Is Internet Technology Creating a Nation of Recluses?

Post Views for Jun :
Pat Tate
As a senior Pat Tate started to explore Internet Marketing. She uses her blog as a journal to keep track of the people that she has met along the way. At Grandma's Internet Marketing/blog she talks about the various courses that she has tried and people that she has met along the way. The blog is a method to try to document the various ways that seniors might be able to use to augment their incomes. She invites anyone to join her with their ideas and suggestions.
Pat Tate
Pat Tate

Latest posts by Pat Tate (see all)

Pat Tate
You can get your own content published on this site as long as you have CommentLuv installed on your site.

Doing so means you get exposure to thousands and thousands of other CommentLuv users and your posts get sent out to the massive subscriber list.

Google loves this site and indexes it multiple times per day and posts always get lots of comments so you can be sure of some excellent exposure.

See the Write For Us page for more details

btw.. you can get this author box here

Is Internet Technology Creating a Nation of Recluses?What’s a typical day in the life of the average Internet user today? It begins by checking email. After email has been checked, it’s time to take a quick look at Facebook to keep up with everyone’s movements. Say hello to some friends and “like” some links and comments before heading over to the forums to chill for a while and chat some more. After all that socializing, who wouldn’t need a break, so take time out for a few games of computer chess and a couple of YouTube videos.

Is this an exaggeration? Perhaps, but without realizing it, we may be turning into a reclusive nation, interacting with others from behind a screen, incapable of real social skills. Some would argue that life itself is becoming a virtual experience!

Internet Addict or Not?

Are we really turning into a locked-in nation of people, glued to our computer screens? Several studies confirm this theory, and just as many others deny it. What is it that people are so worried about?

Studies in the past have shown that some Internet users who spent a lot of time online were at risk of depression. The study was pretty much accusing ‘heavy’ Internet users of being addicted to the Internet. Remember that back then there weren’t social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, so there was nothing like the level of social activity we see today and through which Internet users communicate with the world outside.

In the 1990’s the term Internet Addiction Disorder was coined, and the symptoms used to describe this disorder make interesting reading today: using the Internet excessively despite the complaints of others, being less inclined to go out, making daily use of online services, be it ordering a Lego Hogwarts board game or reading your bank statement, and checking emails several times every day. In 2011, many of us would recognize ourselves as having some of these worrying symptoms, making yesterday’s mental problem today’s normality.

At that time the kind of social networking sites which are so popular today had not yet been invented and people who used the Internet excessively were considered at risk of depression because they were cutting themselves off from the outside world and alienating family and friends.

The idea of the existence of Internet Addiction Disorder came when comparison was made between the common patterns of addiction shown by drug addicts or shopaholics. Some of the signs of addiction are lying about the extent of the addiction and withdrawal from society.

Communication via Internet or in Person

And yet today they tell us that Internet is all about communicating, and how easy it has become to connect with people all over the world.

True enough, but communicating through the Internet is not really comparable to conversing in person. Words on a screen cannot convey the expressions on a face. There is no subtlety, none of those non-verbal signs that we get from another human being. Using an emoticon can’t really make up for a real-life smile or wink.

Those who criticize Facebook and other social media say the relationships we find there are superficial. If we become too immersed in our virtual social life, then we are in danger of losing our real-life social skills as they become rusty.

Not only that, but scientific research shows that physical interaction with other people is healthy. Using the Internet will not necessarily make you a social dropout, but maintaining physical contact with other people will stop you from taking that path.

Is the Internet a Danger to our Youth?

It is common for parents to be concerned about the amount of time their kids spend on the Internet. Many fear that their children will not develop social skills if they are always busy online checking out the top toy for Christmas 2011 rather than going to the stores and dealing with the clerks.

Issues involving self-confidence are very common in young people and interaction with other people can be daunting. Socializing via the Internet is a useful tool, allowing a shy child who lacks self-confidence to have the social life that he or she would not otherwise have. This can lead to a lack of development in social skills and create a pattern of isolation, which will worsen, as they grow older.

Taking Refuge from Social Difficulties

There are a number of reasons a person takes refuge

in the online world and avoiding social difficulties is a major one. While it is practically impossible to build a genuine relationship with someone online, communicating via the Internet is an excellent way of avoiding people we dislike or who make us feel uncomfortable.

There is such freedom to be found online. An aging, overweight man with protruding ears transforms into an athletic teenager. You can turn into a financial controller or a successful screenwriter. You can be whatever and whoever you want.

The Internet gives us something, which we never achieve, in the outside world; it gives us control over situations, a luxury which is seldom found in reality and which is a major factor in social anxiety. There is no need to face up to those issues in order to get on with life online.

Clicking all day, Clicking all night

Using the Internet and computers plays to our lazy side. Why bother dressing up and heading out on a Saturday night when you can play online video games and have conversations with your friends without leaving home?

Whatever you think about so-called ‘Internet addiction’, you must admit that we can waste a phenomenal amount of time surfing the web; time that would probably be better spent getting out there and enjoying time with other people.

Making New Connections Today

Nobody is saying that you should cancel your Internet subscription in order to improve the situation. Through the Internet you have almost certainly met people you never would have in the outside world. Previously we used to socialize only with people who were in the same geographical location; now Internet gives us the opportunity to communicate with people the world over.

People who use the Internet as a social tool have been shown to have more diverse relationships, whether in terms of age, race, religious belief, profession or nationality. As distant and superficial as these relationships may be, such diversity must surely be beneficial.

The Internet also gives us the ability to gain insight into our problems, make contact with strangers in similar situations, and ask advice about every aspect of life, from parenting to health issues, to careers, philosophy and any other kind of question we may have.

The Internet has been instrumental in improving the lives of many people isolated from the outside world through physical or mental illness. It has made a major, worldwide support system possible for people who never knew that kind of support before.

What Can I Do?

If you have come to the conclusion that computers have had a negative impact on your social life, then it is time for a little self-help. Remember that the computer itself is not responsible; it is your use of it which has created the situation. There are several things you can do to improve your sense of social interaction and prevent you from cutting yourself off from the world.

  • Limit the time you spend at your computer. If you are not spending all of your time online, then you will spend it somewhere else. Perhaps you will even run into some other human beings outside! A good exercise is to compare the time you spend online with the time you spend doing other things. You may get a nasty shock.
  • Try to remember and write down a list of what you did in the past, before high speed Internet connections became par for the course. It’s important to shake ourselves up sometimes, give ourselves an alarm call.
  • Try to remember and write down a list of what you did in the past, before high speed Internet connections became par for the course. It’s important to shake ourselves up sometimes, give ourselves an alarm call.
  • Having taken a long, hard look at your Internet habits and come to the conclusion that you are indeed an Internet-dependent web slave, think about how you feel when you use the Internet. Could it be that you are using your time online to avoid dealing with other questions. Is there an underlying dissatisfaction in your life which is causing you to take refuge elsewhere? What can you do about it?
  • Plan the changes you will make in your use of the Internet. How about logging on to Facebook just once a day. Check your email after breakfast and not before. When you are not using your computer, turn it off completely. You could even make a day each week when you don’t use your computer or go online.
  • Become more active physically. Instead of watching a movie online, why not go to the movie theater. Join a book group instead of joining a forum. The best thing you can do is to call your friends instead of just ‘poking’ them. Go out more often and more regularly.

Don’t blame computers for alienating people from the world outside, although they do make cutting yourself off easier. The decision to get away from the online world and out into the real one is for you to make. When you do take the plunge and go out to see people face to face, you’ll soon realize that it is right decision!