Internet Psychology: Cause or Cure (1997)

By: Douglas Rushkoff

This visually exposes the theory the majority of internet skeptics make, that describes how kids socialize mainly through the internet, and is why the internet is a negative influence on the future generation.

Since the onset of the internet, many skeptics and psychologists have opened new arguments and new discussions on just how detrimental the internet is to the human mind. However, although many skeptics have laid out incredibly well thought out points about the perniciousness of the internet, they have also been challenged by people who have exposed the true cures of the internet. For example, Rushkoff points out how sometimes people escape to the internet to avoid mishaps, or bad moments in their lives. The internet, by this logic, seems like a cure rather than a detrimental cause for mental sickness. In addition, Rushkoff introduced another occasion under which a person is inclined to going on the internet. For example, Rushkoff points out that people use the internet to mask their identity and pretend that they are a person that they really are not. However, the question really is whether or not allowing people to mask their identities is menacing or positive for the self. It is understood through this article, on the other hand, that this is actually good for the poeple of the internet in terms of self-esteem. Lastly, Rushkoff argues that people will actually benefit from the use of the internet, because it promotes this idea of social intimacy and close congregation with other people among you.

In this picture you see a guy in a dark room on the internet chatting with his friends. This is a visual depiction of how the internet influenced how people socialize now.

This article relates to the topic we are discussing in class relating to social community and how the internet affects our communication and identity. For most of the semester the class has been pretty set on the idea that the internet debiliates our ability to socialize with people, but Rushkoff thinks otherwise. He argues that people are more inclined to speak on the internet further improving upon their social skills.

In this picture you see a guy on the internet wearing a mask. This is a representation of how people mask their identities online, and portray themselves as people they are not.

In addition, the class has agreed that the internet changes who we are in regards to identity, but Rushkoff doesn’t see this as such a bad thing for people who lack self esteem can use this to improve on themselves, and make themselves appear more appealing to the public.

In conclusion, while many reason that the internet is in fact a detrimental bane to people and their social abilities, it is also proven that the internet can have some kind of positive reinforcement on people the society around them.

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