The Instigator
Sly
Pro (for)
Tied
3 Points
The Contender
tvellalott
Con (against)
Tied
3 Points

The widespread use of the Internet has a positive impact on Society and Communications

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/26/2011 Category: Technology
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,380 times Debate No: 14937
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

Sly

Pro

Ever since the late 1990s, the Internet has been steadily becoming the main form of communication, business, and socialism. The implementation of sites and services that allow communication (Email clients), online transactions (eBay, Amazon...), and socializing (Facebook, Twitter) have obviously had an impact on the world. Moreover, with constantly developing technologies, the speed and reliability have greatly increased. Both of these facts contribute to the Internet being an extremely helpful service.

The number of people with access to the Internet, in fact, is over 2 billion (source:ITU, International Telecommunications Union), nearly 1/3 of the world's population. This amounts to an infinite possiblities of connections, all of which have the possibility to affect the future in ways previously not possible.

It is for these reasons that I believe that the Internet, and it's use have a positive impact on Society and Communications.
tvellalott

Con

I’d like to thank my opponent for an interesting debate topic. Good luck to him.

INTRODUCTION
I will be arguing that while the internet has changed the way technologically literate people are able to communicate, it is a negative to society and alienates a large population by the increasing reliance on technology they simply cannot use.

ARGUMENT
Isolation of the technologically incapable

Let’s talk about 2011, since *shock horror* that is the current year; actually we’re going to have to talk about 2008, since most of the census data I can find relates to that year.

Here are some sources on the elderly population of Australia [1] and the United States [2] [3].
15% of people (this is an underestimation of the projected average) are over 65.

Here are two articles [4] [5] putting the percentage of people who never use the internet at about 30%. So it’s not just the elderly.

30% is not a small minority. The above sources put it at about one in three people.
These people for whatever reason do not use the internet.

“The implementation of sites and services that allow communication (Email clients), online transactions (eBay, Amazon...), and socializing (Facebook, Twitter) have obviously had an impact on the world.”


However, it is not completely positive; as is the argument I’m making here:
Not everyone uses it.
As use of the internet increases by the people who do, these non-users within technologically capable societies are steadily more isolated.

“The number of people with access to the Internet, in fact, is over 2 billion (source:ITU, International Telecommunications Union), nearly 1/3 of the world's population.“

Indeed, but what of the other 2/3 people, many of whom are so impoverish they may not even know such a thing exists.

CONCLUSION
I hypothesise the following two points, based on the above evidence:
  • As long as any minority of non-users exists, people are going to be excluded from the party known as the internet. Right now, that’s a large majority (30%, as I cited)
  • As long as parts of the world cannot afford food, let alone the technology to enjoy the internet, there will always be people whose societies are completely unaffected by the internet. Right now, that’s a huge majority (65%, as cited by my opponent)

The resolution is refuted.

SOURCES
[1] http://www.abs.gov.au...
[2] http://www.disabled-world.com...
[3] http://www.aoa.gov...
[4] http://arstechnica.com...
[5] http://thenextweb.com...
[6] http://www.apa.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Sly

Pro

I would like to begin by thanking my opponent for accepting this challenge.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

For your opening argument, I will start with your finishing statement. Though you state that "non-users within technologically capable societies are steadily more isolated," is this truly so? Humans are still humans, who still enjoy the real world. Even those who do not use the Internet may get some news from a friend, who in turn had gotten the news from the net. Moreover, the Internet is integrated so deeply into society (in terms of business, mostly) that even those who have never looked at a computer screen are almost certainly affected (at least, indirectly) by it.

Also, I would like to point out one of the articles which you pointed out [1]. In this article, it is stated that a decent amount of those that don't use the net because of the cost, the quality their computer (which ends up being tied in with cost issues.)
This argument, therefore, is along the same lines as your second, which I will now also respond to.

As for the fact that some people just cannot afford Internet services, I would agree completely. However, just because one does not have access to the Internet does not mean that it cannot help them. Take for example the organization UNICEF. Those that are helped are children on the doorstep of death, whom all would agree have no access to any Internet whatsoever. Yet, UNICEF has a homepage on the net [2], which give news, even allows people to donate. To communicate situations, UNICEF utilizes Emails. This is just one example of those who have absolutely no access to the Internet benefiting from it.

I rest my case on the "People With Access to the Net" issue.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next, I would like to present a case for the Internet's usefulness in communications.

Email, Blogs, Profile Sites, Chat...All are forms of communication that require the Internet; all are forms of communication that are widely used, fast, and useful.

Consider Email. You can contact someone on the other side of the world in a matter of seconds. Not only that, you can give them pictures, even videos, that you have on your computer. The number of mail that are sent around is massive [3]. Even considering that only 10% is legit, that would still be a whopping 29 billion Emails per day. Compared to snail mail, telephoning, or even faxing, the sheer amount of information transferred is on a different scale. This has made all forms of communications, from business negotiations to dinner plans, much more accessible and, therefore, convenient.

I will close my argument this session by saying this: The pure fact that this debate is being held over the Internet shows that it most definitely has a positive impact on communications, and Society. [4]

===========================================

[1]http://arstechnica.com...
[2]http://www.unicef.org...
[3]http://email.about.com...
[4]http://www.debate.org...
tvellalott

Con

REBUTTALS
“Humans are still humans, who still enjoy the real world. Even those who do not use the Internet may get some news from a friend, who in turn had gotten the news from the net. Moreover, the Internet is integrated so deeply into society (in terms of business, mostly) that even those who have never looked at a computer screen are almost certainly affected (at least, indirectly) by it.”

This is an unsubstantiated claim and it simply doesn’t reflect the statistics.
Here [1] we see American usage by age. Clearly, older people aren’t using the internet as much as younger people. Combine this [2], showing that the amount of time we spend on the computer is massive and is rising steadily.

