Free «Journal Response» Essay
In the contemporary world, people are constantly bombarded by all kinds of media and can hardly be left alone or feel disconnected as they have to constantly check messages, chats, news, and the like. About a decade or slightly more ago, people got information primarily from television and other conventional gadgets like radios. However, nowadays, the Internet has become an integral part of both professional and daily lives virtually all over the world. The situation is accurately described in Todd Gitlin’s article entitled “Supersaturation, or, The Media Torrent and Disposable Feeling.” The author describes the situation with the media at the time of the article’s publication and predicts that all kinds of media will penetrate human daily life. Overall, it may be surely claimed that the Internet, just like television and other media before it, have significantly changed and affected human life, making it more digitalized and dependent on media.
In the modern world, the Internet has become so pivotal for the overwhelming majority of people that their disconnection from the Internet would be similar to cutting off of a vital organ. In fact, people’s disconnection from the Internet could leave them feel emotionally crippled and devastated. This assumption might look like an exaggeration for many people. However, it is nonetheless true, as human beings got used to having all kinds of information that can be used for various purposes at the tips of their fingers. If one needs news or wants to watch a film, the only thing he or she has to do is to switch on a laptop or even google it on a smartphone. As Gitlin noted with respect to television and other conventional media widely used at the time, “the flow of images and sounds through the households of the rich world, and the richer parts of the poor world, seems unremarkable today. Only a visitor from an earlier century or an impoverished country would be startled by it (465). The situation has become even more overwhelming since then as the Internet has become a widely used and available media. The unending flow of different information follows people not only at their homes, but everywhere they go with their portable laptops, smartphones, and tablets. As a result, people are constantly connected to the Internet, downloading and uploading new streams and files from various websites and social media.
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I can hardly imagine my life without the Internet. In fact, I have not even realized it till recently. A few days ago, my smartphone suddenly broke up, and the first few days without it seemed to be a torture. The matter is that I used smartphone primarily for checking and responding to emails; posting and reading friends’ posts on social media; listening to music and reading news; chatting with my friends with the use of different online apps, and doing a wide range of other tasks. All of them turned out to be impossible to perform without a connection to the Internet. Suddenly, I realized that my online life was as real for me as my offline one. I was afraid that I could not function normally without being connected to the Internet. I suppose that my relationships, just like those of the other people, resemble addiction to media and the Internet, that is considered to be a normal feature of the modern life.
Withal, I do not doubt an obvious fact that the Internet offers many benefits along with disadvantages and has significantly influenced my life. Though it simplified life of most people, I cannot say for sure that human relationship with the Internet is not an addiction. In fact, this supersaturation, if to use the Gitlin’s term, could have detrimental consequences for the humanity. Besides, the popularity of the Internet is not likely to wane with time as it has happened with television. The former gradually becomes a viable substitute for all other kinds of media. In any case, the Internet is not good or evil per se as it becomes either beneficial or harmful because of the individuals, who use it. Nevertheless, modern people should be careful with their use of the Internet in order to avoid turning supersaturation into a potentially dangerous addiction or devastating oversaturation.