Technology is continuously changing dayin day out. These growing changes bring consequenceson different aspects of our daily life. For example, automobiles provide quicker andconvenient mode of transportation; a television is a source of entertainment,learning and information; a mobile phone provides the fastest way ofcommunication. Over thelast two decades, IT revolution has brought in advancements that have shown increasingly visible effects on oursocial, 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 userswith some of the undesirable changes being difficult to cope with in that theyhappen so faster, with less time to prepare.
Therefore, Software Engineers and otherIT specialists should be more cautious and avoid poor choice otherwise our technology will destroy us soon. From time immemorial, humanbeings have always found a way to communicate with one another. Owing to theirrole as one of the most fundamental aspectsof human existence, communication has evolved from what it was during thepre-historic times to what it is today. Thingswhich were once thought as luxuries have become necessities today (e.g. mobilephones, computers). It is through these modern waysof communication that continents, oceans and seas are bridged, making the dreamof “world as a global village” a reality.
The internet is a combination ofthousands of computer networks sending and receiving data from all over theworld. It is only 28 years sinceTim Berners-Lee developed the World Wide Web(www), but already the world seemsa fantastically different place due to directinfluence on different aspects of our society. For instance, with the internet,we could have virtual tour and freedom to mix with different cultures and newcommunities around the world while sitting in TV lounge. This disengagement usually affects our sociallives with social impacts like family interaction, leisure time,aggressiveness, mixing up of diverse cultures and fashion. But again, whenpeople have more social contact they are happier and healthier, both physicallyand mentally.
Morality is the recognition of thedistinction between good and evil or between right and wrong. It carries theconcepts of moral standards, moral responsibility and a moral identity. Diversecommunities have different ideas of what are desirable ethics and what areundesirable ethics. This has made morality more complicated issue in thismulti-cultural world we live in today.However, the effects of the internet onits users is irrespective of their color,creed, culture, gender, age, education and profession.
CHAPTER 22.0 METHODOLOGYIn thispaper, the researcher has used the internet research methodology. This isbecause it is efficient, cost-effective andfacilitates access to large samples of data. The types of internet research methods used include the following:1. Digital librariesArelibraries created as a full-fledged alternative to the traditional physicallibrary system for accessing a variety of materials such original texts,creative works, movies, paintings, music albums etc. in various formats. 2. Full-text databasesAfull-text database is a compilation of documents or other information in theform of a database which the complete text of each referenced document isavailable for online viewing, printing, or downloading.
In addition to textdocuments, images are often included.3. Independent scholarly sitesThepublishing technology of the web has facilitated the rise of many e-zines ande-journals. Many of the publishing companies (for newspapers, magazines andjournals) have transferred from the print to the web editions and it has becomea practice.
4. GeneralwebsitesInformationabout the Internet and Morality available on general websites was used by the researcherfor this term paper.5. Wiki SitesTheseare sites which run on the Wiki software for collaborative publishing, anexample is Wikipedia. They are usually rich sources of primary and secondaryinformation.
CHAPTER33.0 LITERATURE REVIEWAs more people around theworld gain access to all tools of the digital age, the internet is playing agreater role in our everyday life. There is a constant increase in the use ofinternet globally, this is due to its good influence in the realms ofeducation, personal relationships and the economy. However, nothing good is toogood, most of the people around the world are convinced that the internet ishaving a negative effect on our morals; 42% of them say that the internet hasbad influence on morality, while only 29% say that the internet’s influence onmorality is positive.
(PewResearch Centre, 2017) For young people, lifewithout information and communications technology seems as unfathomable andquaint as an era before sliced bread. Unlike any previous generation inhistory, young people today have instant access to the sum of human knowledgeand information through the click of a mouse. This provides unparalleledopportunities for learning, global connection, and innovation as never before.But alongside the numerous benefits bestowed by the internet to the youngpeople, it is increasingly clear that the potential for relentless andall-consuming contact with the virtual world is also presenting new and unpredictablechallenges for young people. Once online, this vulnerable group has embraced socializing as their mostpreferred type of digital activity. With the development of social apps, majoritiesof them, stay in touch with “friends”especially when they feel lonely.
They also use thesame social networks to share information on popular cultures, such as music, movies, sports which are accessed by otherinterested parties with minimal or zero restrictions. Also, regardless of theirgeographical 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) Onlinegames are fun and good for leisure. However, the real issue at hand is theeffect of these games on one’s moral character. Some computer games can bedesigned to facilitate virtues like togetherness and sympathy. So, it helps inmoral development as it helps in moral growth. However, other online games,portray violence. Although, there are claims that actions in a virtual worldare 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 inthe game and the two will almost certainly remain friends but in the real world this is different.
