The computer has become one of the most important and influential luxuries of today. People use computers every day for school, work, and entertainment. It has been observed that people get upset when the Internet service is down for even an hour. While off-line, many of these “stranded” people dial in every minute to see if the network is back on-line. Occurrences like these show that this generation can be defined as overly computer dependent.
Broken marriages, lost jobs, failing school grades and forgetting to eat are just some of the consequences of being addicted to the Internet. Cyberspace communications in the form of emails, discussion groups, chat rooms, bulletin boards, face book and others, offer people an opportunity to experience a form of social contact, with no real social presence. The significant difference between cyberspace relationships and ones maintained by other “slower” technologies (telephones, mail, fax) is that the Internet virtual communities allow for, and even encourage, contact with relative strangers. Internet communication increases the range of possible social networks that a person can connect to, and adds elements of diversity that are very appealing. The kinds of differences between people that might inhibit relationship formation are hidden.
Computers now handle many tasks once performed by people. When everything works alright, and the automatic teller machine gives us our money or the voice-activated phone operator connects us to the correct number, we don’t really notice. But on days when the “server is down” is when we realize how dependent we have become on computer technology and the result can be anger and frustration. Computers may cause us to lose some very important skills like knowing the proper spellings or even the proper usage of a language. On a more serious note, airline pilots trained on simulators may be better prepared to face common problems. But they may be less skilled in coping with emergencies that the simulator left out.