Technology lounge. This disengagement usually affects our social

Technology is continuously changing day
in day out. These growing changes bring consequences
on different aspects of our daily life.  For example, automobiles provide quicker and
convenient mode of transportation; a television is a source of entertainment,
learning and information; a mobile phone provides the fastest way of
communication.

 

Over the
last two decades, IT revolution has brought in advancements that have shown increasingly visible effects on our
social, political and economic lives. These creations affect how people work,
communicate, trade, inform, learn, teach and do research. No doubt, the ever-changing technology has both good and bad impacts on the users
with some of the undesirable changes being difficult to cope with in that they
happen so faster, with less time to prepare. Therefore, Software Engineers and other
IT specialists should be more cautious and avoid poor choice otherwise our technology will destroy us soon.

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From time immemorial, human
beings have always found a way to communicate with one another. Owing to their
role as one of the most fundamental aspects
of human existence, communication has evolved from what it was during the
pre-historic times to what it is today. Things
which were once thought as luxuries have become necessities today (e.g. mobile
phones, computers). It is through these modern ways
of communication that continents, oceans and seas are bridged, making the dream
of “world as a global village” a reality.

 

The internet is a combination of
thousands of computer networks sending and receiving data from all over the
world. It is only 28 years since
Tim Berners-Lee developed the World Wide Web(www), but already the world seems
a fantastically different place due to direct
influence on different aspects of our society. For instance, with the internet,
we could have virtual tour and freedom to mix with different cultures and new
communities around the world while sitting in TV lounge.  This disengagement usually affects our social
lives with social impacts like family interaction, leisure time,
aggressiveness, mixing up of diverse cultures and fashion. But again, when
people have more social contact they are happier and healthier, both physically
and mentally.

 

Morality is the recognition of the
distinction between good and evil or between right and wrong. It carries the
concepts of moral standards, moral responsibility and a moral identity. Diverse
communities have different ideas of what are desirable ethics and what are
undesirable ethics. This has made morality more complicated issue in this
multi-cultural world we live in today.

However, the effects of the internet on
its users is irrespective of their color,
creed, culture, gender, age, education and profession.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                           

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 2

2.0  METHODOLOGY

In this
paper, the researcher has used the internet research methodology. This is
because it is efficient, cost-effective and
facilitates access to large samples of data. The types of internet research methods used include the following:

1.       Digital libraries

Are
libraries created as a full-fledged alternative to the traditional physical
library system for accessing a variety of materials such original texts,
creative works, movies, paintings, music albums etc. in various formats.

2.      Full-text databases

A
full-text database is a compilation of documents or other information in the
form of a database which the complete text of each referenced document is
available for online viewing, printing, or downloading. In addition to text
documents, images are often included.

3.      Independent scholarly sites

The
publishing technology of the web has facilitated the rise of many e-zines and
e-journals. Many of the publishing companies (for newspapers, magazines and
journals) have transferred from the print to the web editions and it has become
a practice.

4.     
General
websites

Information
about the Internet and Morality available on general websites was used by the researcher
for this term paper.

5.      Wiki Sites

These
are sites which run on the Wiki software for collaborative publishing, an
example is Wikipedia. They are usually rich sources of primary and secondary
information.

 

CHAPTER
3

3.0  LITERATURE REVIEW

As more people around the
world gain access to all tools of the digital age, the internet is playing a
greater role in our everyday life. There is a constant increase in the use of
internet globally, this is due to its good influence in the realms of
education, personal relationships and the economy. However, nothing good is too
good, most of the people around the world are convinced that the internet is
having a negative effect on our morals; 42% of them say that the internet has
bad influence on morality, while only 29% say that the internet’s influence on
morality is positive. (Pew
Research Centre, 2017)

 

For young people, life
without information and communications technology seems as unfathomable and
quaint as an era before sliced bread. Unlike any previous generation in
history, young people today have instant access to the sum of human knowledge
and information through the click of a mouse. This provides unparalleled
opportunities for learning, global connection, and innovation as never before.
But alongside the numerous benefits bestowed by the internet to the young
people, it is increasingly clear that the potential for relentless and
all-consuming contact with the virtual world is also presenting new and unpredictable
challenges for young people. Once online, this vulnerable group has embraced socializing as their most
preferred type of digital activity. With the development of social apps, majorities
of them, stay in touch with “friends”
especially when they feel lonely. They also use the
same social networks to share information on popular cultures, such as music, movies, sports which are accessed by other
interested parties with minimal or zero restrictions. Also, regardless of their
geographical locations, most of them share trending and emerging fashions,
almost on daily basis and whoever is interested can copy the one he/she likes.  (Pew Research Centre, 2017)

 

Online
games are fun and good for leisure. However, the real issue at hand is the
effect of these games on one’s moral character. Some computer games can be
designed to facilitate virtues like togetherness and sympathy. So, it helps in
moral development as it helps in moral growth. However, other online games,
portray violence. Although, there are claims that actions in a virtual world
are very different from actions in the real world since a player may “kill”
another player in the game (virtual world) and that player is instantly back in
the game and the two will almost certainly remain friends but in the real world this is different. There have been news
stories of real violence strongly linked to computer games. (Coeckelbergh,
2007).

