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Networked Public

Personally I am pretty sure I am a digital native. I have always been around computers, although the computers I was raised with were far less technologically advanced than the ones we use today. Naturally, I was not a child of the internet but thanks to my computer technician father I was introduced to the internet at its birth. Because of this experience I feel I have an advantage over natives who still may see the internet as a fad or a new thing. Personally I no longer look at Facebook as a must have, the same with all sort of social media. I really see it as a hindrance.

My opinion of Facebook is poor; I would never give a total stranger who called to my door the personal information required to join Facebook, nor would I give an American guy whom I have never met the same information. I cannot understand how almost 1 billion people have done this.

Because of this hesitation to share personal information on line I feel my social ‘klout’ is tiny. My electronic footprint is tiny. My sole use of the internet and social media extend to educational and professional development and advancement.

Today’s generation have never known a time when they did not have access to the internet. I believe that living in the networked public will have vastly negative influences on society.

With the popularity and ease of texting and instant messaging, the art of handwriting will become obsolete. Because of convenience and environmental issues the printed word will cease to exist, with all information being made available only in digital form. This has the opportunity to create a form of social oppression through the control of information.If the wealthy and powerful control information, we will see a vast power shift as the masses will no longer be able to confirm truth; the digital word can be altered in seconds to create a lie.This subject has been touched on by Orwell and Clancy in their works.

“The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people.”
Tom Clancy

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past” Orwell

I believe the anonymity of the internet can increase social deviance. The internet gives users the power to conduct themselves in a manner they may not subscribe to in normal social circumstances. Because of this illusion of anonymity internet users are more likely to exhibit deviant behaviour than they would in a face to face setting. Through the perception of a safe and anonymous environment we have witnessed a rise in cyber bullies, on line sexual predators and aggressive behaviour .

The moral panics from the networked public are numerous, ranging from extreme violence and hard core porn to hate mail and biased views on sexuality. I would like to focus on the the issue of pornographic material. David Cameron has issued a change of internet terms. He has contacted the top 4 UK IP providers and enforced an opt in format for all pornographic material viewed in the UK. This to me is a very strong, positive step in the regulation of adult material and limits the danger and exposure of under age internet users to pornography.