Does the internet improve communication?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 September, 2010, 12:00am

Matthew Murchie, 15, St Joseph College

When it was created 20 years ago, the internet was primarily a tool for communication. It was built so that people could send messages and transfer data.

As the internet spread across the globe, its potential for communication was realised. As technologies such as instant messaging and video conferencing emerged, it became ever more evident that there were no limits to how we could communicate through the internet.

The internet has also had a massive impact on society.

Blogs and social networking websites like Facebook have literally changed the way we communicate.

We can now form online communities whereby people chat, share videos, send music and even post their feelings, thoughts and emotions online for their friends to access.

Communication is no longer limited to just friends and family. Thanks to the internet, we now have the power to share our ideas and creations with the world.

The internet has made communication more versatile, more powerful and more efficient than ever before.

Elise Choi, 16, Sai Kung Sung Tsun Catholic School

People around the world are using the internet to communicate nowadays, but is it that efficient? I don't think so. We communicate because we want to know more about our friends and family. We want to know how they feel and what they are like.

The most popular things on the internet are social websites like Facebook, instant messaging like MSN, and e-mail. Although it is convenient to talk via the internet, we cannot rely on it as the only means of communication. Problems arise when we cannot see the person we are talking to. When people spend a lot of time online, their ability to talk to others face-to-face deteriorates. Their interpersonal skills could be affected and they might end up having fewer friends in real life.

Furthermore, it's easy to tell lies on the internet because we cannot see people's faces - we cannot see their expressions. Lying does not make for good communication. We might also misunderstand others because words can have different meanings.

Before computers, people met and spoke to each other and built strong friendships.