Internet, Computers, Distance Education and People Failure: Research on Technology

Article excerpt

The Internet computer system is estimated to have over 20 million users world-wide and a growth of one million per month. Internet can also improve communications around the world (Eddy, 1994). Millions of persons are taking distance education television courses - no accurate number is known. Computer programs help find valuable funding sources (Eddy, Nicklas and McLeod, 1995). Having computers in schools and in homes can be a real asset for students (Spaulding and Eddy, 1996). The authors are not against this technology but support its use as we have Internet and have presented on television for years, but there are some basic problems. These difficulties range from psychological addiction to unethical behavior and inappropriate actions of technology producers and users.

Internet Issues

Research on Internet issues (Arden-Smith, October, 1995) may be summarized as follows:

1) Some persons are so addicted to its use to the extent they have actually flunked out of college, lost their marriage partners, become mentally sick, given up their jobs, and decreased their human contacts.

2) Some persons have become psychologically stressed and ill trying to handle 40 to over 100 random E-Mail messages a day.

3) Some persons avoid personal contacts by overusing Internet so to decrease their personal communications with persons.

4) Some persons have gone into Internet seclusion, while still taking care of daily routines, so failing to learn to work and deal with people.

Some persons misuse Internet as a kind of opportunity to do the following:

1) Tell jokes better not told;

2) Advertise everything from old furniture for sale to tickets to buy for various affairs.

3) Unload their "ego games" on the world as a confessional catharsis;

4) Giving advice on everything from how to attend sporting events to office parties; and

5) Unethical behavior from reading private messages to spreading rumors.

Other persons mess up their use of Internet by giving a message one minute and then come back in a minute later with the rest of the message. They sound like the old radio show star, Paul Harvey, who said, "Now for the rest of the story." This reveals how they haven't thought through their message and want the message receiver to bear with their composition confusions.

Other persons are so in love with their computers that when you come to visit them at their office, this happens:

1) They give you the impression you are invading their territory, turf and time when they are into their love affair with their computer.

2) You are secondary to their "machine god" that they daily worship.

3) You are to go away as soon a possible so they can return to their "worship altar key board and screen" to do what they feel is more important than you.

4) You are less than adequate if you are not addictive to the computer and do not have the splendid skills they pretend to possess to have on the computer.

Other troublesome issues with "computer freaks" are:

1) Some are always angry at their computers and this bad attitude transcends to persons around them in "psychological projections."

2) Some seem "stressed out" because they work so many hours at a computer without taking breaks or doing exercises.

3) Some convey a superiority complex against less interested computer buffs.

Distance Education Issues

Research into distance education television (Bangpipob, 1995) reveals some interesting problems such as:

1) Students in college credit computer classes doing homework for other classes or other things on their computers during the actual class time. …