Internet Use and Education. Is Technology Making Us Lonely? Internet Addiction

Last update January 31, 2018
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A personal computer became more or less common among the world's population in the late 20th century. The thing that young people of the 1980s dreamt of is now available to almost everyone. Computers hold up the whole world industry and economy, and further development of mankind is impossible without computer technology. Many young people can’t even imagine their lives without their computers, tablets, phones that allow them to be online all the time.

Therefore, Internet has become one of the daily human needs today. It is used constantly and everywhere, wherever we are, whether it is a meeting with friends or, for example, studying. It is practically impossible to meet someone, especially among young people, who do not use the Internet. Every young person uses Internet search at least once a day and spends a considerable amount of time online, starting from business and ending with rest, which, sadly, for many of us has turned into social gatherings with friends in social networks now. Spending a considerable amount of hours on the Internet, young people become addicted to it. Young people constantly spend hours and hours in social networks, online games and do not notice how much time goes by. They develop an Internet addiction - an obsessive desire to be connected to the Web at all times and an inability to disconnect on time.

In fact, the concept of Internet addiction is relatively new for modern society but has already acquired a large scale, as millions of people tend to prefer Internet to real life. The most common consequence of frequent and prolonged sitting at the computer is poor eyesight. The sedentary lifestyle that inevitably accompanies Internet addiction affects the spine bone condition (scoliosis, osteochondrosis) and the work of heart and blood vessels (arrhythmias, hypertension, varicosis). Moreover, spending all the time online without any control causes changes in consciousness and brain functioning. This threatens a person with a loss of ability to learn and think analytically, do any intellectual work.

In addition to mental disorder, the constant use of the Internet and the growing Internet dependence make a person lose real communication skills and acquire antisocial behavioral characteristics. Thus, all the advantages and conveniences of the Internet such as Skype, Facebook, Twitter and many more may turn into a real problem when you use them constantly and without alternating.

Social Use of the Internet and Loneliness

When the first social networks appeared, people were overjoyed. Social networks made it easier to make new friends, keep in touch with the old ones, and finally put an end to the feeling of loneliness. But some time has passed, and loneliness has manifested even more in our homes. We have hundreds or even thousands of ‘friends’ on Facebook and Twitter but when looked deeper we are still alone. The more a person spends time on the Internet page, the more he/she feels cut off from his/her virtual friends. Psychologists claim that the reason for loneliness and anxiety in the social media is how we constantly compare ourselves to our acquaintances, former classmates, and colleagues. As a rule, people post on social networks only their photos and their stories of success making us think that others have a more saturated and colorful life. Hence, the feeling of inferiority, uselessness, and strong jealousy arises. People who used to call each other every day now limit themselves to a couple of dry phrases on the web page once or twice a week since communication through social services takes much less time.

Psychological experiments have determined that the more a person spends time on a personal Internet page, the less time he/she has for real life. Of course, it’s a personal preference, but sometimes it's better to turn off the Internet and the computer and go for a real walk with old friends or get to know new people.

The Relationship Between the Internet and College Students

As the Internet has firmly established itself in the modern educational system of many countries and became the main source of information for students, we have to use network forms of training. Namely, with the help of the Internet, the student has the opportunity to quickly obtain necessary information, documents that are difficult to find elsewhere, various video and photo materials, etc. Information about a college can be officially presented on its website. Students can check the schedule of their classes, homework, communicate with teachers and classmates. A teacher can plan various activities together with students.

On the whole, by using the Internet you can:

  • Get access to various electronic libraries, directories (geographic, address, etc.), dictionaries;
  • Send and receive messages, documents, texts, audio, photo, and video materials;
  • Keep abreast of the latest news;
  • Study foreign languages, computer science, and other subjects remotely;
  • Participate in educational quizzes, contests, teleconferences, scientific associations;
  • Create your own websites;
  • Download necessary information, training programs, etc. to your computer.

Informational and educational environment of the Internet motivates students to expand and deepen their knowledge, to use independent and creative work in solving studying problems. It is important that a student feels himself/herself a citizen of the world, can communicate with peers from other cities and countries, with interesting people.Computer and Internet education technologies change the educational process, require constant work with Internet resources from teachers and active participation in research from students.

However, the Internet carries a lot of threats that students can face when they are in "endless" cyberspace, that's why teachers and parents need to control the information that the student gets access to.

College Student Loneliness and Development

Modern education is not possible without the latest multimedia and interactive computer programs, electronic media, PCs as a way to update audiovisual information and the means for remote communication. The implementation of information and computer technologies in schools and universities seems to solve a number of problems like optimizing the educational process, increasing training independence, preparing comprehensively trained literate graduates. However, in practice, the public faces a real problem: the number of people directly dependent on programmable electronic devices is growing every day. On the one hand, computers are necessary for successful educational activities, but on the other hand, they are a means of communication and a way of spending leisure time. Due to this fact, nowadays scientists go on talking about the problem of Internet addiction. This problem is huge and represents a complex form of social behavior of a person, manifested in an excessive desire to be online. This problem is associated not only with the general psychological factor but also with age. It arises, first of all, among the younger generation who extensively use social networks, and, the most often, in those who are not very sociable in everyday life. Teenagers spend most of their free time playing computer games, making virtual acquaintances, gambling online, and searching for a variety of information. The Internet rules the modern youth and manipulates consciousness in a certain way. As a result, college students are not able to independently analyze information, draw their own conclusions, write abstracts, do research, and express their thoughts correctly. Wonder why? The Internet does everything for them. As a result, modern youth loses the desire and ability to self-develop because everything that they need is available on the Internet.In addition, teachers and students have all but ceased to contact each other. The student can simply send a completed work to the teacher by e-mail, and the teacher, in turn, sends it back the same way after checking it and leaving comments. A student loses the opportunity to gain experience of communication, which in the future can lead to his/her complete detachment from society and inability to communicate without the Internet.

All things considered, schools and colleges with the Internet access are good to be connected to the global network. The Internet can change the learning process in many aspects. Access to education has become more democratic. A private school or college in the city and a school in the country with the use of computer technology have equal opportunities for teaching and studying now.

At the same time, the virtual world, the illusion of a total absence of authority in the social network leads to psychological problems, escaping from real life, physical and mental exhaustion. To avoid such problems try to lead a healthy lifestyle, spend more time outside, communicate with friends in real life, pay more attention to a loved one, family. Motivate yourself to success and live a real life.