My hypothesis is sound: Nana doesn’t get to communicate with Junior as much anymore, because he is too busy trolling and surfing for bukkake and she simply can't fathom why anyone would put their face in a book..

“However, just because one does not have access to the Internet does not mean that it cannot help them.”

You make a very valid point; I concede that the internet can help people who aren’t even aware of its existence, though the effectiveness of some charity organisations is questionable and needs its own debate.


ARGUMENTS

THE INTERNET RIFE WITH CORRUPTIONS AND MISDEED DOERS!
One line from my opponents points about how easy the internet makes communications stands out to me:
“The number of mail that are sent around is massive [3]. Even considering that only 10% is legit, that would still be a whopping 29 billion Emails per day.”

Thus, the major problem I’d like to introduce in regards to internet communication:
The anonymity of it.
What we’re seeing are criminals around the world taking advantage of this anonymity. Once the snake oil salesman had to look you in the eye when he ripped you off; now anyone with a computer and a lack of a fully-working conscious can commit everything from aggravated harassment of children to fraud and identity theft and probably never know the impact they’ve had on the victim. The statistics are overwhelming [3] [4]


CONCLUSION

Between kids being too busy playing World of Warcraft to talk to their poor old grandpa and people being ripped off left, right and centre, I hardly think the internet is an overwhelming positive force on society.


SOURCES

[1] http://www.ignitesocialmedia.com...
[2] http://www.frankwbaker.com...
[3] http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com...
[4] http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Sly

Pro

I will take it that Con's main point is the use of the Internet for crime.

I will not deny that the Internet fraud is a big problem. However, I would like to state that the Internet isn't as anonymous as Con would have you believe. The most obvious are IP addresses, linking any access to a site to a specific computer. Moreover, deleting information from a computer is near impossible - even after a reformat and re-installation of the OS, the information remains - what most people believe as "deleting information" (right-clicking a selecting delete) is simply telling the computer to not recognize the information there. Therefore, if a criminal incident is linked to a suspected wrongdoer, that computer can be checked for any evidence.

On the other hand, uses of the net for good and well-meaning is also innumerable. Here is just one example [1].
Also, for my third argument, I would also like to point out the business opportunities opened up by the Internet. One obvious use is in stock trading. In recent years, stock trading has changed from pieces of paper to internet records. This greatly speeds up, and in doing so, lively-ates the market.

I'm down to a few minutes now, so I will end here. As before, I will end my argument saying this: The pure fact that this debate is being held over the Internet shows that it most definitely has a positive impact on communications, and Society. I challenge Con to reply to that.

I urge you to vote PRO

[1]http://www.thomasllyons.com...
tvellalott

Con

REBUTTALS

“I would like to state that the Internet isn't as anonymous as Con would have you believe.”


It really is, as I would have you believe it is exactly as anonymous as my opponent would.
That isn’t the trouble; as was my point, crime is so much more tempting when you don’t have to look the victim in the eye before you steal from them.

“The most obvious are IP addresses, linking any access to a site to a specific computer.”

What are you going to do when a Nigerian scammer cons your sweet Aunt Lilly? Go over to Nigeria and confront him? Ask the Nigerian police to arrest him? Furthermore, criminals use zombie computers [1] to commit crimes.

“Moreover, deleting information from a computer is near impossible - even after a reformat and re-installation of the OS, the information remains.”

That’s somewhat true; unless the sector that the deleted data was in is needed for new data, it could remain there forever. Computer criminals know this. There are programs called scrubbers which write over the data multiple times leaving it irretrievable.


SUMMARY

First, I’d like to thank my opponent for a challenging debate. I hope it’s clear to voters that if my opponent’s only burden of proof was showing that the internet has some positive impact on society, this would have been impossible for me to win.

I believe overwhelmingly, the internet is changing society. As I showed with my grandma/Junior example (which my opponent didn’t respond to) the internet is drawing a line in the sand; either learn to use a computer or get left behind.
Is this really a positive thing? I believe not. The internet should be used as a tool, not a pseudo-life and for many of us, it is becoming just that.

“The pure fact that this debate is being held over the Internet shows that it most definitely has a positive impact on communications, and Society.”

But does it?

If we weren’t stuck behind our computers with Google two clicks away, we’d have to be out debating this in the meat world. While the internet is becoming more and more portable, we still would have to do a lot more preparation for a real debate. Simply Googling “why is the internet bad for society” isn’t really an option when you’re standing in front of a group of people.


CONCLUSION


I have shown not only that the internet affects non-users negatively, but that people who use the internet are not safe from the rampant corruption and inherent perversion.

VOTE Con



SOURCES

[1] http://computer.howstuffworks.com...
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Sly 6 years ago
Sly
Meh, I know. Sorry

Good debate
Posted by tvellalott 6 years ago
tvellalott
Oh dude, you should have made the voting period longer >_<
Posted by Sly 6 years ago
Sly
You too. Good debate
Posted by tvellalott 6 years ago
tvellalott
Good luck Sly. I really can't call this one.
Posted by tvellalott 6 years ago
tvellalott
OIC. I'll do it tomorrow night.
Posted by Sly 6 years ago
Sly
Sure, but be careful not to go over the time limit
Posted by tvellalott 6 years ago
tvellalott
Give me a day or two on this one. I was drunk last night and as often happens, I woke up with 3 more debates I have to do.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Chrysippus 6 years ago
Chrysippus
SlytvellalottTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: 'Twas reasonably close, but I believe that Pro establishes the Internet as being on balance positive in its effects. That said, this debate was played softball by both sides; either side could have made a much stronger case, but for some reason chose not to.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
SlytvellalottTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Solid rebuttal from con.