Cultural Literacy Free Essay Example
Internet is one of the major discoveries in the field of information and communication turning the world into a global world where any form of information can be obtained at the click of the mouse. As a significant advancement in communication, Internet is a network of interconnected computers that allow the sharing of information through the World Wide Web (WWW). Since the internet mainly makes use of communities with a few electronic gadgets many people around the globe have found it to be a reliable way of communicating or sourcing information beyond borders. In a nutshell, internet connection has impacted every sector of life including but not limited to business, educational institutions, social life and systems of governance. Is there any office in the world, business or institution in the world which lacks internet services? It is obvious that as the world continues to experience massive development and innovation, internet services are absolutely playing a fundamental role (Rodgers 2003, P. 136). Notably, both social and political systems have also been transformed, impacting the way in which citizens are able to fully participate.
How has the internet shaped political systems in the world? Has expansion of the internet affected the involvement of citizens in various political systems in the world? The absolute truth is that politics and political systems of many systems around the world if not all have been transformed exponentially to different levels. Computer mediated political communication has enabled citizens to have a closer link with politicians through online communication which was not possible with traditional methods of communication. There is a lot of political information being shared in cyberspaces all over the world with high possibility of a different relationship between the political society and the civil society with diverse changes being expected. The question many people ask is how political systems operated minus the internet (Chadwick 2009, P. 157). The media has for a very long been considered as channels through which politicians and political groups champion their agenda as a way of winning political dominance. As a result, governments have been on the fore front in regulating the kind of information to be aired and covered in the media, limiting the freedom of accessing information during political campaign.
With a close analysis of traditional modes of communication with regard to the media industry, many politicians found it hard to reach to all their citizens because of several reasons. For instance, television and televisions which still dominate political seasons as communication channels limit access of information especially beyond borders. Televisions in particular are mostly known for hosting political debates especially in US politics. This allows policy makers and aspiring politicians to share their policies and obtain a better understanding of citizens regardless of the political wind which may prevail. Based on accessibility of information through the Internet, many political analysts argue that political democracy has been achieved in many political systems (Davis, P. 1771999). Unlike other forms of media communication like television which are prone to manipulation by powerful political groups or individuals, citizens have all the freedom to access any form of information needed.
Internet connections also promote reform of consciousness among politicians. Throughout history, politicians have been known to woo followers using words covered by media. With the adoption of the internet as apolitical tool, citizens receive direct communication from politicians and are able to make inquiries aimed at transforming political leaders conscious of their words and actions. This direct linkage between the political system and the public ensures authenticity of information delivered (Gibson, Nixon & Ward 2009, P. 7).This is because other forms of media are prone to delivery of distorted information which may be caused by opposing political groups or individuals for their own benefit. It is therefore with no doubt that the internet has significantly shaped political communication not only in the United States but in almost every country in the world. Just like in business where the internet serves as a marketing tool, citizens get first hand information and upcoming political events regardless of their location in the world. With the existence of internet enabled phones, citizens are able to communicate with politicians and even have discussions with their fellow country anywhere in the world (Eskicumali, 2010, p. 196).
Another way in which the internet has impacted the participation of citizens is through social network. Many politicians consider the use of sites like yahoo, fecebook and myspace to share their political through chat rooms, inbox messages or comment links. With the interconnection of websites, very many are able to interact with politicians with a lot of office. With current hyper active sites like fecebook which connects millions of people across the globe, it easy for political communication to be more effective than before (The Social Impact of Technology). Although the internet has augmented political communication and established a one-on-one interaction with the system, it has also significantly transformed the global social life. With the world having been converted into a global village, there is nothing simple as internet communication.
Sharing of information via social networks has dominated the world of communication with the number of people connected through various sites likely to rise significantly. A considerable world population is computer literate making social networks experience exponential growth. Because of the existing competition every site fights to attract and retain their customers and potential clients through improved service delivery. Since internet services have lower access limit many institutions like hospitals, colleges and agencies have internet services which connect their employees and members of that particular domain to communicate with the rest of world. Work mates are able to share their experiences, work conditions, weather and even future plans, all via social networks like myspace, Facebook, twitter, Yahoo and Gmail. Although this communication was mainly through mails, introduction of chat rooms completely changed social network communication (Morozov, 2009). This allows people to share up to date information at the click of the mouse from any destination in the world.
Since social networks augment communication in the society, does this play any role in determining participation of citizens in the social system? Millions of people have experienced manifold transformations in their lives as a result of social networks. Online discussions make everybody to feel connected to the entire society through computers. People can share all sorts of information as soon as possible. Many have found social networks to be quite informative on diverse topics like relationships, food and nutrition and general life.
Although the internet has massively impacted the world positively, it is essential for everybody to understand risks posed by wide spread of the internet. One the major internet risky is security related. Many people have been coned through online fraud, cyber crimes and identity theft. It therefore recommended that internet users be conscious especially in identifying themselves on various social networks. Many parents complain that some society values continue to be eroded online with young people being more vulnerable than any other group of people. It has been found that young people use the internet to access and share immoral materials like pornography leading to fatal effects (Boyd, 2007)). Parents are however charged with the responsibility of educating their children regarding the kind of information to be sourced from the internet. Since many people are spending most of their leisure surfing the internet, it is important for the society to emphasize the need for physical activities which are usually forgotten because of the internet. Nevertheless, it is clear that the internet has significantly impacted participation of people in both political and social systems.