Cyber Communication: Progress or Problem? By Chevanie Bailey©2011 Cyber communication can be defined as the interaction between individuals via the internet or over the World Wide Web. According to the Little Oxford dictionary the word “progress” is defined as ‘improving or developing’, the word “problem” is defined by the same source as, ‘something that is difficult to deal with or to understand’. Interaction by way of cyber communication has many advantages but also, many disadvantages.
Cyberspace, throughout the past few years, has been home to many child molesters, child stalkers, kidnappers, and rapists, who are able to reach into the lives of innocents through chat lines and other communication sites, lure them from their homes and molest, kill or kidnap them. According to the U. S. A’s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, “one in seven youths (10-17yrs) have received a sexual solicitation or approach over the internet and thirty- four percent (34%) had unwanted encounter to sexual materials, introduced to them by the pedifiles.
As cyber communication becomes more widespread, the use of e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging and the number of social networking sites such as Facebook, Tagged, Hi5, and MySpace, proliferates, resulting in another problem- the loss of jobs. As these forms of cyber communication are used more often, the need to send letters through postal services will be reduced. This poses a problem for postal workers as there will not be enough revenue entering the organization and as such there will be a lack of funds to pay workers.
In addition, university or college lecturers are also affected by this, as the use of ‘skpe’ or ’webcams’ becomes more popular. This form of cyber communication allows both parties regardless of their location to see and hear each other, as if interacting ‘person to person’, thus one individual is able to do the job of one thousand. Another problem associated with cyber communication is ‘cyber bullying’- this is where one child is targeted by another child or children using interactive technologies such as, e-mail, or bashing websites, where children can vote for the ugliest, fattest or stupidest child.
This is a prevalent problem in society and according to The Stop cyber Bullying Organisation, “one in every four children has been or still is a victim of cyber bullying. The ‘cyber bullies’ may break into the child’s email account, change their passwords, bars them from their account and create havoc by sending insulting, threatening, or otherwise offensive messages to other persons, while posing as that child.
Despite all these negatives or disadvantages of communicating by cyberspace, there are positives which one may argue , ‘outweigh’ the negatives. Using cyber communication is quicker and is more efficient. Sending an e-mail is a lot like sending a letter, but, with an e-mail, however, there is no sorting of mail in the post office or waiting weeks for it to arrive, it is almost instant, arriving within seconds. In addition, the ability to communicate with someone, anywhere in the world, at any time, is also another progressive move for cyber communication.
Psychologists are trying to explain the patterns in the mental processes that can occur during communication that takes place in cyber space, which causes people to be more honest and open- they have called it “The Disinhibition effect”. The poet, Oscar Wilde, once said, ‘’Man is least himself when he talks in his own person, but, give him a mask and he’ll tell you the truth. ” Though this statement can be easily opposed, in cyber space it can be proven to be true, as being anonymous gives people the freedom to be themselves.
The question still remains, “Is cyber communication progressive or problematic? ’’ On one hand, cyber communication has made communication around the countries, continent and the world quicker, and as a result, has compacted the world into a small community. But, on the other hand, this type of ‘quick’ and ‘efficient’ communication is causing people to lose their jobs, to be targeted by unscrupulous individuals with sexual offers and threatening messages. It seems clear to me that cyber communication is more problematic than it has been progressive. Thank you