There have been newsstories of real violence strongly linked to computer games. (Coeckelbergh,2007). Malwareand computer virus threats are growing at an astonishing rate. While certaintypes of malware attacks such as spam are falling out of fashion, newer typesof attacks focused on mobile computing devices and the hacking of cloudcomputing infrastructure are on the rise. It is clear that malware productionjust for purposes of hacking, hacktivism, commercial spyware and informationalwarfare will be with us for the foreseeable future. For instance, everydeveloped country in the world experiences daily cyber-attacks, with the majortarget being the United States that experiences a purported 1.8 billion attacksa month (Lovely, 2010). Most of these attacks seem to be just investigating forweaknesses, but they can devastate a countries internet such as the cyber-attackson Estonia in 2007 and those in Georgia which occurred in 2008.
In the past most, malware creation was motivated byhobbyists and amateurs, but this has changed and currently much of this activity is criminal in nature. Thisportrays how the morality of our IT fraternity is rotten. (Cisco Systems 2011;Kaspersky Lab 2011).
Itis difficult for older generations to properly appreciate just how quickly theenvironment young people are growing up in today is being changed byinformation technology. Even relatively young adults in their thirties came offin an era where mobile phones were the sole preserve of bankers or wealthierestate agents, whilst the internet was an emerging novelty, slow andperiodically accessible via dial-up modems accessed largely in institutionsrather than the home. In today’s homes, computers are placed at some commonplace so that everyone can access it. Some teenagers takeadvantage of low Internet-skill levels of their parents, especiallythose in adolescence stage and frequently visit prohibited sites such aspornographic websites using this computer. Many themhave become addicted to pornography. Also, some also learn abusivelanguage from these clips. Disturbing case studies ofsexual exploitation and sexual abuse are linked to internet ‘grooming’ ofvulnerable young people.
The internet does not only facilitate ‘contact’ byarranging a meet up in real life, butincreasingly through the soliciting of explicit imagesvia social media or the incitement of sexual activity on webcams. These areserious safeguarding concerns. Young men experiencing a world where they canaccess freely available and worryingly graphic pornography online appear to bewarping their understanding of both their own and young women’s sexuality.There is some evidence this is also contributing to both genders’ expectationsof relationships and what is accepted as ‘normal’ is being altered leading to apotentially regressive twist in the quest for gender equality. Even youngpeople themselves are expressing their concerns about pornography in theinternet age, 80% of them say it is too easy to access pornography online and72% feel that pornography is leading to unrealistic views about sex, particularlyamong boys.
(IPPR survey, 2015) Signs are emerging to theeffect that information technology may be having on the development of thefirst cohort of young people to have grown up entirely in the post-internetage. Although much of the evidence is so far inconclusive there are interestingtrends emerging. Studies are indicating that empathy levels have decreasedsignificantly in young people compared to previous generations. There aresuggestions that a surfeit of exposure to data by the internet may be changingconcentration levels by decreasing attention spans in adults as well aschildren. (Youth and the internet, 2015) The level of risk thatyoung people are potentially exposed when growing up due to the extremes of theinternet can be magnified. Children are more prone to learnabusive language by having online friends. Also, teenagerstoday, speak in their own words far from the one spoken by their societies.
Languageand spelling are evolving rapidly due tothe rapid increase in a number of textabbreviations. Nowadays, there is what we call ‘chat language’ or ‘SMS language’where tense and spelling is not considered so long as it makes sense. Suchlanguages include: Iwant to see you……… I wt 2 c uThankyou………………tnk uGood…………………….gdor gudNight…………………….9tThe………………………dBecause…………………cos/coz/cuzThat……………………..
..rdLots of love…………….
..lolAndthe 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 bein 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 raisedover how far a generation glued to their gadgets will gain the social skillsthat can only be learned through directinteraction with other humans especially the old who are full of culturalheritage and customs of the society due to this language diverse. (Youth and theinternet, 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 andthe youths because of their inquisitive minds, impressionable age andadventurous spirits. Surreptitious changes are now being observed on thesevulnerable members of the society. Before the internet,learners schooled in an age where writing an essay meant sitting down with apen and paper and constructing it in contiguous form from start to finish. Theword processor now allows young people much greater fluidity in their writingthus impacting on their ability to construct thoughts due to the availabilityof online resources. Instant access to the sum of human knowledge at the touchof a button is amazing, but you can only search for what you know to look forand 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 learnersaccidentally stumble across knowledge in the way past generations would flickthrough an encyclopedia discovering their ‘unknown unknowns’. With algorithmsincreasingly determining the advertising, recommendations and news, we aredrip-fed online, how much is the worldviewof a maturing young generation being narrowed if they are insidiously directedonly to information which reinforces their existing preferences or prejudices? (Youth and the internet, 2015) Contrary to popular belief, it seems young people are actuallymore concerned about their online privacy than any other generations, beingmore likely to check and adjust privacy settings on the internet than other olderage groups. This is hardly that surprising for a generation which isincreasingly aware that one misjudged photo or comment online may affect theirjob prospects or happiness for the rest of their lives.
