Christopher NguyenMrs. Raza-QureshiHSP3U0Jan 22 2018 The Internet: Culture and Social Impact The internet, which was once a simple means of transmitting primitive information, has now advanced into a digital utopia which has been integrated into most facets of the modern life. From talking to tweeting and broadcasting to streaming, the internet has allowed for advancement in common areas of daily life. Cyberspace has become a hub for entertainment, education and communication which has helped spawn a culture that is only possible with the specific conditions that communicating over the internet entails. A lack of normal physiological restraints, the psychological implications of anonymity and the ease of accessibility to all have made the Internet a culture incomparable to any other. The internet has allowed for significant changes to social interaction in the sense that online communities now “…transcend physical boundaries” (Pan). The internet was developed for the sole reason of transmitting information quickly and as such the social aspect of the internet has developed into a “…communicative phenomenon of astonishing speed and scope.”(Blommaert and Varis.) Where as interpersonal communication can only occur traditionally through physical contact within close proximity, online communication has shattered the physical limitations and created a space where “Individuals interact — partnerships form, friendships build, love affairs steam — over the net without these people ever seeing or meeting one another in person.”(Pan). Meanwhile, social media has become less social and has instead become a hub for entertainment. Large communities such as facebook, twitter and youtube have the ability to spread information built into their system. Retweets, and shares increase the visibility of a tweet, post or video which can be subsequently retweeted or shared again by the newly exposed inner circle of the original person. This cycle of virality has become second nature to the user with liking and sharing becoming a general social gesture more so than a gage of actual likeability. The “like” has become an equivalent to a “hello” in the cyber communication space. According to Malinowski in his book Linguistic Pragmatics, “‘phatic communion’ serves to establish bonds of personal union between people brought together by the mere need of companionship and does not serve any purpose of communicating ideas.”(qtd. in Blommaert and Varis). The like and the share now have the connotation of small talk, but simultaneously help spread visibility of a subject.
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