Today's online activity has reached phenomenal levels worldwide. Social networks once considered only youth oriented have now become arenas for all ages and professions.
As internet arenas develop and become more and more complex, so do the debates for and against their use. While some analysts believe that those who use internet arenas have become more socially aware and are more likely to participate in good causes and support groups (CNN), other critics say that internet arenas have weakened our concept of reality and participation in the physical world. Whichever side you take, there is no denying that new internet arenas will continue to develop as innovative designers find exciting realms to conquer in cyberspace.
Internet Forums are also referred to as news groups, conferences, message boards or discussion boards. These are online discussion groups where participants post and reply to messages based on a specific topic.
Example: Trip Advisor - Travel Board Forum (Right-click to open in new window)
Blogs are usually written and kept up by one person or entire community of writers with regular entries, comments, or descriptions. Blog communities are known as blogospheres. They may also function as online diaries and are more personal than Forums.
Example: Guardian.co/uk - Environment Blog (Right-click to open in new window)
Facebook is a social network service created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his college roommates as well as fellow students of computer science from Harvard University. It is basically a service that helps you stay in contact with people and share events form your life. Facebook continued
FaceBook.com (Right-click to open in new window)
YouTube is a social network for video sharing created in 2005. YouTube has hundreds of million users all over the world to upload funny everyday video clips, music, recipes and video manuals.
YouTube - Interviews Search (Right-click to open in new window)
Internet Arenas Affect All Walks of Life
Most internet arenas require registration and either web services or software packages. And although registration requirements are set down to help protect individuals, the promoters/producers have a long way to go. Internet arenas will continue to affect all areas of our lives in the future.
In order to provide safety for vulnerable users, new rules of net etiquette and guidelines will constantly need updating. Politicians and governments will have to step up the pace in search of new ways to combat copyright and privacy infringement while at the same time making anonymity more difficult.
Yet another aspect of the widespread use of internet arenas is the effect these arenas have on uprisings and rioting. In the Arab world we have seen internet arenas used in the fight for individual freedom. In European cities we have seen the same arenas being used to plan and carry out looting and rioting.
Make a Survey
1. Using a spreadsheet, Excel or Calc, make a visual chart of your classmates’ use of Internet Arenas. Use the following criteria for EACH INDIVIDUAL ARENA:
- The number of students who like, Internet Forums, blogs, Facebook, YouTube.
- The number of students who do not like, Internet Forums, blogs, Facebook, YouTube.
- The number of students using Internet forums, blogs, Facebook, YouTube.
- Any preferences between what girls prefer and what boys prefer.
- The number of hours each student spends a day on each arena.
- Which arena is the most popular in the class
- Which arena is the least popular in the class
2. Give a presentation using both your spreadsheet and a graph to sum up your findings.
- Discuss to what extent internet arenas has changed your way of living from that of your grandparents.
- Choose ONE internet arena and read through the arguments in favor of and the arguments against the arena.
- Discuss if you agree or disagree with the arguments. Explain why.
- Add to the arguments in favor of and against.
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