Professional Journal 3-30-99 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Get Real

By Joel Snyder

Internet World

February 1999

The article titled "Get Real" deals with the authors opinion of the Internet. Snyder says the Net has plenty of beneficial uses but is certainly not "wholesome". What he means by this in not just the pornography available to under age users but the personalities and point of views that exist on the Net. Sndyer says, "I'd rather a six-year see a picture of couple copulating than meet some of the people, attitude and viewpoints I've run into on the Net." One may not know who they really are. As Snyder says, "Where no one knows your real name, you can feel free to be as rude, obnoxious, uncompromising and unfriendly as you want."

Snyder talks about "virtual communities" on the Net. He makes a very good point in showing that people who live in real communities are forced to deal with a broad spectrum of users. Also some issues they have to deal with are Crime, schools, traffic and geographic problems to name a few. People buy houses, rent, and work in areas that compromise community. They aren't able to drop out of this circumstance without great effort. Internet virtual communities have more of those characteristics. With the touch of a key one can join or leave anytime its convenient one can unsubscribe or drop out. One doesn't have to deal with real issues. Any nonsense can be brought up. As stated earlier, virtual situations tend to bring out the worst in people. They can easily be unfriendly, obnoxious, rude etc.

After reading Snyder's article on the Internet, I would agree whole heartily with his opinion of real and virtual. I think it is very important for anyone using the Net and subscribing to different "Virtual" communities or groups that they realize no one in this situation has any consequences or real investment. Obviously the Net can be a very useful and informative tool in the right situation. But people, especially young people need to see the "real" situation for community on the Net and the built in pitfalls associated with the "virtual" situation. Clifford Still states, "We chat without speaking, smile without grinning and hug without touching." Everything is synthetic. I also agree with Snyder thoughts on the Net being, anti community. He says with all the activities there are substitution effects. If you spend time on the Net in "virtual" community and you've substituted this for your own real community and you're not spending this time in your own hometown. It's refreshing to hear someone talk about the Net, etc, and actually see some very detrimental situations derive from computer use. Computers and the Net are very useful and necessary tools to use, but I'm glad someone can see the negative that goes along with the "virtual" situation and the "real" world.

-- Anonymous, March 31, 1999

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