Consumption and Digital Divides: Internet Use among You and I (with a little study done on our classmates in UNIMAS)

What is the Internet ?

As stated by Horn (1995)

The Internet has been described as the worlds “information superhighway,” a “web”, “a matrix”, “cyberspace”, and a “global yarn ball.” The term I would pick are: huge, intriguing, and confusing. The internet is a huge network of networks; over 10,000 computer networks around the world are tied together on the Internet (p. 572).

Today 40% of the world population is a user of Internet. According to the statistic by Internet Live Statistic in the year of 1995, the number of internet user is less than 1% of world population. But the number rose up to the first billion in 2005, reaching to the second billion in 2010 and in the year of 2014 the number of global internet user has exceed three billion people.

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Source: http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/

The number of global user of internet seem to be expanding rapidly without any sign to stop in any time. Come along with the global usage with internet is some issue such as copyright become property rights and people become addicted to information. Since information is accessible in any time any place with just a click, people become too attached to the phone. It’s like a new social phenomena now whereby when a group of person sitting together in a dining table, none is talking to one another. Instead of talking, they rather looking at their phone scrolling through the social media that they have and giggling alone. Once food arrive on the table, people will first either capture their food picture or taken a selfie of themselves and post it up to social media such as Facebook or Instagram but if want to make it more personal some will post it in WeChat Moment, Thus, there a term to label these person which is the “anti-social”. This can be seen everywhere is a developing and develop country. But what about in underdeveloped country?

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Sources: International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and United Nations Population Division

(http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/publications/mis2013.aspx)

As shown in the pie chart above in the year of 2014, 2.1 billion which is the 75% of internet users are from the developed country which consist of 20 country. The rest of 25% of internet users is distributed throughout different region and in Africa has the smallest number of internet users which is less than 1% number of whole world internet users. Technology is the gateway for us to gain information but a research finding has proven that people who is good in accessing information especially the specific one has the high chance to be successful in their future other than those who just know how to use certain hardware of software (Farmer and Henry, 2008). Thus, in order to be successful in the work force other than having experience, a worker must be both technology literacy and information literacy. The two skills is compulsory to be a dynamic worker. Hence, we can see country like China which is market oriented, now is a new industrialize country whereby technology is widely used in any work field. And this has made China listed as one of the new Tiger in ASEAN. This seem to explain little of information collected by data above.

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Source: http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/

The generation who is born in 1990 and onwards can be considered as the Net Generation (netgeners) as they are more acceptance to technology and their life are more dependent and connected to the Internet than their parents or teacher who is much elder compare to them. This can be seen even now when a small kid as young as 2 or 3 years old know how to operate a tab or smart phone to play games or watch video. This advantage has allow them to achieve goals in their daily activities. Nevertheless, that might be the picture only in core and semi periphery country but not periphery country. Thus, the inequality is still exist due to poverty as an example kids in India who live in slums area might not have access to internet like children in Malaysia. This has shown the relation in between quality of life and technologies. However if given internet exposure to people who is lack behind in term of economy, they will learn way to improve their life style. As mention by Leung (2010)

“Extensive qualitative and quantitative evidences also support the Internet potential (via homes access), to enable informationally disadvantage or low-income families to experience powerful emotional and psychological transformations in identity (self-perception), self-esteem, personal empowerment, a new sense of confidence and social standing or development of personal relationships on the internet.” (p. 278)

Digital device ?

We are now living in the information age where it has promulgate the sweeping change  in the invention of technology and our lifestyle. Most of our aspects of life and tasks are all dependent on technology inclusive economy, politics and even our personal relationships. The Information Age is believed as quirky because it is ushered by its fundamental application of technology which is based on digital devices. Today’s generation is undergoing Third Industrial Revolution after the second one which is known as Technological Revolution (1870-1914 for  US history)  and Industrial Revolution itself.  The first Industrial Revolution has brought steam power, factories and railways while the second one gave rise to new types of power for instance electricity, new chemicals, new plastics and new drugs which widely occurred in Germany and USA. Meanwhile the Third Industrial Revolution is referred to The Digital Revolution which has manifest the change from analog, mechanical and electronic technology to digital technology which began from the late 1950’s to the late 1970’s with the burgeon usage of digital computers and digital records that able to keep them until today. This revolution is a continuing process of social, political and economy due to adoption of digital devices such as computers and Internet (Ramasubramanian,2010) Digital devices is undeniably has bestow our everyday life yet it require the process of adaption because it’s challenged the status quo of the society to own them and the society has to accommodate their traditions, lifestyles and legislation.

