Free Research Paper On Enforcing Narcissism And Anti-Social Behavior: Assessing The Negative Impacts Of
Technology is the best proof that shows how our world continually improves. And like everything that permanently changes, technology has undoubtedly evolved so much in the past few centuries so as to revolutionary transform our daily lives and social interactions. While it is fair to perceive our continually evolving technology as a great improvement in our lives, it would be unfair to disregard and ignore its negative impacts that inevitably come together with its benefits.
Over the past centuries, our world has seen the development of various forms of technology that incontestably changed our way of life as well as the quality of interactions that we maintain with our society. Television, radio, telegram, and telephone are just some of the innovations that brought great attention towards the power of technology to largely change the course of our lives as well as the main foundations of our society (Bargh and McKenna, 2004). Communication was made easier with the help of telephone and telegram, making correspondence with people from long distances easier, more convenient, and faster (Bargh and McKenna, 2004). Radio and television, on the other hand, improved the process of dissemination of information with their capacity to reach mass audiences (Bargh and McKenna, 2004). Furthermore, television, radio and other forms of mass-audience media also improved the way of advertisements for various products, thus promoting business and trade across the various parts of the globe (Bargh and McKenna, 2004). While some of the technological innovations done in the last decades, such as television and radio, still influence our daily lives at present, most have become obsolete and outdated so as to be considered as futile or ineffective when applied to the quality of life we are leading now. The continuous evolution and improvement of technology is the main reason why not all innovations persist over time. Technological breakthroughs are normally subjected to further modifications in an aim to develop better functions, thus giving birth to more complex types of technological innovations that surprisingly improve the quality of life, making room for more ease, comfort, and convenience. One such result of the continuous attempts for technological improvement is the Internet (Bargh and McKenna, 2004).
Considered as a combination of all the functions offered by innovations of the last few decades, Internet has incontestably gone a long way since its development in 1960s (Leiner et al., 2012). Internet is seen as one of the greatest technological breakthroughs ever discovered by man and looking at it now, its potential uses seem endless. Generally, Internet serves as the “Swiss Army knife of communications media,” making communications not just possible but also convenient despite any length of distance (Bargh and McKenna, 2004, p. 6). Aside from improving communication, Internet also makes (1) information dissemination easier, (2) social interaction more convenient, and (3) jobs more efficient (Bargh and McKenna, 2004). Undoubtedly, Internet is a very useful tool that makes life and almost all its aspects more efficient, reliable, and even colorful. However, Internet, like all other forms of technology, has its own share of drawbacks and negative impacts.
Internet undoubtedly improves the availability of communication between people, irrespective of their distance from one another. While it is easy to conclude that relationships and interaction with society is improved by the Internet, some studies conclude that contrary is actually true. Time spent using the Internet is translated by many researches as a factor that divides family bonds and severs social interactions (Bargh and McKenna, 2004). Internet users prefer to spend greater time in front of a computer screen than engaging in conversations with members of the household, thus causing a sense of depression and detachment from the most fundamental institution a person needs (Bargh and McKenna, 2004). Furthermore, studies also show that social networking sites—a large element of Internet—such as Facebook and Twitter and especially Instagram, also trigger depression (Winter, 2013; Bergland, 2013). The showcase of luxury that is a trend in social media nowadays is considered as the main factor for depression in relation to Internet (Winter, 2013; Bergland, 2013). People oftentimes compare themselves to the good fortune commonly displayed by other people on the Internet and failure to relate always leads to feelings of insufficiency and depression (Bergland, 2013; Winter, 2013). Such feelings of depression also contribute to narcissism and anti-social behavior that is also connected with the quality of Internet function nowadays.
Narcissism and anti-social behavior are another negative effect of Internet use, study shows. In relation to the “self-loathing” that is experienced by people who obsess over social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in search of a connection with the world, narcissism also arises (Bergland, 2013; Winter, 2013). In trying to keep up with the insecurities Internet users often feel as they try to compare themselves with other people over the Internet, they try to shape and alter their image based on what they think will be admired by others (Bergland, 2013). Once they practiced which will be most effective to their target audience over the Internet and achieved their desired feedback, most Internet users become narcissistic, placing greater value with the image they channel through their social networking profiles (Bergland, 2013). Furthermore, anti-social behavior is also common among most of the Internet users nowadays who tend to engage in activities that isolate them from other people (Bargh and McKenna, 2004; Bergland, 2013). Anti-social behavior is said to be highly associated with Internet addiction and is often manifested by activities such as (1) illegal downloading, (2) pornographic or aggressive information, (3) cyberbullying, (4) cheating behavior and (5) online gambling (Ma, 2011). Anti-social behavior develops due to the tendency of Internet users to cope with the negative feelings that they get when their Internet activities do not satisfy them.
Internet and other technology widely used nowadays are undoubtedly useful in making life easier and more convenient. However, the negative effects that come with it is something that must be closely monitored and controlled to keep Internet users, especially those among this generation, free from being corrupted. Such control and management of the negative impacts of Internet must be initiated by Internet users themselves.
Bargh, J.A., and McKenna, K.Y.A. (2004). The Internet and Social Life. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 1-23. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141922
Bergland, C. (2013). Social Media’s Dual-Edged Sword: Narcissism vs. Self-Esteem. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201306/social-media-s-dual-edged-sword-narcissism-vs-self-esteem
Leiner, B.M., Cerf, V.G., Clark, D.D., Kahn, R.E., Kleinrock, L., Lynch, D.C., Postel, J., Roberts, L.G., and Wolff, S. (2012). Brief History of the Internet. Internet Society. Retrieved from http://www.internetsociety.org/internet/what-internet/history-internet/brief-history-internet
Ma, H.K. (2011). Internet Addiction and Antisocial Internet Behavior of Adolescents. The Scientific World Journal, 11, 2187-2196. DOI: 10.1100/2011/308631
Winter, J. (2013). Selfie-Loathing. Slate. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/07/instagram_and_self_esteem_why_the_photo_sharing_network_is_even_more_depressing.html
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