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The impacts that telephone and television has created in people’s lives - Essay Example


Issues have been rising since the introduction of computers and Internet. This essay will review the impacts that telephone and television has created in people’s lives and to justify the social impacts as well as the changes in work pattern brought on by the Internet, resulting in changes made to the lives of average citizens. The focus is placed towards the changes in social and work patterns over the past decades. Arguments are placed on whether it is benign or harmful towards people’s lives. Computers and Internet are utilized in many different ways and for many purposes. The changes that could be better or worse brought towards individual’s lives depend on individual’s usage of the Internet.

Impacts of Telephone and Television

The introduction of telephone and television has brought changes to people’s lives. Telephone enhanced social involvement through enabling effective communication. It was a different issue for the television although it served educational purposes, it created the opportunity for people to isolate themselves. Hence the cons of television include the fact that people had diminished physical and psychological health, which is similar to the impact that the Internet has brought currently. Television proved to be an issue back when it was first introduced, due to the issues of violence formed. Its acceptance was based on educational and entertainment reasons.

Internet Paradox

The Internet paradox is conceived to be a social technology that reduces people’s social involvement and imposes a decline in psychological well being through creating boredom and unhappiness. Internet has concurrently changed work patterns hence making it similar to the usage of television. The Internet has provided four values that people want, which are information access, commerce, entertainment and communications respectively. (Johnson, J. 1997) Although the Internet provides advantages like entertainment, education, increment in technical skills, easy information retrieval and communication, the existence of the problem is caused by the opportunity for individuals to isolate themselves.

Communication is the most widely used with the Internet, through using chat rooms and electronic mails to expand social contacts and to communicate with family and friends. With Internet communication, individuals are able to reduce difficulty of coordinating interaction and concurrently save costs on distant communication with new and existing contacts.

Pros of the Internet are that it creates better social relationships, which is similar to the functions of the telephone. It removes distance constraints and abolishing isolation. People unite on the basis of possessing common interest and creating the chance in increment in skills and confidence with computers. Cons of the Internet include social isolation of individuals as communication is with anonymous strangers, which results in disconnection from genuine social relationships. It allows the opportunity to spend time alone therefore reducing family interaction.

Social Impacts of the Internet Paradox

Before the introduction of Internet usage, people are engaged in social participation and have family interaction therefore possessing quality life, which contributes to being happier and healthier, both physically and mentally.

The introduction of the Internet led to social disengagement, which means that there is lesser physical activity hence resulting in diminished physical and psychological health. Concurrently it reduces family interaction time and social involvement with contacts. It is stated “Internet users might experience a symptom of depression.” (Kraut, R. 1998) These social impacts would lead to insecure psychological well being like loneliness and stress. Further impacts would include having poor quality of life with the raise of crimes therefore resulting in a more corrupted and a less efficient government.

With the Internet, “inhibitors to widespread use of the net for information access are: a lack of useful information, copyright limitations, costs, weak search mechanisms, and slow downloading.” (Johnson, J. 1997) The statement made meant demonstrates that people are now utilizing information, as they are interested in information access.

In Luc Sala’s article, the author mentions that media would have to be shared between television and Internet and that the trend would increase. Hence it demonstrates that it is going to have the same social impact that it had when television was introduced.

Johnson’s article, “Universal Access to the Net: Requirements and Social Impacts” mentioned that one of the social impact would be literacy as it would form a new meaning in future as towards using the Internet for communication. Additional other impacts would include governments losing their control power over censorship and globalization towards one culture but in doubt of which one.

The exacerbation of Internet is related to the rising issues of computer crimes and pornography, resulting in individual performing illicit behaviour. Therefore it causes the problems of Internet resentment by people arguing that the Internet is doing harm towards the society and individuals. These are the similar problems that were brought on by the introduction of television. The difference with Internet is that people are able to have a choice of the information being retrieved and that it is interactive. However there is no control of justified information on the Internet.

Impacts of Internet Paradox on Work Patterns

The introduction of television and telephone did not produce many changes to work patterns. Telephone allows people to communicate more effectively with each other without the distance constraint. The Internet serves the same purpose as the telephone except with enhanced services of communicating while being able to view other communicating parties.

Internet has altered the way people do business, in which businesses are able to reach a larger market and people are able to compare prices and shop online regardless of their location. Although this resulted in increased convenience and efficiency, it has caused people to disengaged in their physical activity and partly reduces social involvement.

It is mention that “The inhibitors here: a lack of critical mass: sellers, buyers, goods and poor search and delivery mechanisms.” (Johnson, J. 1997) This illustrates that the electronic commerce is still on it growth and yet to be established. The changes in work patterns are that individuals and businesses now rely on the Internet for information. Though having mass information, information is sometimes redundant and unreliable. Since the introduction of Internet, there is an increment and growth with businesses going online. The changes on work patterns include the ability to access information, products and services globally.


The Internet is would be a useful tool for businesses, individuals and society. The changes brought on by the Internet can and could have a larger impact than the introduction of television and telephone. Although the Internet brought issues and problems similar towards the introduction of television, however it possesses more advantages than the bad impacts that television has created.

Internet is believed to be isolate people however the author of Researcher’s Debate Net’s Social Impact believed that “Internet does foster communities around shared interests, hobbies or fears.” (Lawrence, K. 2000) This is because it closes the gap between people through eliminating the distance and unites them, in which “It’s changing the mode through which communities emerge.” (Lawrence, K. 2000)

“It’s hard to say whether that’s good or bad, but it’s certainly going to be different.” (Lawrence, K. 2000) My views are that Internet has emerged to stay and though there are raising issues on problems that it has caused. It is a tool that is developed to assist and add value to our lives through providing more efficiency as well as knowledge that are boundless.

With the information found and issues discussed, I would agree that the statement claimed is valid and that Internet could bring changes upon people’s lives more than it did with the introduction of telephone and television. To ameliorate the usage of Internet, education of usage of the Internet is a vital and crucial factor that must not be overlooked.


Johnson, J. 1997, Universal Access to the Net: Requirements and Social Impacts (Online)

Available World Wide Web:

URL: http://www.acm.org/sigchi/chi97/proceedings/invited/jj.htm

(Accessed 21 September 2001)

Kraut, R., Kiesler, S., Boneva, B., Cummings, J., Helgeson, V. & Crawford, A. (In press), 1998, Journal of Social Issues.

Available World Wide Web:

URL: http://homenet.hcii.cs.cmu.edu/progress/acmlet.html

(Accessed 21 September 2001)

Sala, L. 1997, The Internet and Social Impact of the Local Media

Available World Wide Web:

URL: http://www.isoc.org/isoc/whatis/conferences/inet/96/proceedings/e7/e7_3.htm

(Accessed 22 September 2001)

Lawrence, K. 2000, Researcher’s Debate Net’s Social Impact

Available World Wide Web:

URL: http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/cti545.htm

(Accessed 22 September 2001)

Kraut, R., Kiesler, S., Boneva, B., Cummings, J., Helgeson, V. & Crawford, A.,

1998, “Internet Paradox: A Social Technology that Reduces Social Involvement and Psychological Well-Being,” In B230: Organisation Informatics: Reader 2001, Murdoch University, Murdoch, pp. 153-170.