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t'internet - good or bad?

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The latest gimmick in the virtual world is "chat roulette" - where you can browse face to face (or other parts) with complete strangers - for about 3 seconds - after saying hello and goodbye. We've had the case of a young girl murdered after being groomed on facebook. So - is the net a force for good or evil? Is it bringing about a cultural evolution, where the virtual world is displacing the world of real social interaction, and with it, the social skills required to navigate real human contact and relations - especially amongst young and impressional minds? :?

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Is it the next step up, super speed dating?

 

As far as the cases of "grooming" are concerned some of the blame must be attached to the parents for there laxity and lack of awareness.

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So - is the net a force for good or evil? Is it bringing about a cultural evolution, where the virtual world is displacing the world of real social interaction, and with it, the social skills required to navigate real human contact and relations -

 

Bit like this Forum then. :wink::D

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My daughters gave my details to somebody on Facebook...I've now got around 300 *friends*...I've no idea just who many of these people are but I should imagine around 298.

My main use of 'tinterweb is compiling and presenting 4 pub quizzes per week which would be impossible to manage without said 'tinterweb. I'm not in the slightest bit interested in things like Facebook which is mainly women with nothing better to do than title-tattling.

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Perhaps the biggest concern is the effect on young minds: kids using t'internet and moby texts tend to use a new language, which appears to be substituting itself for speach in the real world - thus making them inarticulate. Could difficulties in real communication be responsible for some of the misunderstandings and altercations on the streets, especially when fuelled with alcohol? :?

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The internet is a bunch of computers hooked up together by a phone line. It's neither good, nor evil, it's just a communication tool. The good stuff and the bad stuff is the human usage - same as with everything else. Fire is great, until you use it for arson. Knives were a huge step forward until Ugg stuck one in Ogg. It's human beings cause the bother... :(

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Interpersonal skills are being lost to many youngsters, in favour of a cyber life. :shock:

 

Or possibly youngsters now are extending their knowledge bases, technological and interpersonal skills by chatting to dozens of people all over the world instead of kicking the same tin can along the same street with the same three mates for a decade? Just a thought.... :twisted:

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Interpersonal skills are being lost to many youngsters, in favour of a cyber life. :shock:

 

Or possibly youngsters now are extending their knowledge bases, technological and interpersonal skills by chatting to dozens of people all over the world instead of kicking the same tin can along the same street with the same three mates for a decade? Just a thought.... :twisted:

 

Now don't get him thinking outside of the box, he'll go off on all sorts of tangents. :shock:

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Interpersonal skills are being lost to many youngsters, in favour of a cyber life. :shock:

 

Or possibly youngsters now are extending their knowledge bases, technological and interpersonal skills by chatting to dozens of people all over the world instead of kicking the same tin can along the same street with the same three mates for a decade? Just a thought.... :twisted:

 

Now don't get him thinking outside of the box, he'll go off on all sorts of tangents. :shock:

 

Yeah, sorry. I'm still young and sweet enough to have a glimmer of hope for him! :twisted:

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The internet...... The only place where Obs can be human and Kije can pretend to be grown up

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:lol: "knowledge base", perhaps in the leafy suburbs of Lymm; but not in chavland. :lol:

 

You are joking? It's the kids in chavland who get the most out of the Internet. Otherwise, what would they ever see? Dole days, signing on, benefit books, booze, fags, dope, trash telly and teenage mothers! Here in leafy Lymm, whilst we have our share of chavs, there's no denying that we have excellent schools and all our local kids have chances that others don't because they live in deprived wards and attend sink schools. The Internet evens the playing field a bit, hence the push to get broadband and a PC into every home.

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Trivia and chat are the best way to widen your knowledge base, Obs. Information exchange. Hearing about other people's holidays, lifestyles, groceries. Listening to other people's opinions and discussing stuff. It's what we do here, and it's what kidson the internet do too. It doesn't matter whether we take it seriously or think we're having fun, the information goes in. My nephew chats with a German bloke about online war games. He's also learning German, and learning about life in Germany, and finding out that lads his age have pretty much the same angst the world over. You'd rather he switched off and took his skateboard to the park and spent an hour silently working on the ability to knock down small children at high speed?

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Nope, but he might benefit from a game of footy now and then and some constructive exercise - mens sana incorpore sana - etc. General knowledge can be usefull for chat rooms and quizzes, or even for a shot at "millionaire"; but doesn't necessarilly replace formal education and vocational training. :roll:

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No, it doesn't and social interaction in the real world is also important. He does have the odd game of footy, go skateboarding, bowling, visit the library etc, but the kids you talk about as chavs don't have parents who provide or encourage a diverse and educational environment. So the truth is that they go out and hang about with their mates and learn about dope, booze, how to get served in the offy, fake ID for the night clubs and which local bikes will put out after two cans of Stella.

 

Internet chat and browsing may not be the ideal way for kids to spend their time, but in a lot of cases it is one of the best options on offer. In India, there's a project that just bungs computers into a wall and let anyone use them. No training, nothing but basic instructions on the wall.

 

This is from a talk by a Prof Mitra on Newcastle University, speaking in 2009. It's a bit note form, but you can see the point. Imagine every child making that sort of progress?

 

The hole in the wall experiment is now 10 years old. 1999 urban India big issue is the digital divide. What about poor children in rural India? Computer teachers are now necessarily good at computing! Ie if they are good they will go into industry. Government trained them, all the good ones leave and go into industries, the bad ones go into cities, the really bad ones go into rural areas ? where they say computers are expensive and not for children. Hence the idea of the hole in the wall to bring computers to children ? windows plus Internet, in a slum area. Assumed that it would be broken/stolen. Didn?t happen, saw two children one showing the other how to browse. Passers by might have helped. Even with no one there to help they worked out how to use it, download, browse etc. The kids engaged with it and worked it out. Repeated the experiment ? found kids learnt English so they could use the computer, adults would say you gave us a computer in a language I don?t understand so I cant use it, whereas the kids learn how to and are more resourceful.

 

The first phase lasted about five years. Conclusions:

 

Groups of children can learn to use computers on their own irrespective of where they are (in India, Cambodia, 7 African countries, UK and Norway),

 

After 9 months ? basic windows, chat, browse, download, play video, email, games and educational material ? they do it because of adult management and administration, it?s a self organising system, share the time, manage themselves, etc. ,

These effects can be achieved if you put the computer in a safe open area where the kids can explore and play on their own, away from adult supervision. It happens because of the absence of adults,

 

Cost is ca. 3 US cents per child per day ? ca. 30 dollars per child over a three year period leading to an irreversible change.

Also distinct improvement in the kids? schoolwork ? English, Maths. Also a change in social values, improvement in school attendance, reduces school drop out rate and reduces petty crime. Generates local goodwill.

 

The Hyderabad experiment 2002: ?given the appropriate digital resources groups of kids can improve their English pronunciation by themselves?. Poor city in Southern India with lots of small private schools trying to teach English. Teachers have a Southern Indian accent and so learn English with this. Used a speak to text engine, train the machine in your language and then you can dictate it and repeat it back and adapted the programme so that the kids could do this on their own, process of trial and error.

The BBC experiement in Varna in 2005. A village of kids who sing, and somehow they found the recording facility in windows and were able to record themselves. Phase2 can self organise to teach themselves, improve their skills and english, they don?t need instruction.

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Nothing's perfect, but we know we have a lot of children growing up without much of a chance. We either invest now in reaching them OR we carry the social and financial cost later.

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