From the finger-print unlocking iPhone 5S to amazing new tablet computers, our world is becoming ever more digital. With technology expanding into the mobile sphere, more and more people are beginning to utilize the Internet on a wide variety of devices all over the world. Recent mobile advancements have been coupled with the rise of the social networking site (Facebook + Myspace), in which individuals have an online profile and interact with one another.
The Internet offers society plenty of tools to become better “citizens” (increase civic participation, interpersonal trust, and political knowledge) and increase social capital. Pasek, More, & Romer’s study revealed that looking into the particular types of Internet use is important in analyzing the results. The researchers used Facebook as an example. They proclaimed Facebook “focused on connecting users through their high school, business, and college communities…emphasis on having its users replicate their real-life identities.” On the other hand, Myspace was viewed more as a music-oriented social networking website focused around common interests. This fundamental difference in users and the information each website provides drastically affects the purpose each has in society. Ideally, individuals will use the Internet to not only consume content and maintain social networks, but also voice your own opinion.
In Measuring the Success of Digital Campaigns, Dave Karpf proclaims “Anyone with an Internet connection has a platform for getting the word out.” This is extremely important as it reveals the truth behind the Internet. While the Internet has almost unlimited potential, people must make a conscious effort to make use of it. Especially today when people are constantly bombarded with content. This means not using the Internet to play mindless video games or watch ridiculous YouTube videos, but using the Internet to voice your opinion. We are currently living in a revolutionary period of time. With the tools in front of us, nearly everyone can take an active role, it’s simply up to the user.
How are you currently using the Internet? Primarily for fun? Or mostly for work/study? Finally, do you believe you need to be more active online?