I have heard that there have been many more divorces over the last few years because of men that come home from work and after dinner just go on the Internet for a few hours instead of spending times with their wives and families. I'm not sure where I remember reading this, but it sounds like surfing the web isn't necessarily that much better than watching TV. It seems they both can be taken to the extreme. Of course, the Internet is used more for communication than the web (you've meant TV here, didn't you?
), but some could argue that the web is simply one-way communication.
A study funded by a bunch of computer and telecom companies (the likes of Nortel and Apple) appeared in Le Monde a couple of years ago. It showed that people see their circles of friends diminish after acquiring access to email and chat. The gain in electronic friends did not compensate for the loss of real friends. Further, the people involved saw their quality of life suffer as a result. (I'd love to have the specific details)
The problem with the internet is precisely that it's used for communication. Computers communicate
while people talk and speak. Something precious is lost in the degradation of humans to mere machines. -- RichardKulisz
As I see it the problem with the web is not
just its one-way nature (because email, usenet, chatrooms, and now wiki can all be two-way experiences). The problem begins when occasional communicating with people at a distance becomes communicating mainly
with people at a distance becomes ignoring the people close by. There is less incentive to sort out problems with those nearby if there is easy interaction with near strangers at a distance. --RiVer
Even if both partners surf the web they are even more isolated from each other than watching junk TV together, because with the TV at least they'd share the same
As an opposing view to the above, I find people online to have more common interests than people in the real world. None of my friends outside of my team have any interest in discussing Extreme Programming, for instance. I still have real world friends, but I increasingly find the typical small talk interactions I have with them tedious and unfulfilling. --BrianRobinson As opposed to the SmallTalk interactions you have with people online? :-)
In which case, it's usually worthwhile to seek out real-world friends who share your interests. -- BrentNewhall
because it was a waste of my time; now I find that much of that time has been replaced by surfing the net. At first I considered this progress. I have since realized that it is not. At best it gets me out from under the thumbs of the big media companies (just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean that the world isn't out to get you), but it's still the same brain draining passive entertainment that the tv is. --MarkJosef
This condition is called "Mouse Potato".
See also GaveUpOnTelevision