internet resources in social life: internet addiction

The analysis on the influence of the Internet on social development and psychological health. The reasons and effects of the Internet abuse. The functions of Internet resources and their impact on human societies. Challenge "live a week without Facebook".

Рубрика Социология и обществознание
Вид реферат
Язык английский
Дата добавления 22.04.2018
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Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine

Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University

Department of English Oral and Written Speech Practice



Research Paper

by Andreieva J.

student of the Faculty

of Foreign Philology

Scientific Adviser:


Kharkiv - 2016

Nowadays Internet has become an essential part of people's lives. But what place does it actually take? A kind of a lifestyle? A sign of supremacy? An entertainment? А fashion trend? Is it a social virus, or a mental disorder that roots deeply into our brains? Do you consider it as a simple source of information?

Whatever we are thinking about it, the problem comes up in modern society and needs solving.

Our report is devoted to the functions of Internet resources in social life. The topicality is determined by the absence of the analysis on the influence of the Internet on social development and psychological health and we need to explore causes, reasons and effects of the Internet abuse.

Concerning the information mentioned above the aim of our work is to study the methods and ways of psychological affection on people's mental and physical health produced by Internet usage, to establish the symptoms of Internet addiction, to understand the reasons this problem occur in modern society.

The object of our research paper is the Internet as a global phenomenon of social media communication; the subject - is the functions of Internet resources and their impact on human societies.

Originally the World Wide Web was designed to change the way of communication system during the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union. Such a network would enable government leaders to communicate even if the Soviets destroyed the telephone system.

In 1965, another M.I.T. scientist developed a way of sending information from one computer to another that he called “packet switching” now known as the ARPAnet. In 1971, it was added the University of Hawaii's ALOHAnet, and two years later it added networks at London's University College and the Royal Radar Establishment in Norway.

In the 1980s, the work of Tim Berners-Lee company in the United Kingdom on the World Wide Web, theorised protocol links into a working system, marking the beginning of the modern Internet.

Since the mid-1990s, the Internet has had a revolutionary impact on culture and commerce, including the rise of near-instant communication by electronic mail, instant messaging, Voice over Internet Protocol(VoIP) telephone calls, two-way interactive video calls, and the World Wide Web with its discussion forums, blogs, social networking and online shopping sites[5].

Then in 2000's the new Internet era begins. Personal computers get the spreading around all developing countries, reach the furthest corners of the planet - and the world becomes a huge organism charged by information with the nets connecting its each part. New gadgets such as smartphones, pads and tabs, interactive watches and MP3s prove the fact of a technology revolution.

So society gets a great deal of benefits that change the life for better : round-the-world communication, science connections, culture exchanging, leading business, on-line shopping, endless source of information needed and a huge field for self-development.

Year in year out, people become accustomed to a thing called “Internet”. Now everyone from children to senior people can use this information machine the way they want or need, it has just become inevitable element of our human beings.

These days people do not phone or write messages to each other because they have a 24-hour access to social networks, where you can find a person wherever he or she is. It is much more convenient to tape some words and add some emoticons than calling somebody and talking to them. Social networks allow us to watch videos, listen to music, share interests, study, play games, do shopping and be on the same wavelength with all the world - and all that is contained in a convenient web page. Just imagine: you do not even need to stand up from your armchair to turn on the TV, come to the mail box, rootle through piles of reference books looking for telephone number or address - everything is done for you, just use it!

Such networks allow us to merge our surroundings, work, hobbies, entertainment and leisure in the same place. People just take what is given without thinking what is good or bad for them. So we are not able to think deeply because actually we do not need.

Of course we have got an opportunity to lead a convenient life but are we the “vegetables growing in a greenhouse”?

Pointing out the profits we have got from using the World Wide Web we could notice that an advantage can turn into a disadvantage easily.

Let`s compare some of them:

what do we have what does it usually cause

· Getting new information getting lost in piles of real and wrong facts

· Communication getting out of real-life communication

· Shopping on-line laziness and risk of being cheated

· Latest news being affected by information war

· Education on-line lack of discipline, health problems

· Art and literature no need in visiting places / leaving home

So it becomes obvious that the Internet helps to improve the level of life somehow but flaws occur and that is unavoidable. But the problems mentioned above are not the main global point of the issue, they just promote and increase the further mischief received with this kind of addiction.

Present-day society is tightly connected with the Internet which gives people power, fame, influence and supremacy among the other countries and nations. This instrument is one of the main features of the developing society.

But the problem is that people do not know how to use the World Web to get a real profit. We often get caught by various social networks, gambling web-sites and news forums clogging our minds. We spend hours uselessly turning Internet pages, staring at stupid videos, reading nonsensical advertisements and buying goods that we do not even need!