What’s actually a digital devices and how it works?

The idea of the invention of digital device electrical signals was first proposed to represent data for example numbers, words, pictures or even music files. It was first made available to consumers in the 1970’s after the creation of handheld calculators and digital watches. Then, personal computers first launched in 1976 but it shows a short sales and it costs $2400 which is equivalent to Apple II. The first model of personal computers made were not connected to networks, therefore they were basics self-contained units that allowed users to interact only with installed software. At this phase, most managers owned personal computers to process large quantities of data, interpreting data that is converting a text written in code or coded signal into normal language and crunching numbers for accounting. In 1982, TIME magazine has given a space for the recollection of personal computers and it is reportedly that fewer than 10% of households in US had computer (Parsons & Oja, 2013) By having a standalone computer that operate independently of other hardware or software wasn’t for everyone. For those who were not interested in typing at that time used computers for other purposes such as playing games and this has caused a great fret among scientists due to uncontrolled computer activities especially the anti-social youngsters. In early 1990’s computer is getting an upswing ownership because it has opened for public use and network connection which allow users to share data and resources. Yet, it is hardly to find a network connection because it’s only installed in working and school areas. But today, it becomes more eco-friendly where homeowners may own their own network and connect to multiple devices and share Internet connection. Internet is one of the products of digital revolution and it’s widely used for research and academic purposes. But today, Internet can complete most of complex tasks with the software installation and it has eased our everyday life. For instance, we can make appointments online via emails and webpage of health organization, we don’t have to wait for a long queue to pay our bills or buy tickets, we don’t need to travel for thousand miles to meet someone instead by applying video conferencing or video cam on Skype that’s equipped with convenient sounds and images, we don’t need to buy CD’s to watch  movies or listen to latest songs instead we can just download and save it to our digital devices and we can access get abreast to updates news rather than buying papers. During the period of 1995-2010, computing was classified by the Web, email, multiplier games, music downloads and large software applications for instance Microsoft Office, Norton’s Internet Security Suite and Corel Digital Studio but all of the application is remained stored on local hard disk. (Bagad & Dhotre, 2009) In order to see how digital device works, let’s us take computer as the example since it’s the first design.

Computer as the example of digital device

The word computer is actually referred to a person who performs calculation. The first machine which invented for calculation purpose is calculators and tabulators and later first electronic computing devices were developed (Parson & Oja,2013) As we all know, computer can be defined as a multipurpose device for its ability to receive input, processes data, stores data and produces output based on a series of stored instructions. There are a few types of digital devices such as personal computers, supercomputers, servers, handheld devices, video game consoles, workstations, tablets, Smartphone.  All of digital devices function to process data which constitute four elements; input, output, storage and stored programs. (Patrick,Fardo & Chandra 2008)

capture-20150326-145822

Computer input is anything that is typed, submitted or transmitted to a computer system for instance words and symbols in document, numbers for calculation, pictures, audio signals or any instructions from a computer program. Input devices functioned to collect data and transforms it into a series of electronic signals for the computer to store and manipulate. Meanwhile, computer output is the result produced by the computer such as reports, documents, music, graphs and pictures and the devices that perform this task such as printer,scanner, floppy disk, external hard drive and flash drive which will display, print or transmit the results of processing. In computers, most processing place take place in one of its component named central processing unit (CPU) which contained electronic component that process data received called microprocessor; one of digital device. Computer stores data in memory that holds data temporarily either to be processed or stored while storage is where data can be left permanently when it’s not needed to be processed.  File is the area where data collection stored with the utilizing of other digital devices such as hard disk, CD, DVD or flash drive. A file can contain data in terms documents, Webpage, email messages or music video and some of it contain the instruction for the computer to perform tasks. (Parsons & Oja, 2013)

