Since the 1990s, the number of Internet users has rapidly increased, and this has far much become one of the important research topics for most researchers. As the phenomenon keeps growing, today, scientists keep trying to identify the impacts it has on the various cultures around the world, thus why, through the use of the internet, our world tends to be a westernized and homogenous culture. Based on young adults and language, past studies have found that close to 83.4 percent of internet users are aged between twenty to forty years. Additionally, 30 percent of this use the internet without any reason. It is clear that the internet has become part of our daily lives in so many ways. But what are the effects of its use on the current youth culture and language?
Regarding the use of the internet and its effects on youth culture, various studies have been made. One similar research gathered preschool children and conducted a thirty-year research on them and identified countless numbers of positive impacts that the Internet has on these kids (Fisch and Truglio, 2014). According to this research, internet use contributes to an improved literacy, social relationships, human characters, skills and understanding among the youth.
A more recent study aimed at identifying the extent to which using the internet for educational purposes can improve the language. For this purpose, it implemented a show that designed to improve child development while focusing more on cognitive language. The results of this experiment indicated that exposure to the internet significantly improves the cognitive skills. In other words, there is a close relationship skill acquired and the internet usage. It further found that if there is an improvement in internet exposure, consequently there comes an improvement in areas such as vocabulary (Yu et al., 2008).
Considering that the Internet has a positive impact on youth culture, we must also accept that the reverse is also possible. (SCHOLDER and ZIMMERMAN, 2005) Shows that, internet usage among preschool-aged children may lead to aggressive behavior, limiting the period spent on the internet can be used to prevent this from happening. There are various negative effects in the use of the internet including problems with social isolation, difficulty with language and lack of motivation among internet users (Lazarescu, 2010). It is also possible to believe that the internet leads to drugs use and other dependence symptoms among the youth. This is because of the lack of selection of what content to be viewed on the internet given that the youth is not compelled to understand what message is right or wrong.
Other studies on the adverse consequences aim to explore the overuse of the internet by the youth which may affect their normal cultural expectations at home and in school. Rather than using the addiction concept, I prefer to use the concept of dependence since it encompasses a broad range of Internet over-use.
Internet dependency among the youth is becoming a great concern with the increased penetration of internet usage worldwide. Currently, it qualifies to be a clinical condition that needs to be treated. There have been studies on how the over-use of the internet causes harm and development of mental problems among the affected people (Richards and Donaldson, 2010). An analysis of internet use and its psychological impacts on the youth concludes that there is a small effect on depression level and self-esteem (Huang, 2010).
The habit of internet dependence is formed at an early childhood stage usually within a home context. Parents have a significant impact on what content their children are exposed to during their early life stages. Parents provide children with internet devices and give an example to them by communicating their ideas and thoughts about how the internet should be used. Even with the current digital era, where most of the internet consumption takes place within the space of an individual, parents continue to express their influence on ways in which their children should use the internet. The impact becomes adverse because of minimum intervention in the youths internet use (Tufts, n.d.). This study concentrates on the ways in which a home environment, created by parents, affects the dependency and internet use among the youth.
With increased penetration of internet use and the invention of new internet devices, dependence is becoming a concern for parents. Especially when the youth become dependent on the internet and cannot be diagnosed thus making it difficult for them to be helped. Since then it will have an adverse impact on the youth, creating an attitudinal impact on the typical day functioning of a person. This problem of internet uses much of concern to various cultures around the world.
Some other problems among the youth are where an individual cannot control their ways of thinking and emotions due to too much time spent on the internet. Moreover, the effect of internet use is not only limited to the impact on an individual but also on the language performance of an individual. Such a condition might get worse when a work problem brings an impact on people who work together or to a company that the individual is working with. With the more westernized world, the internet has provided its users with a means to connect worldwide, learn different languages from different countries, access information and relate with people from different culture effectively.
The use of internet has been used to come up with new ways of providing support for the youth and education. For example, there are many online youth groups that are devoted to educating the youth and creating online opportunities to provide help to the youth.
Youth support groups are one of the first developments on the internet. A variety of online groups is devoted to a wide range of issues related to the youth. Some of these groups have thousands of participants while others are minimized to just a small readership. All the participants find these youth groups beneficial to them (King, 1998). Online groups provide the youth who have inadequate face-to-face social relationships a stigmatized feeling.
