October 28, 2007
Reading a seriees of longitudinal and experimental studies (e.x. McKenna, Green, and Gleason), who test a theory of relationship formation on the Internet, these researchers directly address the argument that the psychological quality of Internet social interaction is lower than is the psychological quality of traditional face-to-face interaction but many such as
Consider my own use. I’ve received several e-mail messages in the past hour. My girlfriend confirms the dinner for tonight. Even though it is weekend, my coleagues send me questions about the pending exam expects a quick answer. So does some graduate student from Europe, that I recently met on “MySpace” with an urgent request for a letter of recommendation. My friend Ksenija sends me an IM to tell me the latest news about her new love. And so on and so on…
The World Wide Web is the single largest, most ubiquitous source of information in the world, and it sprang up spontaneously. People use interactive Web pages to obtain stock quotes, receive tax information from the Internal Revenue Service, make appointments with a hairdresser, consult a pregnancy planner to determine ovulation dates, conduct election polls, register for a conference, search for old friends, and the list goes on. It is only natural that the Web's functionality, popularity, and ubiquity have made it the seemingly ideal platform for conducting electronic commerce. People can now go online to buy CDs, clothing, concert tickets, and stocks. Several companies, such Digicash, Cybercash, and First Virtual, have sprung up to provide mechanisms for conducting business on the Web. The savings in cost and the convenience of shopping via the Web are incalculable. Whereas most successful computer systems result from careful, methodical planning, followed by hard work, the Web took on a life of its own from the very beginning. The introduction of a common protocol and a friendly graphical user interface was all that was needed to ignite the Internet explosion. The Web's virtues are extolled without end, but its rapid growth and universal adoption have not been without cost. In particular, security was added as an afterthought.