Addiction over Digital Device; Smartphone

Nomophobia is a term used to describe today’s generation; the fear of being without mobile device or beyond mobile phone contact. It’s actually an abbreviation for “nomobile phone phobia”. According to (Dixit,et.al, 2010) it can be classified as mental disorder even though there was no existing Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder considering nomophobia, hence further research is needed to prove it. In our opinion, it is somehow related to mental disorder when we are taking account on its symptoms such as; unable to stand not having a smartphone, get panicked when they hear the same ringtone played on someone else’s phone even though they had knew that they forgot to bring theirs and get fret whenever their phone battery isn’t charged-up or has no credit.There has been a study done by Walsh, White and Young’s in 2008 on Australian youth about their mobile phone addiction. They admitted that they are willing to limit their travel activities and but not living without their mobile phone. While the same research done in Taiwan indicates that almost half (48.9%)of the sample; adolescents experiencing at least one symptoms of problematic phone use while another (16.7%) admitted that they had four symptoms. The effects of these symptoms are reduction in time for social, academic or recreational activities which relates to other impacts such as poor family relationship, low academic performance and financial problem. Getting too attached to phone limits interpersonal communication among family members where they only can talk or sending text messages over the phone instead of having eye-contact which gives deep emotional impact. Besides, for students who are suffered from mobile phone addiction also having the tendency to not perform well in their studies. This is because they are being clingy over their phone and spend hours for chatters or small talks which is not related to their study. It is such a waste of time and they may end up as procrastinators who simply did work that have no quality. It same goes to those who work, constantly checking phone may disrupt and delay their work. People nowadays do aware of their addiction but they have intentional choices to not respond to text messages or phone call during work or class. It’s hardly to diagnose behavioural change in order to see one’s mobile phone dependency because they may not respond right away to those who has no social intimacy with them. In addition, with new game-changing technologies which only can be played on PC’s or PS3 back then but can be installed on phones via download application has greatly contribute to mobile phone addiction. For instance, those who played latest games online on mobile phone such as Clash of Clan has a high tendency to keep playing that game until they reached to a highest level or score plus users can invite their friends to compete with them in the game. With the help of other social accounts links such as Facebook users may promote new games that they played and share their score. Digital devices has provides a vast advantages and experience in utilizing sophisticated technology applications yet it may lead to a bad future prediction on how our next generations would live in terms of socialization process due to dependency on digital devices.

Symptoms of Nomophobia • If losing a cell phone or cell phone reception causes negative physical symptoms, or one never turns off their phone • One recognizes that a panic attack is an overreaction to lack of reception or a dead battery • Obsessively reminding one has their cell phone or mobile device • Worry about losing one’s phone is constantly present despite it being in a secure place • Phobia has persisted over a significant length of time and is affecting one’s health or everyday life • An inability to turn phone off • Obsessively checking for missed calls, emails and texts • Always keeping your battery fully-charged • Being unable to get into the bathroom without taking your phone in with you (Dixit,et.al,2010)

mispaced-phone-01

Source:http://www.purplewifi.net/cure-phone-addiction/

Class activity: We did a tiny survey among our classmates on the usage of digital device and the Internet.

Without any doubt, it is irritable that the usage of Internet has penetrated every single aspect in our daily life. In the small scale survey carried by our group on the  Internet use among some Students in WA14. We have chosen the group of Ica and her members to answer our questionnaires. The data collected from this survey are analysed and we have carried out a interpretation of data in order to sort out the similarity and differences among our group and Ica’s group. The graphs below represents some main elements in our survey. (In the graphs, “R” represents our group, Turtletouille while  “I” represents Ica’s group which is Parlez)

Analysis of data collected from the survey on Internet Use.

IMG_20150325_113648

The survey shows that the internet use among both groups are generally in a similar pattern. According to the data collected on demographic section, half (50 %) of the members from both groups are originate from Peninsular Malaysia while the rest (50 %) are from East Malaysia. Two members from our group, Munyi and I are from the Selangor and Johor respectively, while Evvia, Rebecca and Ilylia are from Sarawak i.e. the East Malaysia. Whereas in the respondents group, two of them are from Sabah and three of them are from Melaka, Perak and Terengganu respectively.

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In addition, we found that overall both group have a high performance in the usage of Social networking especially Facebook which 100% of the members own a Facebook account. This figure reflect the level of ownership of Facebook among students like us is pretty high. At the same time, based on the graph, we also found that the usage of Email reached 100% in both groups. The usage of email is essential for us, especially when we need to write to our lecturers or communicating with some organisations and dealing with certain applications.

As a result, email emerged to be 100% usage among us. The third highest ownership of social media is Whatsapp (90%) which is used by almost all the students in daily life for communication. The rest of the social media account owned and used by both group members are Wechat (84%), followed by “Photo blog” Instagram (70%), Twitter (50%), Blogspot/Wordpress (50%), Line and Skype (34% respectively), Link In (25%) and lastly Viber, Hangout and Telegram which occupy 10% respectively.

