This paper focuses on the impact of internet especially social on education. There is both positive and negative impact of internet on education. The positive impact includes; the massive reference materials, easier communication, tutoring platform among others. Internet also has negatively impacted on the education both at a higher level and lower level of education. It is becoming difficult to control access to harmful materials; social media is becoming addictive to students, overreliance on internet, interpersonal communication skills problems among other negative effects. This paper focuses more on the negative impact of internet on education.
Information technology is advancing very fast. The society is adapting to the changes but the changes have not been understood by many in the societies. The forces of changes in information technology have not only impacted in the communication sector but all the sectors of economy. Information technology through internet has resulted into a global village where geographical distance is no longer a limiting factor for two parties to do business. For those who are in the information technology sector, it is not easy to predict what will be the next state of information technology. The fact is that the technological improvement and transformation are real, coming faster and becoming relatively cheap. Innovation and inventions have been evident with the advent of internet where information sharing is key concept. Technological convergence will be realized in future where small devices and widgets will have the capabilities of combining several technological functionality. Currently systems such as Geographical information system, have the ability to combine mathematical concept of topology, geometry, computer graphics, computer aided design, database management and other disciplines to form a powerful tool. Medical sectors and education are also going to experience the same technological changes. In future there is going to be a major information technology shift in education sector. The changes will include self-learning since the trend has moved from teaching to learning. Virtual lecturers, learning institutions and working environment is going to be realized in future.
In institutions of higher learning it has been a bigger solution to the limited library space and lecturer halls. This is because courses can be offered online. Tutors can a lost post videos and give out other learning materials through social media such as twitter and YouTube among others.
Negative impact of internet on social life in schools
The internet has been in use for several years now and it is being used into everyday life. People have embraced internet to an extend that it has affected them negatively. The internet is not good for underage since there are bad content such as pornography and other bad sexual behavior that have affected social life. Many people in the society are giving more importance to internet friends than their family and real life friends. Internet is also to blame for spread of drugs and substance abuse, many youths are able to know drug market and how they can get them through the internet. Studies have shown that students take more time on the internet surfing (browsing) negative internet content than studying which affects their academic results.
Internet is an interactive mode of communication just like telephone and has the ability to overcome distance barriers in a communication channel. The internet is also mass where an individual can communicate to many people at the same time using a single web page. The receivers of this information are not limited to the geographical location. Having massive content reaching many people concurrently has encouraged pornographic maters to be distributed on the internet. Users in the process become addicted to the internet hence spent most the time surfing instead of being with their families and friends. Users who spend much of their time on the internet in the process become depressed and feel loneliness, being ‘locked’ on the internet the whole day weakens the relationship with neighbors and the community.
Many students nowadays rely on internet on almost everything. Research has established that students spend more time chatting and surfing the internet than doing their homework and academic stuffs. Many computers laboratories and institution networks are having problems with blocking ‘bad’ sites because students spend a lot of time on such materials.
It is also possible to train students in a virtual reality environment in fields that are risky and require a lot of care such as piloting and medical tests.
Negative effect of internet discussion groups in school
Internet communication such as emails have different features of communication compared to face-to-face communication. In electronic mails there are no expression of feelings such has laughing of sad while communicating. This affects how people communicate in real life because they copy the talking expression of the internet. Sproull and Kiesler (1985), came up with a filter model which looked at the technological features of emails and other computer based communications. Computer based communication, according to the study limits the time of social communication compared to face-to-face communication. Computer based communication does not have nonverbal features of speech and it does not occur in the real time. These results into a making a person not act like human during communication effect on the people involved, the results were that people think of themselves more than others in a communication channel. Internet communications also have negative effects on social interaction compared to face-to-face.
The first area is the education centers or institutions; because of limited time and cost of communication on internet communication, computer based communication (CBC) has resulted into violent and unfriendly exchanges between communication partners and reduction in the common dealings when working together in a group discussion among students. Behaviors such as name calling, insults and swearing are the effects of internet communication that has been shown in the working environment. Working in groups on a given project at work place is facing challenges and even failure because of poor communication. It has been reported that a group of four individuals in a group may witness personal attack, aggressive communication and other negative behaviors which are as a result of computer based communication.
Social identities disorder has also been attributed to computer based communication. Spear et al (2002), argued that the decrease in salience of personal accountability and identity has resulted into group-level social identities significant, this has resulted into social group identities where those on the internet forms groups to identify themselves with. Corporate world has greatly tapped into the internet usage in their operations. Many business deals are being negotiated and even agreed on the terms. However, researchers are warning on some effects of ‘e-negotiation’ such as delay in communication can be deemed to be disrespect to the deal or communication between the parties. If one party sends an e-mail they assume that the other party has received and failure to quick response can be treated as disrespect to the terms and conditions of the agreement.
Effects of internet use on close relationships in school
Because internet based communication does not require use of signs and face-to-face engagement, students are facing hard time in group discussions. There have been a lot of studies on the impact of internet on close relationships for many years making the subject more contentious. Social relationship is the relationship which is an instrument of extrinsic, nonsocial ends of individual desires (Fiske, 1992). Fiske (1992), further suggests a model that explains how humans interact with each other. There is a strong evidence that supports the fact that internet has affected social relationship.
Hine (2000) points out that online interaction are totally different from offline social interaction hence poor social order and group efforts are evident to internet users. Many Computer based communication means such as blogs, instant messages, and social web among others are widely adopted by internet users. The point that many scholars are focusing on the possibility of forming genuine personal relationships over the internet. There are four elementary models that can explain the social relation of people; communal sharing, authority ranking, equality matching and market pricing. Kraut et al., (1998) on their study of HomeNet project concludes that internet has led into negative results for individual user, like loneliness and depression which causes them to neglect their close relationships. Nice (2001), points out that internet is a limited resource that is acquired at a cost. The cost is both monetary and sacrifices of other activities. Users who spend more hours like 10 hours a week on the internet have problems with their friends and families since they do not find time to be with them.
Take of time with friends than with books
Parks and Floyd (1995) carried out a study to establish how internet users form relationships. Research shows that online relationships are similar to those made in person in terms of quality depth and breadth. McKenna et al (2002) established that 50% of the internet users had established a close relationship and even met with their friends. The report further points out that 22% of those respondents had actually married and are living with someone they had actually met on the internet. The study further points out those internet users express themselves better over the internet than face-to-face interaction. This is a trend that has great impact on the social life of individuals where they cannot express themselves freely when they are in group. Friends who liked each other over the internet projected the ideal qualities of the person their partner (Bargh et al., 2002).
The use of internet poses risks, more and more contribution on the internet exposes someone’s private information is very high. The studies have shown that internet users express themselves ‘freely’ on the internet than face to face interaction. An individual can leak personal information and share inappropriate content over the internet. Taylor (1974), points out such risks on traditional consumer decision making, where lack of privacy hinders e-commerce.
Racism and prejudice in school
There are contents on the internet that are negative and abusive to human kind. Students have access to such information and they tend to believe on the posts. Racist have free posts on the internet and write bad message about other race because the internet is not regulated by anyone. Judging others by looking at where they come from, the color of their skin and their language is something that has spread on the internet so much. These negatively affect the social life of those abused and even other race that believes they are superior to others. We can clearly say that abusive video and text messages on the internet cannot be regulated by any government since people always find their way around any regulation.
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