That is how one problem flows into another - we get into consumerism obsession easily because of various marketing traps. We are often get caught by twinkling advertisements, popping up from everywhere, preventing you from the needed information for which you actually visited this website. Of course such scheme affects our subconscious and we get a desire to buy or to examine that proposed thing. People purchase goods and consume resources excessive to their needs. In the recent years, this phenomenon has been established among many developing countries which have been attracted to the tendency of believing that happiness is based on what you consume. As a consequence, people are not anymore eating merely to satisfy their hunger and they are not anymore wearing clothes as protection against the weather. They buy and buy because of a strong feeling of greedy that is provoked by different psychological methods. Taking into consideration all these features we must agree that during the last decade, there has been a rapid growth of consumerism in the world`s society.

But the most intimidating fact is that people are not able to lead a normal life in a real society anymore. Whenever there is lack of an important human feeling/characteristic, one tries to look for cure on the Internet. Surfing the Internet is the first thing one tries to do. Suppose a person does not feel confidence in himself or herself, the first thing he does is google about how to boost confidence levels. Next he discovers that he lacks for good work ethics, the next thing he does is google about how to build a good work ethics. After that he finds more problems within himself, again rushes to the browser. It is a never-ending circle. Each time you discover something to be out of the order, you google and find the best answer on how to deal with it. What is worse, people try to cure themselves by searching for methods in the Internet, the do not even check the date or authenticity of the sources they visit[3].

Furthermore, seeking answers and help in the Web is not a solution for your vital problems. Often people even get the wrong information which they take without any doubt. Such confidentiality ruins human psychology that may cause various mental disorders as depression, eating disorder, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, obsessions and personality disorders.

Moreover, spending hours sinking into on-line world, people become more asocial, that is obvious because we can notice ourselves being scared of meeting new people, terrified by face-to-face communication. We cannot even stand upon our rights. This fact proves that Internet obsession destroys even our instincts: slows our development, hebetates us and changes the mentality. Even more dangerous - we do not notice the surrounding violence and perversity because it is a normal ordinary thing which could be met everywhere in the net.

We are lost in time space, have no feeling of reality. We waste time switching from one web-site to another being deepened into colorful unsubstantial world. All other delightful activities, even shopping which used to be an obsession, shifted into the on-line world. We find ordinary meetings and walks boring, cannot spend a minute without refreshing the news pages or Instagram posts. We do not want to cook no more because one click - and you get the tastiest dish delivered to your house.

So that with all this click-and-get service people do not use their brain for seeking answers, solving vital problems, developing intellection. They move into a virtual life falling into cognitive degradation slowly.

As it could be understood from the previous points, Internet abuse leads to psychological problems as well as to physical ones, destroying not only a human organism but the whole society as well. Internet abuse effects people's mind and body than comes as an inevitable “bonus” to all the benefits of its usage. We become weaker in cognitive development as well in body structure.

Negative exposure gained via the Internet proves to have a heavy pressure on the psychology of millions of people worldwide, children included. Violence, pornography etc are very easily accessed on the Internet and are often perceived by the wrong set of people. This takes a toll on the manner of their thinking and the way of appreciation the reality. Thus, this leads them to the wrong habits and they undertake unwanted wrong-doings. Their minds have altered and takeover their actions. They become the “mis-led” people in the society, and their reputation is ruined[5].

A lot of children today tend to turn to the Internet to play online games, without the required attention of the parents. This usually happens because they lack for the knowledge of real-lifestyle and turn to something online that could visually be real but is actually immaterial. Most of these games trigger acts of violence in youth, thus harming child's psychological mentality. Being involved into online games, they are taken into a world of violence and aggressiveness and they often lose their sensitive and gentle nature. They turn into violent little human beings, and some of them have their violence increased so much that they grow up to commit crimes and stuff alike.

One more possible psychological effect of Internet usage that matches up with the amount of time wasted with online activities is Loneliness. If a person spends a lot of time online, he/she is likely to face a great deal of loneliness. They interact less with their social surroundings like family, friends etc. The social factor is completely removed from their lives as a result of excess Internet usage.

What is worse is that they might even lose the best of communication abilities. Also, these Internet users are unable to distinguish between what is real and what is not and so they turn to the virtual world where they are accepted much more often. As a result, they improve on imaginary online relationships rather than enhancing their physical relationships. So that, psychologically they become even more lonely; their mind wanders into empty spaces with only themselves.

The worst psychological impact the Internet can ever have on mankind is its influence on the brain and mental activity. In this quickly growing world, we find ourselves in positions where we must think on feet and as quickly as possible. Yes, the Internet is excellent in giving knowledge and insights into various things. However, with too much Internet around to influence us, we lose the ability to imagine and interpret independently more often than not and we tend to blindly accept facts and information. The Internet basically spoon-feeds us and psychologically we develop into a very dependent mindset beings[1].

Then more problems appear, such as feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, dishonesty, euphoric feelings when being in front of the computer, disability to keep schedules, no sense of time, isolation, defensiveness, avoiding doing work and communicating with other people in real life.

Physical health is also greatly affected. Unlimited and enormous time spent in front of the computer can lead to such symptoms as backache, headaches, weight gain or loss, disturbances in sleep, blurred or strained vision, that can grow in much more serious diseases.