From the graph we can see, it is evident that students are much depend on Internet. The survey was then followed by another question to investigate the total average time spent by both groups on the Internet and the results show that majority of the members from both groups use the Internet for personal communication purpose. In our group, this purpose is followed by the second purpose which there is also 100% of us are using the Internet  for academic purpose. For instance, Morpheus and WebOpec are surfed to get lecture updated information as well as accessing for online database. On top of that, our group members also use Internet for the purpose of entertainment like watching YouTube video and for reading news info. None of us are using Internet for online business.

However, as in the group of our respondent, 100% of them are using Internet for three purposes which are academic purpose, personal communication and entertainment. Worth mentioning, they are slightly different from us as18.75% of them are using Internet for online business.

IMG_20150325_114415

 Not only that, we also carry out another investigation to determine on the total average time spent on the Internet. Based on the graph, we can see that in our group, 50% of us spent more than 4 hours per day on new media and only 18.75% of us are spending an interval of 2-3 hours on new media. However, in Ica’s group, the graph on the right shows a balance result. Majority of them (22.5 % )spent 3-4 hours on new media each day, and 10% of them spend less than half an hour on new media.

timed used

Here, we will conclude this topic based on our small findings among our classmates. Ultimately, we can conclude that digital device and the Internet does create a significant implication and impact in our lives, especially on the purpose of usage and the time of usage! We found out that, student’s purpose of usage is mainly on personal use (contact friends, family and loved ones), education and reading. This explains the highest percentage on total average time spent on the Internet.  Based on the findings in the section mentioned above, it is safe to say that our perception on the functions of digital device may not be greatly useful in the absence of the Internet.It is also unlikely to say that both digital devices and the Internet does benefit the users MOST OF THE TIME as it actually helps in exchanging and delivering information, however the amount of usage is beyond our control and every individuals may have their own reasons to it. Hence, we came out of an equation:

“Digital device + the Internet = COMPLETE”

True or false? Agree or disagree? You may find your own answers by experiencing it yourselves or observe the people around you.

-The End-

References

Bagad,V.S & Dhotre,I.A. (2009). Networking Technology for Digital Devices. Canada: Technical Publications.

Dale R. Patrick, S. W. (2008). Electronic Digital System Fundamentals. US: The Fairmont Press, Inc.

Dixit, S.,Shukla,H.,Bhagwat,A.K.,Bindal,a.,Goyal,A.,Zaidi,A.K., & Shrivastava,A. (2010). A study to evaluate mobile phone dependence among college and associated hospital of central India. Indian Journal of Community Medicine , 35,339-341.

Farmer, L. S., & Henri, J. (2008). Information literacy in assessment in k-12 settings. Lanham MD: Scarecrow Press.

Horn, R. V. (1995). The internet, part 1: Background. The Phi Delta Kappan, 76(7), 572, (574- 575.

Leung, L. (2010). Effect of internet connectedness and information literacy on quality of life. Social Indicators Research, 98(2), 273-290.

Parson,J.J., & Oja.D. (2013). New Perspectives on Computer Concepts 2014: Comprehensive. US: Cengage Learning.

Ramasubramanian,L. (2010).Geographic Information Science and Public Participation, 19 Advances in Geographic Information Science, DOI 10.1007/978-3-540-75401-5_2, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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17 comments

  1. TheGeeks · March 25, 2015

    A well written article. No doubt that the usage of internet is beyond of our control. Some of us are a hardcore netizens ( and i`m one of them) while some are moderate users but like you said, it is depend on the purpose.

    Like

  2. Zatunnurmagnetize · March 26, 2015

    boleh dikatakan masa byk dihabiskan dgn melayari internet.. nice survey

    Liked by 1 person

    • turtletouille · March 28, 2015

      Thank you for the comment. Secara general nyer, melalui survey ini kami dapati bahawa kebayakkan student macam kita banyak bergantung kepada social networking. Bayangkan zaman dulu tedanyer social networking,efisiensi kerja tetap efektif, bukan?

      Like

  3. milestone five · March 27, 2015

    in your opinion, does Hangout apps gives much more benefits than Whatsapp or Wechat? i’ve never know how it used for?

