social self, many still excessively rely on the Internet for their activities. As a result of information and freedom, the Internet has become an unbreakable addiction for individuals and society. Computers are as common as televisions in households; in addition, laptops and Internet-ready cell phones enable the Internet to travel with us. "By 2000 it was estimated that the number of adults using the Internet exceeded 100 million in the United States alone" (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition). We believe that the Internet experience is the same as real life experience, but it's not. Although the Internet has many benefits, it also separates us from others while causing many unruly behaviors in the process. We know that the Internet has an unlimited amount of information and services; consequently, we excessively rely on it too much while ignoring social interactions in the process. That is not to say that the Internet is bad, it's just being misused. The Internet is the information superhighway; it contains more information than we ever need. When we open our web browser, you get to your home page; from there, you can go to an unlimited number of destinations. Online, you can do just about anything: chatting, gaming, shopping and much more. People can literally spend their whole life on the Internet. They can attend an online school and get an online job. They can pay their bills and invest their money. They can order whatever they need online and have it delivered to them; heck if they want to, they can even order a wife. The quirk is that you can do all that at the comfort of your own home in front of the computer screen. The Internet not only has an abundant amount of information but it also provides the blazing speed for acquiring them. Ever need information on something? Instead of wasting your time checking the dictionary, encyclopedia or yellow pages, you can just type it up on a search engine like Google and you will get the information instantaneously. With the limitless amount of information and instantaneous speed of acquiring it, the Internet has done an excellent job at bringing the world to its user. For many, however, the Internet is the world. The Internet is so expansive and accessible, we often find ourselves spending countless hours wondering from one website to the next. Along the process we often lose focus on time and reality. Ever heard of the expression:

the music and video files won't be as high-quality in the future as businesses will put less money and effort into making these products because there is no profit to be gain. If the governments of the world would arrest everyone who has stolen information on the Internet. we spent the time we saved by using the Internet some more. you can be free online. the Internet not only encourages illegal activities. we naturally want as many things as possible at no cost. never satisfied. We often ask questions like why go shopping when the Internet can deliver the products to your door or why go the library to research when you can do the same online. Looking for fewer restrictions. With no centralized authority to govern over. I spent more time chatting and surfing than working on my essay. The Internet has become counter-productive not because of what it offers but because of what it causes. Online. In typing this essay. culture and life in general. the Internal is all mental and not physical. made stealing easier because it enables users to share their files directly with each other. you will hardly get caught because of the expansiveness of the Internet. new programs like LimeWire and BitTorrent carry on its legacy. In a materialistic world. Going online is like being in a place without actually being there. As a result. They think that going online is the ultimate form of freedom from the restrictions of religion. Although the government has gone after individuals and companies in recent years. Fact is. KaZaA. However. society. we. "file sharing. we have become lazy and non-social. The Internet is essentially one big illusionary communication network. businesses are losing money as a result. The Internet allows us to accomplish this goal in regards to data like music and videos. You can't blame them. pretty much all of the Internet users will be in jail. the Internet cuts out the social interactions of our lives. continues to grow." Despite the effort. etc. Internet piracy is expanding rapidly. but we save a lot of time.12 percent more than in May 2005. You can just be yourself and need not worry about what others think about you. Just like the island of Lord of the Flies. for example. . Why should we care about businesses that have far more money than we ever have? Because. society. Therefore. but also promotes many vile and ignorant thoughts.time flies when you're having fun? That is what happens when we use the Internet. Stealing online is as simple as using the Internet. the Internet offers more freedom than real life. With confusing and hard-to-enforce laws. consequently. people flock from their social life to online. We may lose out on being social. there is no need to act or behave a certain way because of your religion. the concept of TINSTAAFL (There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) suggests that while we are acquiring these data for free. thus. Although KaZaA faded. a world without laws will be chaotic." John Boudreau writes. Free information on the Internet is not enough for us. culture. But they hardly arrest anyone because the laws of the Internet are different from the laws of society. With the Internet doing so many jobs for us. unless you excessively steal and share. most of which is illegal. steal data like music and video files online. it's more abstract and harder to enforce. the Internet has literally become a "free" market. "nearly 10 million users worldwide simultaneously clicked into peer-to-peer technology last month . We are easily distracted and side-tracked when online. Yet.

