Does the Internet unites us or separates us?

Internet unites us or separates us?

Although at first seems foster cohesion, the Internet can also cause the opposite and fragment us into groups favoring social exclusion.

Internet is like a great ocean where many of us sailed daily, which makes us band together under a common denominator. We are in a prolific era for the information and means to connect us from different parts of the world. But united are we really?

The way in which we interact has changed radically since the existence of the Internet. That’s something I realized Robert Putnam , a sociologist and professor at Harvard University. According to him, the capital is a term that defines the ways in which society relates to each other, thereby covering all possible interaction processes. Thus, Putnam distinguishes two modalities in the capital:

  • Bridge Social Capital: the one that encourages grouping and social cohesion as it attempts to bring together people with different expertise but at the same time also nurture each other. That is, the diversity of thoughts is what causes individuals are connected, regardless of the opinion or the origin of these.

  • Capital loop : unlike the case with the previous one, in this case is to enhance the binding of a group under common interests, which leads them to guard against externalities and causes social division . In this mode there are different groups separated by different aspirations, but only feed on what is within your circle.

 Credits: Rawpixel | Shutterstock

Credits: Rawpixel | Shutterstock

In principle we could think that the Internet promotes bridging social capital as usually interact by different people who may be more or less related to our ideas . But it’s not always like this. Moreover, think of who you follow on Twitter , what channel you meet subscribed YouTube or what contacts you have blocked a social network. Nevertheless, the Internet has all necessary measures to encourage capital tie and social exclusion and promote tools.

No matter the amount of information that exists in this “ocean” because in the end we only reach the selected

Just as some readers sympathize with a specific media and read for refute their own ideas Internet also something similar happens. No matter the amount of information that exists in this “ocean”, because in the end one arrives we selected. Moreover, sometimes even too much information can be detrimental to determine which filter to apply.

On the other hand, the Geneva Declaration of Principles defines the information society as a place where “everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge, to enable people, communities and peoples to achieve their full potential in promoting their sustainable development and improving their quality of life”. However, this definition is somewhat utopian, since not always such possibilities exist .

Sometimes it seems that the information society can be even negative for certain sectors, which further promotes the difference between those who can access it and who does not. This has been called digital divide , a term that refers not only to material or economic inability to have a computer to access the Internet, but also the knowledge. Whether for educational or generational factor, not all are able to access the Internet, or at least not in the same way. Again, this is another bias, as the capital loop, causing social exclusion.

 Twin Design /

Twin Design /

Although since the World Trade Organization claim that the technological age in which we live is similar to a “third industrial revolution” , to Sometimes one wonders far they will go the way of this new railway. Or rather, where to run.

But would be unfair to blame the Internet as the cause of social exclusion. Del Just as in a bar you can recluirte in a corner with your friends or interact with those that are around in the Red something similar happens. There are new ways of access to culture and education, including other forms of citizen mobilization and whose effects we see in the Arab spring or 15M , uprisings that would not exist without the power of social networks. Seeing, hearing or shut up to us, and therefore also convert capital tie on a bridge.


Does the Internet unites us or separates us?
Source: english  
October 2, 2015

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