 

Malware
and computer virus threats are growing at an astonishing rate. While certain
types of malware attacks such as spam are falling out of fashion, newer types
of attacks focused on mobile computing devices and the hacking of cloud
computing infrastructure are on the rise. It is clear that malware production
just for purposes of hacking, hacktivism, commercial spyware and informational
warfare will be with us for the foreseeable future. For instance, every
developed country in the world experiences daily cyber-attacks, with the major
target being the United States that experiences a purported 1.8 billion attacks
a month (Lovely, 2010). Most of these attacks seem to be just investigating for
weaknesses, but they can devastate a countries internet such as the cyber-attacks
on Estonia in 2007 and those in Georgia which occurred in 2008. In the past most, malware creation was motivated by
hobbyists and amateurs, but this has changed and currently much of this activity is criminal in nature. This
portrays how the morality of our IT fraternity is rotten. (Cisco Systems 2011;
Kaspersky Lab 2011).

 

It
is difficult for older generations to properly appreciate just how quickly the
environment young people are growing up in today is being changed by
information technology. Even relatively young adults in their thirties came off
in an era where mobile phones were the sole preserve of bankers or wealthier
estate agents, whilst the internet was an emerging novelty, slow and
periodically accessible via dial-up modems accessed largely in institutions
rather than the home. In today’s homes, computers are placed at some common
place so that everyone can access it. Some teenagers take
advantage of low Internet-skill levels of their parents, especially
those in adolescence stage and frequently visit prohibited sites such as
pornographic websites using this computer. Many them
have become addicted to pornography. Also, some also learn abusive
language from these clips. Disturbing case studies of
sexual exploitation and sexual abuse are linked to internet ‘grooming’ of
vulnerable young people. The internet does not only facilitate ‘contact’ by
arranging a meet up in real life, but
increasingly through the soliciting of explicit images
via social media or the incitement of sexual activity on webcams. These are
serious safeguarding concerns. Young men experiencing a world where they can
access freely available and worryingly graphic pornography online appear to be
warping their understanding of both their own and young women’s sexuality.
There is some evidence this is also contributing to both genders’ expectations
of relationships and what is accepted as ‘normal’ is being altered leading to a
potentially regressive twist in the quest for gender equality. Even young
people themselves are expressing their concerns about pornography in the
internet age, 80% of them say it is too easy to access pornography online and
72% feel that pornography is leading to unrealistic views about sex, particularly
among boys. (IPPR survey, 2015)

 

Signs are emerging to the
effect that information technology may be having on the development of the
first cohort of young people to have grown up entirely in the post-internet
age. Although much of the evidence is so far inconclusive there are interesting
trends emerging. Studies are indicating that empathy levels have decreased
significantly in young people compared to previous generations. There are
suggestions that a surfeit of exposure to data by the internet may be changing
concentration levels by decreasing attention spans in adults as well as
children. (Youth and the internet, 2015)

 

The level of risk that
young people are potentially exposed when growing up due to the extremes of the
internet can be magnified. Children are more prone to learn
abusive language by having online friends. Also, teenagers
today, speak in their own words far from the one spoken by their societies. Language
and spelling are evolving rapidly due to
the rapid increase in a number of text
abbreviations. Nowadays, there is what we call ‘chat language’ or ‘SMS language’
where tense and spelling is not considered so long as it makes sense. Such
languages include:

I
want to see you……… I wt 2 c u

Thank
you………………tnk u

Good…………………….gd
or gud

Night…………………….9t

The………………………d

Because
…………………cos/coz/cuz

That………………………dt

Can……………………….cn

Come……………………cm

Road………………………rd

Lots of love………………lol

And
the list goes on and on. If the above becomes the conventional way of writing,
what will be the writing culture in the nearest future when the youths will be
in the helms of affairs? What will they transfer to the younger generation?
Where is education heading to? What about the reading culture? Questions are being raised
over how far a generation glued to their gadgets will gain the social skills
that can only be learned through direct
interaction with other humans especially the old who are full of cultural
heritage and customs of the society due to this language diverse. (Youth and the
internet, 2015)

 

In every society, there are groups namely: the minors, youth,
adults and the aged. Of all the groups, the most vulnerable are the minors and
the youths because of their inquisitive minds, impressionable age and
adventurous spirits. Surreptitious changes are now being observed on these
vulnerable members of the society. Before the internet,
learners schooled in an age where writing an essay meant sitting down with a
pen and paper and constructing it in contiguous form from start to finish. The
word processor now allows young people much greater fluidity in their writing
thus impacting on their ability to construct thoughts due to the availability
of online resources. Instant access to the sum of human knowledge at the touch
of a button is amazing, but you can only search for what you know to look for
and if it’s not listed at the top of a Google search it seems that less than 5%
of us even look at the second page of results. Thus, today’s learners
accidentally stumble across knowledge in the way past generations would flick
through an encyclopedia discovering their ‘unknown unknowns’. With algorithms
increasingly determining the advertising, recommendations and news, we are
drip-fed online, how much is the worldview
of a maturing young generation being narrowed if they are insidiously directed
only to information which reinforces their existing preferences or prejudices?  (Youth and the internet, 2015)

