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The Social Internet: Are We Shaping It or is It Shaping Us
Pages 5 (1255 words)
The Internet and its associated technologies have infiltrated our homes and saturated our society. Social scientists and engineers have long feared that the ease of Internet communication would eventually replace any need for face to face encounters. Some questioned the wisdom of heading down the information super-highway at breakneck speeds, while others worried about the technically impoverished that would be left behind in the vast wasteland without the Internet…
It's important to evaluate to what degree increased Internet communication infringes upon our normal social skills. How much distortion does the Internet place on our deep-seated social structures, our cultures, and our institutions
One of the oldest institutions that we have used as a place of social gathering and interaction has been the church. While church membership has fallen slightly in recent years, the Internet has been a revival for religious organizations. Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville SC downloaded 80,000 Internet sermons last year from their site (Hills, 2003). Many of these surfers would probably have never set foot inside a church. According to The Barna Group, by 2010 as many as 50 million Americans will rely on the Internet as their sole religious contact (as cited in Hills, 2003). Though the Internet has the power to move more people toward religion, it is clearly moving them away from the church and away from the social setting that was important for conversation and local news in previous decades.
Just as the Internet can deliver religion to the people, it also has the capacity to deliver people to politi ...
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