Reading Blog 8 – September 30, 2015

“The People’s Net” (p. 116-126) by Douglas Rushkoff from “The Digital Divide: Arguments for and Against Facebook, Google, Texting, and the Age of Social Networking.”

In his essay, Douglas Rushkoff talks about the origins of the internet and how it was made for communication between people. According to him, the internet was made for connection among it’s users. That was it’s original intent. He says that as time goes on, the internet is more user-friendly, creating more user participation than ever before. There is a place for each individual on the internet, no matter who you are or what you’re into. For example, in his essay, Rushkoff talks about a 60-year-old man who connects to a 16-year-old in Tokyo, talking about Jungian stereotypes. The internet is public good that is powered by the people that use it. Even though businesses tried to get a hold of it by using it as advertisement space, Rushkoff suggests that this eventually will die off. Rushkoff has a very negative view about businesses looking to sell things online. He suggests that businesses hinder the aspect of collaboration on the internet. Instead, they are just looking for ways for people to consume their products. The internet, he says, “was built for love, not for profit” (Rushkoff 119). Therefore, Rushkoff is a firm believer in the social aspect of the internet. The social networking facet of the internet is the most important one because it connects people in places that you never would have guessed.

Links:

  1. “Teenagers and Social Networking: it might actually be good for them” http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/05/teens-social-networking-good-for-them – This article talks about how the internet and social media sites help the communication skills of teenagers. Though some people may say that the internet causes a negative change in people’s social skills, this article refutes that argument. It claims that the internet and social media helps kids with their intellect and creativity as well as their social skills.
  2. “Don’t fear the network: The internet is changing the way we communicate for the better” http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/networks-changed-social-media-internet-communication-82554 – This article agrees with Rushkoff’s idea that the internet is a way for people to connect, no matter who a person is or what they are into. It also talks about how the internet gives us a way to meet and stay in touch with new friends, which creates a stronger sense of community in our lives.
  3. “What do consumers hate more than TV ads? Online video commercials” http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2014/07/15/what-do-consumers-hate-more-than-tv-ads-online-video-commercials/ – This article also agrees with Rushkoff’s statement that the internet was built for love, and not for profit. In most cases, people actually get annoyed with companies that try to advertise on the internet. It’s just another commercial that they have to look at. This article explains why consumers hate certain advertisements when they’re using the internet.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Though people hate commercials on the internet, how has online business advertisement helped the economy?
  2. From the readings that we’ve had so far, we’ve had authors argue that the internet is both beneficial and detrimental to a teenager’s social skills. Which one do you agree with and why?
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