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Digital Culture

Digital Culture

Digital culture describes communities that exist online or on the internet that have created their own sense of identity. This culture is one of the newest to emerge, as the Internet is a relatively new phenomena comparatively speaking. The writers at Paper Masters custom write projects on various cultures, including digital cultures and their influence on society.

To completely grasp how technology has changed the fabric of society and the character of many cultures, the Internet is one of the most over-utilized but least understood examples. Still, other researchers argue that the Internet is primarily a means of communication and as such has had little influence, relatively speaking, in actually changing society: "The Internet seems more like a new way to manage long-standing social problems and meet long-time social needs than a transformative technology that has fundamentally changed patterns of either interpersonal or group processes". Researchers such as this seem to miss the underlying shifts in social patterns directly attributable to the Internet as well as completely misinterpret the fundamental change in the way information is now communicated because of the Internet. In fact, because of society's inability to comprehend this fundamental change in communication methods facilitated by the Internet and its innate facility as an information aggregator, psychologists created a list of disorders for what they termed excessive Internet use, in order to attempt to explain a fundamental paradigm shift in how society interacts.

According to the text of a clinical definition of Internet addiction the average researcher would be hard-pressed to locate a significant number of Internet users who were not suffering from addiction. Simply put, sociological and psychological researchers are still trying to catch up to the nature of the sociological and cultural impact that the Internet has had on the way people navigate communications, relay information, undertake education and transact work. While none would argue that examples of Internet abuse and addiction, characterized by being harmful in some respect, according to some of the examples given in the previously cited research, the majority of these examples are nothing more than manifestations of pre-Internet pathologies merely transacted across the Internet, such as pornography addiction or gambling addiction. That the Internet is now fundamental to society however cannot be argued.

No revolution, technological or otherwise, has ever occurred in a vacuum. Linear progression is a concept that has been created by those who choose to ignore consequences of any change. While it is true that the proliferation of information technology is not having significantly obvious effects on modern culture or society, the reality is that, the effects of information technology are more gradual and subtle. For instance, perhaps a company will lay off fifteen individuals per year due to new computerized automation. Fifteen employees does not seem like a relevant number of people considering organizational size. However, if this trend continues for ten years in 100 different companies the end result is 15,000 displaced workers. However, because the effects of information technology are more subtle and gradual, does not mean that they will not have an eventual impact on society. It simply means that it will take longer to prove the idealistic proponents of information technology wrong.

For the past several years, experts have begun to engage in a widespread discussion over whether the Internet has been a social bane or boon. For those who view the Internet as having a positive impact on society, authors have supported the ideologies touted by Heim. For instance, Slevin notes that proponents of Internet technology have found a myriad of purposeful ways in which to utilize this technology. Among the most pertinent, Slevin notes that governments, all across the globe, have begun using the Internet as a means to be more responsive to their citizenry and their concerns. Slevin notes several examples, including an initiative unveiled by the Dutch Ministry of Transport in the Netherlands in 1996. The ministry set up an interactive forum called the "Digital Roundabout," where ministry officials, citizens and interested organizations could meet and discuss various policy issues. Discussions centered on ideas that were posted on the website and participants could enter a real-time debate via a chat room and contribute to newsgroup discussions. What is unique about the ministry's initiative is that the forum did not simply serve as an avenue by which the government could disseminate information to the general publics; rather the initiative was a two-way communication system in which the general public was able to give the ministry feedback about its activities and programs.

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Digital Culture Research Papers

A research paper on digital culture discuss the communities that exist on the Internet that have created their own sense of identity.

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