 

Contrary to popular belief, it seems young people are actually
more concerned about their online privacy than any other generations, being
more likely to check and adjust privacy settings on the internet than other older
age groups. This is hardly that surprising for a generation which is
increasingly aware that one misjudged photo or comment online may affect their
job prospects or happiness for the rest of their lives. It also helps to
explain the popularity among young people of apps specifically designed to
prevent an archivable record for the future like Snapchat, Instagram, which
allows a photograph to be sent which is then ostensibly deleted automatically
after a momentary amount of time. However, neither Snapchat nor Instagram is not immune to breaches of privacy, since it
emerged, third-party apps allow messages
to be intercepted and ‘screenshot’,
resulting in user photos being saved and stored. This has served to further
underline the maxim that, really, nothing that is posted on the internet should
ever be assumed to be ‘deletable’. (Youth and the internet, 2015)

 

The internet in general and the social media in particular which
was meant to be a blessing and to aid development has been the leading cause of moral decadence in our modern society. The internet is making people isolated,
depressed and lonely. People who use internet remain cut off their environment
and lose face to face relations as they strongly spent time in a virtual environment with unknown people, which
results in weaker relations with people in the real environment.  However, it makes people become more social as
they have a chance to meet a variety of people of their interests without
any time and space barrier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER
4

4.0  FINDINGS AND OBSERVATIONS

1.     
Malware and computer virus threats are
growing at a faster rate due to immoral behaviors of IT specialists such as
hacking, hacktivism, commercial spyware.

2.     
Online
games portray violence.

3.     
Persistent use of computers especially
social networks and online games results in the development
of anti-social behaviors and creates sense isolation.

4.     
Most of
the youngsters use internet for the sake of enjoyment e.g online games,
socializing.

5.     
People who
frequently browse the internet have very less ratio of their time spent with their
friends and families.

6.     
Visiting
pornographic sites is a trend which is very common among the teenagers.

7.     
The ratio
of people becoming familiar with the other people’s cultures, new and trending
fashions is increasing each day contributing to the understanding and adopting
other cultures.

8.     
When
people feel lonely they get online and start chatting with anonymous users or
online friends.

9.     
The number
of persons who are aware of trending global issues is increasing due to the significance of the internet e.g on realms
of education.

10.  Teenagers are more prone to learn
abusive language by watching pornographic clips.

11.  Morality has been sacrificed on the
altar of modernization and globalization where immorality now means being compliant with the present age.

12.  Most young
people do not care about their privacy and future consequences of immoral posts
and behaviors on social media.

13.  There is rapid development
and evolving of ‘chat language’ or ‘SMS language’ where tense and spelling is
not considered so long as it makes sense among youth.

14.  Most parents have low Internet-skill
levels.

15.  Plagiarism and little research are common among learners as with modern
systems, there is instant access to the sum of human
knowledge at the touch of a button.

16.  A band of warriors or cohort are no
more due to internet age which encourages
laziness.

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER
5

5.0  RECOMMENDATION

1.     
As a
measure against the present low internet-skill levels of most parents, emphasis
should be made on awareness and training programs.

2.     
The public should be educated about the negative effects of the internet. For instance, internet addiction may
result in emergence cohort.

3.     
To cope with
unethical practices such as hacking, hacktivism and commercial
spyware attention should be laid on cyber laws
to prevent people from violating the rules.

4.     
Policymakers should be fully conceived into the different nature of childhood
in this digital age.

5.     
Parents should
give extra attention to their children while using the internet to help them
divert their attention towards constructive activities.

6.     
Security professionals should not
overstate their ability to protect systems against malicious program discovered
but should try to avoid the malicious programs.

7.     
Internet
Service Providers should offer content filters which restrict access to various
explicit material online such as pornography materials.

8.     
To cope
plagiarism, a firm policy should be adopted. Fines and penalties should be
imposed on those who commit plagiarism.

9.     
An appropriate
government agency should educate the public on the implication of abuse of
internet and the consequences.

10. 
Award for ethical
behavior, good morals and originality based on merit should be introduced. This
is to motivate people into a healthy competition, good behaviors and original
human thinks because man by nature always strives for recognition and
attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

For
better or worse the internet is only likely to become increasingly important
and pervasive in the future. It is interesting, but not necessarily surprising,
that the internet and our society has entwined together in a way in which no
one would have dreamed even a decade or so ago, hence, a remiss in anticipating
how effects of internet is changing our lives so dramatically today, perhaps a
lot could have been done to think about the negative effects we are seeing currently.
It is never too late though, technology is still advancing on and on all the
time at even a more rapid pace. Therefore, we have further opportunities to
consider how the internet might affect the morality of our children, that way,
we can ensure we are better prepared to support our future generations on the
new challenges they will undoubtedly face. Hence, a morally upright future society. 

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