You can easily check your degree of Internet addiction by asking yourself some questions that have been worked out by Dr. Kimberly S. Young [7]. He has created a questionnaire based on other disorders to assess levels of addiction. It is the Internet Addict Diagnostic Questionnaire or IADQ. Answering positively to five out of the eight questions may be indicative of an online addiction. Here are the questions:

• Are you preoccupied with using the Internet? Do you think about your previous or future online activity?

• Do you have the need to be online longer to be satisfied?

• Have you made repeated but unsuccessful attempts to cut back, stop or control your Internet use?

• Do you become moody, restless, irritable or depressed when you stop or decrease your Internet use?

• Is your time spent online longer than what you originally planned?

• Did your online use negatively affect a significant relationship, education, career or job?

• Do you conceal the extent of your Internet usage from your therapist, family or others?

• Does the Internet serve as an escape from problems or relief from a bad mood?

If you find this symptoms appeared in your daily routine, it's time to pay attention to yourself and find the ways to solve this problem immediately. It`s obligatory to consult with your doctor to have some ways of curing.

Internet is something essential for us, all aspects of our life are connected with it:

· Social life -- getting in touch with relatives and friends, getting the latest news, knowing about the events kept in your city or even around the world etc;

· Education -- having access to various scientific sources, encyclopedias, references, dictionaries, fiction; ability to use the best world-spread textbooks and manuals - thousands of ways how to improve your studying strategy;

· Time-spending -- easiest way of looking for the plaoce to go out with your friends or to have a rest at home watching movies and reading books;

· Shopping -- getting goods from all over the world, having dozens of alternatives for you taste and pocket;

· Hobbies -- different sources of inspiration and on-line studying programs;

· Work -- ability of a part-time job not even leaving your apartment; cooperating on-line with your boss or employees;

· Treat for mind and soul -- creating blogs, web-sites, sharing photos and videos etc.[2].

Moreover everybody can have a 24/7 access to the World Wide Web using up-to-date gadgets (computers, pads, smart phones, MP3s, smart watches, cameras and even TVs); the use is also available because of free 3G coverage and Wi-Fi wherever you are: flying in space or reaching your school by underground.

Although people understand that solving vital difficulties is unreal in virtual world, they go there for having a piece of advice from experts or anonymous person, what often helps them psychologically. This is also the way to overcome your fears and lack of self-confidence or simply to find a soulmate to communicate with.

All in all, it is a human nature to seek for new information each moment each second, such an information hunger makes us searching new sources for satisfying our growing interests.

Having a personal computer or a laptop is not a luxury anymore. It has even become an obligatory part of our daily routine. Any normal family cannot be imagined living without a computer or Internet because all the social and personal life nowadays is connected with this system.

First of all, the problem is in ourselves so we should decide on the real valuables and begin to understand that Internet is not our second life, it is only an instrument to improve and to simplify our existence.

Internet culture should be designed and spread around the world. For example schools and universities should not only teach how to use the computer, but also how not to get lost in virtual world. Everybody has to know about harm and benefits that could be taken from it.

A great way to lower the rate of Internet usage in public places is to set passwords on Wi-Fi. Due to researches[1], people's desire of surfing the net lessens because they do not want or are simply afraid of asking others for it.

Also another method could be performed in a form of challenge, like «live a week without Facebook, Twitter etc». Or just find new activities for yourself - go in for sport, sightseeing, travelling, art. Cooperate with your mates! Try to organise meetings and tours with your friends and colleagues, visit exhibitions, theatres, cinemas, cafes together; devote more time to your family and friends - they really deserve it! social internet human health

Switching to real life - that is what modern society really needs. This reformation of steering away from a whole-the-world obsession may change our lives cardinally, improve the rate of social, mental and physical health of the mankind. Due to that all the human race will not turn into the industrial technogenic world.


1. Bienvenu J. Personality and anxiety disorders: a review/ J. Bienvenu, M. Stein // Journal of Personality Disorders. - New York, 2003. - №17. - P. 139-151.

2. Brenner V. Psychology of computer use: XLVII. Parameters of Internet use, abuse, and addiction: the first 90 days of the Internet usage survey. / V. Brenner // Psychol. Rep. - Montana,1997. - Vol. 80. - P. 879-882.

3. Fox S. Online Health Search 2006. Pew Internet Project. 29.10.2006

4. Kratzer S. Is "Internet Addiction" a disorder of its own? A study on subjects with excessive internet use/ S. Kratzer, U. Hegerl // Psychiatrische Praxis. - Stuttgart, 2008. - №35. - P. 80-83.

5. Leiner B. Brief History of the Internet: The Initial Internetting Concepts Internet?Society.?Access:?

6. Pies R. Should DSM-V designate "Internet addiction" a mental disorder? / R. Pies // Psychiatry. - Edgmont, 2009. - №6. - P. 31-37.

7. Young K. Caught in the net: how to recognize the signs of Internet addiction and a winning strategy for recovery / K. Young - New York: Wiley,1998. - 256 p.

8. Young K. Internet addiction: The emergence of a new clinical disorder / K. Young // Innovations in Clinical Practice. - Toronto, 1996. - 512 p.

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