How the Internet Impacts People Born With and Without the Internet



News & Views from Our Teen-Beat Reporters, Camden & Sabrina

We all know what the Internet is. We use it every day. But how do people see the Internet? How has its interconnectedness impacted people in today’s world?

Well, we here at Teen Street went and found out.

While most of our data was gathered around the Asheville area, some of our team members were lucky enough to find people from as far away as California to talk to over, well, the Internet. We divided our interviews into two categories: those born before the Internet was accessible to the public, around 1990, and those born after.

Astoundingly, most of those born before the Internet thought it’s a positive thing for society, though now, when it is common to see people walking around their face glued to the screen, it’s sometimes seen as a “necessary evil.” A big concern for some is that, with so many favoring the quick and easy access of the Internet over the hassle of going to a physical location, brick-and-mortar stores will disappear.

Others believe the far-left spectrum of the Internet is a “devil’s playground,” and that the innocent or naïve can get sucked in—and that’s not healthy. On the other hand, “it’s a way to connect to people around the world; unlimited knowledge is at your fingertips; schools use the “world-wide web” every day. In short, the Internet gives us a new way of living.

Surprisingly enough, young people—those who grew up online, who are living off YouTube and Netflix—were not so sure either, staying more neutral about the Internet’s impact.

“It has both good and bad sides to it,” said one person we interviewed. Others say, “It’s why social interaction has gone downhill.” Even though Facebook is a big mainstream hit, “You’re not talking face to face.” As one of our interviewees, whom we found online in California, said, “Dating apps and the Internet in general increase social capacity, but decrease face-to-face contact, which gives bravery in anonymity and boosts morale and self-esteem—which helps people not lose the real meaning of conversation, but now citizens can’t tell facial cues or body movement as well anymore.”

Such contradictions make it hard for teenagers to agree 100% on the value of the Internet. “It’s a love it and hate it type of thing. You see the loading bar and you’re like ‘that sucks’ but it’s also like ‘I should take a break from it’.”

But, the opinion is yours. Is the Internet good or bad? Should we be using the Internet this much? Let us know what you think!