From an analysis of helping strategies provided by these support groups, the help provided is different from that provided by trained therapists (Miller and Gergen, 1998). The online youth groups, unlike those of face-to-face discussions, the participants can get involved in ways such as reading messages, sending emails, posting messages to members of that particular group (Mickelson, 1968). Various patterns of youth support are evidence in three styles of interaction. Mickelson (1968) found that, although youth educational support is not only related to reading newsgroups messages but also related to the fear of being rejected and lack of peer support from other group members. Thus, the internet has provided an alternative source of socio-cultural relationships for the youth who find it difficult to develop social and cultural ties in a face-to-face manner. Similarly, members of a hearing-loss group are more likely to participate in a case where they lack a real-world social support (Cummings, Sproull and Kiesler, 2002). Also, in online youth support groups, those participants who did not have a real-world social network reported having gained more benefit from these online groups. This function is most important to individuals whose face-to-face socio-cultural relationships among friends and other members of the society is inadequate or for those individuals who feel stigmatized.
Educators of the youth on culture and language have begun to find ways in which the internet to help the youth and other language learners. These educators suggest that through using the internet, one can be able to gain access to a valuable medium that is useful while learning (Reinke and Walcheski, n.d.). The internet is especially suitable for reaching the youth because its methods of use are more instrumental which makes it possible to fit the language learning styles. Most work in this area is limited to the descriptive models to deliver communication information. Currently, the model of collecting youth information is quite preliminary such that it is more efficient for youth education. In the other hand, this line of content can be advanced for quality service delivery which will need to describe and outline the teaching models and language that can assess the effectiveness of the approaches used.
In outlining the impacts of the internet of youth culture and education, there should be more concern that is put on the challenges it has and also considering the hazards of the techniques used. A lot of literature has been written on these approaches. For example, the clinical means of treating the youth on internet dependency through emails provides an insight into the techniques used. Clinical judgment is shared across the Web, but still, they do not make a comparison of other treatment approaches.
Ethics in Internet usage remains an important consideration. Until then, there exists evidence that the use of emails and internet based education is not considered to be ethically viable while substituting for the validity of the approaches.
Youth educators and professionals on languages provide online education that is needed. Researchers collect information about youths, languages, and cultures around the world to find other online information. This may be the first way to find out or understand how the youth culture and language is affected by information found on the internet. Research also examines whether there in need to provide further support for internet usage.
To conclude, the use of internet has been of great significance in ways that it transforms the lives of the youth, their culture, and language in general. The digital era symbolizes a youth culture that is controlled by the social media, cell phones, and the internet. Youth interactions and relations through language are increasingly conducted online. Such interactions among the youth have had great consequences on our digitalized world. Online communications through social networks and texting have influenced the evolution of language, bringing about a new form of language that impacts the identity of people, in particular among the youth. Consequently, the things that go on in peoples lives today through interacting online affects the way they perceive themselves and how the carry out their daily activities leading to a more westernized and homogenous culture all around the world.
Cummings, J., Sproull, L. and Kiesler, S. (2002). Beyond hearing: Where the real-world and online support meet. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 6(1), pp.78-88.
Fisch, S. and Truglio, R. (2014). G Is for Growing. 1st ed. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.
Huang, D. (2010). Advanced intelligent computing theories and applications. 1st ed. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
King, L. (1998). Indigenous Peoples and Minorities - Adult Education Perspectives following CONFINTEA V. Internationales Jahrbuch der Erwachsenenbildung, 26(1).
Lazarescu, M. (2010). Healing resources and rebuilding lives. 1st ed. Ann Arbor, Mich: ProQuest, UMI Dissertation Publ.
Mickelson (1968). Meaningfulness (m) in children's verbal meaning. 1st ed.
Miller, J. and Gergen, K. (1998). LIFE ON THE LINE: THE THERAPEUTIC POTENTIALS OF COMPUTER MEDIATED CONVERSATION. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 24(2), pp.189-202.
Reinke, J. and Walcheski, M. (n.d.). Family life education. 1st ed.
Richards, H. and Donaldson, M. (2010). Life and worklife expectancies. 1st ed. Tucson, Ariz.: Lawyers & Judges.
SCHOLDER, A. and ZIMMERMAN, E. (2005)....
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