These haters know they are hiding behind a computer screen and not facing a real person. including teenagers. they become authors not only of text but of themselves. since the Internet allows someone to be completely different. The internet is a sanctuary for those who are afraid to express their vile opinions to the public. Because of this. The first time I heard or seen racist words like "chink" and "gook" is from online (no one has ever called me that in real life). They are popular because "as players participate. Therefore.Yet this aspect also has negative connotations. "Those weaned on computer communications won't learn the social rules of conversation" (Stoll 651). many are allured to the Internet to express their hate and anger towards specific groups. However. who meet and build relationships online will eventually want to meet offline. People can say whatever they want without suffering the consequences. "The overwhelming majority of online friendships aren't deep" (Stoll 650). the dangers of being concealed are that people can be completely different from their online persona. Rather for the right or wrong reasons. people won't make stereotypical judgments on you based on the way you look but instead on your thoughts. However. 65 percent of males and 62 percent of females between 14 and 18 admitted they had met strangers online who asked to meet them. people should rely on them for mental support-that is not immediate since it takes time for them to respond back. Your online friends may not be there when you needed them. Danger arises when people who get to know each other online will want to meet in real life. Online. Moreover. Begin online is like being invisible in real life. making friends online is easier as thoughts are more easily expressed online since people feel less pressure facing a computer screen instead of a real person. Uncomfortable topics like STDs and teenage pregnancy are easier to discuss online. being concealed on the Internet attracts users to spend most of their time online. As a result. many racist. People should treat their online friends like they treat pen pals. in reality. Since you are hidden on the Internet.not physical. Pedophiles operate this way. as a result. You know the joke: you may think you may be chatting with a girl online when. These haters also take advantage of the fact that nobody knows who they are online. we shouldn't replace real friends with online friends. Yet. constructing . Those who rely on the Internet for help will continue to rely on it because they lack the social skills to feel comfortable talking about their problems in public. They pretend to be a teenage boy or girl to chat with real teenagers and ask the teenager to meet in real life. they consider these worlds as real. "A survey by The Intelligence Group. feelings. more and more people are looking at the Internet for help and advice. being concealed online also has another benefit: it can mean comfort for someone seeking for help. an offline encounter is almost always different from the online one. These individuals avoid speaking in public places because racist and sexist beliefs will be countered with face to face confrontations and looked down upon by peers. you don't need to be politically correct online. Because of that. Information and freedom makes the Internet's virtual worlds seem like a cool and different way to socialize. MUDs and online games allow a person to be someone completely different. Conversely. for many. habits and interests. remember that the Internet is mental and physical. sexist and just plain hate websites exist. Robert Rinearson reports. Additionally. however. they can talk about their problems without being embarrassed about it." Most people. she is actually a middle-aged man.

Just like the advent of television. individuals need to have a better understanding on the negative effects of the Internet. When her father brought her a new computer. however. but they shouldn't consume your social life and well being. as many center their lives on playing MUDs and online games. Many have spent most of their lives with the Internet and not with other people. But did it make life so easy that we rely on it to do all the work while we overlook the value we have on social interactions? The more we rely on the Internet. On the Internet. Another example: Reuter reports. many people who get sucked into the virtual world won't care about their lives in reality. unfortunately. as a result. online. the internet has made life much easier. Instead of completely focusing on the positive effects. when you screwed up -for instance. In the television show Serial Experiments Lain. Consequently. This can be dangerous. You get to be the hero or heroine you always heard. Like Lain. "A South Korean man who played computer games for 50 hours almost non-stop died of heart failure minutes after finishing his mammoth session in an Internet café. Moreover. Communication and information has never been as accessible and faster as they are now with the advent of the Internet. In addition. Without a doubt. breathing human being is different from a computer screen. Soon her personal life meshes with her online life. the ideal self we created often does not translate well into real life situations. individuals must decide on their own what is best for them. we don't appreciate the companies of each other. In real life. People are attracted to these virtual simulations because they allow more freedom in a simulated environment than in real life.you can start over again. They have two choices: either move to a society where the Internet doesn't exist or. . friends and themselves while choosing to focus on their virtual selves instead. Players talk with the characters they created not with their real selves." He didn't care what was happening to him in real life because he was immersed with the online game he was playing. better yet. the Internet has changed the way we lived. responsibilities. She eventually abandons the real world to live in the virtual world. She was absorbed by the Internet and began using it excessively. MUDs and online games allow people to virtually start their lives over again in a completely different environment. people's virtual self tend to have a better life than their real self. MUDs and online games has become immensely popular. the more we isolate ourselves from human contact. working a well-paid job and starting a family. A living. MUDs and online game also has their own unique way of socializing. They stop caring about their jobs. for example. Lain was a shy girl at school. your goals are to try getting an education. families. causing confusion on her behalf. The Internet also conceived new ways to commit crimes and expressing hate. low risks and high rewards is something real life can barely offer.new selves through social interaction" (Turkle 677). you get to save the world. "cultivate our awareness of what stands behind our screen personas" (Turkle 687). seen and watch about. MUDs and online games are fun. we create our ideal self in a virtual environment. Because society's reliance on the Internet is permanent. like you happen to die. she became a completely different person online. With all of these aspects.