It also helps toexplain the popularity among young people of apps specifically designed toprevent an archivable record for the future like Snapchat, Instagram, whichallows a photograph to be sent which is then ostensibly deleted automaticallyafter a momentary amount of time. However, neither Snapchat nor Instagram is not immune to breaches of privacy, since itemerged, third-party apps allow messagesto be intercepted and ‘screenshot’,resulting in user photos being saved and stored. This has served to furtherunderline the maxim that, really, nothing that is posted on the internet shouldever be assumed to be ‘deletable’. (Youth and the internet, 2015) The internet in general and the social media in particular whichwas 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 environmentand lose face to face relations as they strongly spent time in a virtual environment with unknown people, whichresults in weaker relations with people in the real environment. However, it makes people become more social asthey have a chance to meet a variety of people of their interests withoutany time and space barrier. CHAPTER44.
0 FINDINGS AND OBSERVATIONS1. Malware and computer virus threats aregrowing at a faster rate due to immoral behaviors of IT specialists such ashacking, hacktivism, commercial spyware. 2. Onlinegames portray violence.3.
Persistent use of computers especiallysocial networks and online games results in the developmentof anti-social behaviors and creates sense isolation.4. Most ofthe youngsters use internet for the sake of enjoyment e.
g online games,socializing.5. People whofrequently browse the internet have very less ratio of their time spent with theirfriends and families.6. Visitingpornographic sites is a trend which is very common among the teenagers.7. The ratioof people becoming familiar with the other people’s cultures, new and trendingfashions is increasing each day contributing to the understanding and adoptingother cultures.
8. Whenpeople feel lonely they get online and start chatting with anonymous users oronline friends. 9.
The numberof persons who are aware of trending global issues is increasing due to the significance of the internet e.g on realmsof education. 10. Teenagers are more prone to learnabusive language by watching pornographic clips.
11. Morality has been sacrificed on thealtar of modernization and globalization where immorality now means being compliant with the present age.12. Most youngpeople do not care about their privacy and future consequences of immoral postsand behaviors on social media.
13. There is rapid developmentand evolving of ‘chat language’ or ‘SMS language’ where tense and spelling isnot considered so long as it makes sense among youth.14. Most parents have low Internet-skilllevels.15. Plagiarism and little research are common among learners as with modernsystems, there is instant access to the sum of humanknowledge at the touch of a button.16.
A band of warriors or cohort are nomore due to internet age which encourageslaziness. CHAPTER55.0 RECOMMENDATION1. As ameasure against the present low internet-skill levels of most parents, emphasisshould be made on awareness and training programs.
2. The public should be educated about the negative effects of the internet. For instance, internet addiction mayresult in emergence cohort.3.
To cope withunethical practices such as hacking, hacktivism and commercialspyware attention should be laid on cyber lawsto prevent people from violating the rules. 4. Policymakers should be fully conceived into the different nature of childhoodin this digital age. 5.
Parents shouldgive extra attention to their children while using the internet to help themdivert their attention towards constructive activities.6. Security professionals should notoverstate their ability to protect systems against malicious program discoveredbut should try to avoid the malicious programs.
7. InternetService Providers should offer content filters which restrict access to variousexplicit material online such as pornography materials.8. To copeplagiarism, a firm policy should be adopted. Fines and penalties should beimposed on those who commit plagiarism. 9. An appropriategovernment agency should educate the public on the implication of abuse ofinternet and the consequences. 10.
Award for ethicalbehavior, good morals and originality based on merit should be introduced. Thisis to motivate people into a healthy competition, good behaviors and originalhuman thinks because man by nature always strives for recognition andattention. CONCLUSIONForbetter or worse the internet is only likely to become increasingly importantand 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 noone would have dreamed even a decade or so ago, hence, a remiss in anticipatinghow effects of internet is changing our lives so dramatically today, perhaps alot 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 thetime at even a more rapid pace. Therefore, we have further opportunities toconsider 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 thenew challenges they will undoubtedly face.
Hence, a morally upright future society.