    Like

    • turtletouille · March 28, 2015

      Thanks milestone five. In our opinion, the usage of certain apps become beneficial esp when the apps is used by most of the ppl. With that there comes a common platform and the communication might be rather effective. Thank you for your cooment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. fivecloud · March 27, 2015

    no matter what ethnic group we are, there is no differences in term of internet consumption between us because we are all YOUTH

    Like

    • turtletouille · March 28, 2015

      Agree. Thats borderless in the use of
      Internet, dont you think so?

      Like

  5. nik azma · March 28, 2015

    hello semua, selamat berkenalan. Pada pendapat saya, dunia sekarang, memang tidak dinafikan bahawa penggunaan rangkaian internet dalam kehidupan masyarakat boleh dikatakan penting. hal ini kerana, penggunaan internet bukan sahaja untuk mendapatkan sumber maklumat tetapi sebagai medan komunikasi sosial yang mana menerusi faceboo, twitter, email dan sebagainya. walaubagaimanapun, penggunaan internet secara extream akan mendatangkan banyak keburukan daripada kebaikan terutamanya kepada golongan remaja atau segelintir masyarakat yang tidak dapat membezakan kepentingan laman sosial untuk dunia sekarang. Apa-apa pun, gud luck utk kmu semua dan tq sebab share dan mengetengahkan isu ini. tq , jumpa lagi.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. turtletouille · March 28, 2015

    Hi Nik. Thanks for your comment. Terima kasih sebab kmu telah memberi comment yang sangat neutral dan rasional. Kami bersetuju dengan kmu bahawa sememangnye seseorang individual itu kena bersikap rasional dalam penggunaan sosial media supaya dapat memanfaatkan nilai nyer. Internet juak membawa kebaikna dan keburukan, sekiranye individual tersebut menyalahgunakan seperti untuk “hack” orang lain.
    Thank you dan jumpa selalu Nik!

    Like

    • nik azma · March 28, 2015

      yaa, tq turtletouille, yaa perkara ini perlu diberi penekanan terutamanya kepada para pelajar yang masih lagi dibawah umur sbb rasa ingin tahu dalam kalangan remaja sgt tinggi apatah lagi dunia internet bnyak mempengaruhi kehidupan harian mereka. Peranan ibu bapa adalah sangat penting dalam menangani maslah ketangihan “internet-laman sosial” dalam diri anak2 mereka. Keran, didikan drpd ibubapa juga membentuk sikap anak2 itu sendiri. hihi

      Like

    • nik azma · March 28, 2015

      yaa, tq turtletouille, yaa perkara ini perlu diberi penekanan terutamanya kepada para pelajar yang masih lagi dibawah umur sbb rasa ingin tahu dalam kalangan remaja sgt tinggi apatah lagi dunia internet bnyak mempengaruhi kehidupan harian mereka. Peranan ibu bapa adalah sangat penting dalam menangani maslah ketangihan “internet-laman sosial” dalam diri anak2 mereka. Kerana, didikan drpd ibubapa juga membentuk sikap anak2 itu sendiri. hihi

      Like

  7. ivan tao · March 28, 2015

    Truly agree ! Internet is taking most of the time for people nowadays. In class, driving, working, in washroom even sleeping time!

    Like

    • turtletouille · March 28, 2015

      Thank you for your feedback Ivan Tao. We perceive that different age group has a different usage rate in the Internet, but somehow generally we can see that the youngs nowadays are totally attached to the Internet! This kind of attachment could somehow be a habit which affect the daily life. Thanks so much for your comment! Hope to have more feedback from you, good day! (:

      Liked by 1 person

  8. turtletouille · March 28, 2015

    Thank you Nik. Agree with you, peranan ibu bapa amat penting. Tapi, budak zaman sekarang pun bertindak “belakang” ibu bapa, dalam erti kata lain, kadang2 ibu bapa tidak perasan juak apa yg dilakukan oleh anak2 mereka dalam laman sosial. Pada pendapat kami, peranan kawan juak memainkan peranan yg penting kerana kawan2 dapat mempengaruhui kawan di sekelilingi mereka, berbanding dgn ibu bapa.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nik azma · March 28, 2015

      tq turtletouille, tetapi zaman sekarang kita patut percaya dengan penyataan “pengarruh rakan sebaya”.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. turtletouille · March 31, 2015

    Yeap setuju dengan kmu Nik Azma. Sebab ramai remaja akan terikut-ikut trend kawan-kawan sebaya spy tdk dikatakan tak ikut trend. Thank you sbb bagi pendapat yg bernas!

    Like

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