Ah Jung's First Final Draft

Did you know that the number of Yahoo mail users is equivalent to about one-third of the American population? Everyone seems to be in love with the internet; people shop at Amazon.com and read Yahoo! news everyday; the government gauges the public opinion through numerous comments; students chat with their friends using MSN messengers and search websites to do their homework. What if free internet access, an oxygen like entity that most people breathe in, were to vanish? The result would be simply awful: mass insanity, public anger, and immense workload. Someone might ask: how can these disastrous things happen simply by banning the access of internet? But nowadays, it is generally accepted that internet access is one of the most essential things that people need to maintain life. In the same manner, internet access for modern college students is more indispensable than any other time in history: university students, a group that needs the most amount of information, use internet in daily life. Internet access structurally supports students’ life in social conventions, more sophisticated language, and academics, and that allows students to be well rounded fellow citizens of society.
Recently the allowance for easy internet access became one of the most controversial issues in society. People who are against easy internet access mostly argue about two main points that affect university students; the internet is a source of academic distraction and language depletion. People argue that constant need to check e-mail distracts students by causing them not to concentrate on their work. Facebook, which has more than 300 million active users who log in virtually every day, is often used as a strong evidence of students’ academic distraction; students can’t get rid of this site, though they strongly feel that they need to stop doing it—especially during the lecture time. Nonetheless, Facebook serves as one of the major sites that promote people’s connection through cyberspace. It is well known that several helpful messengers and programs like Skype allow students to be connected with friends and relatives who live far from their college. Students can share their college life with their close high school friends and family. This is especially useful for international students who are apart from their familiar environments. International students may feel isolated and loneliness with uncomfortable language, in a completely strange environment, and among strangers who are completely different from them; in this case the internet greatly helps to provide a sense of connection with their familiar people without face-to-face contact.
Moreover, some people are still deeply concerned about the depletion of language usage in cyberspace, such as an excessive abbreviation and telegraphic plainspeaks that go along with easy interaction among users. This worry, however, should not be considered too strongly because the benefit of increasing easy interaction among various users can improve this situation. The internet users are not limited only to certain age groups. So that the people who are mature enough to correctly use proper language will promote cyberspace etiquette through their interaction with various internet users—they even promotes some kind of formalities on cyberspace. For example, in today’s college, a professor and students can interact with e-mail and websites with just a few clicks. However close the students and professors may be, they have to maintain some formalities in their relationship and their conversation. Thus, increasing the access range of the internet can actually mitigate language depletion. Moreover, immature young students can become more matured by interacting with older people that they don’t really deal with in their real life; they can set their own perspective towards social issues and get the sense of how society works. There is an old proverb saying that “the word you speak is a mirrored image of yourself.” Thus, the internet’s benefit is larger than its notable flaws. By improving the language usage for university students, the internet access contributes in raising mature students.
Against all counterarguments that internet distracts students from their academics, the internet, in fact, provides university students huge benefits in academic areas. At first, the internet exerts its power on the class for students’ academic benefit: the internet is a great source of information for not only class materials but the more complex knowledge beyond the one that class can cover. Due to large class sizes, it is hard for college professors to give careful individual attention to students. Imagine one professor is managing several courses, each of which has a lecture hall full of students. Professors are often not as accessible as high school teachers were. In this situation, online resources help students immensely. Google is a great sea of information where virtually everything that people want to know appears. For minor questions and homework, Google has instantly available answers from various sources of information. And this situation requires students’ ability to recognize which information is reliable and which is not. This is a new concept of spontaneous interaction that occurs in the internet-based modern society. Some people, like Nicholas Carr, contend that the internet resources provide only a shallow depth of knowledge and it greatly reduces internet users’ concentration time span. This argument, however, is not necessarily true. To borrow his analogy, modern college students are “jetsking” on the surface to find the “right spot” to go “scuba-dive.” Though later deep reading procedure is identical, the internet actually helps to reduce wasting time to find exact information that people need. And especially for homework, several sites are specially designed to help students without professors’ help or grading, such as “Mastering Chemistry” and “Mastering Physics.” These sites help students to get a core concept and provide a guideline in the same way that a professor helps an individual student. As a student who is taking chemistry class, “Mastering Chemistry” is a really helpful resource. All homework is accompanied by a large number of concept questions and advanced questions. And each comes along with detailed side notes and guidelines. This website even provides hints and feedbacks prepared for all possible wrong answers, so that I can know what is wrong with my answer and can find the right way. And the result was clear; I got an easy 98 on my chemistry exam.
The internet also sets up a ground for convenient academic interaction among people even beyond the class time. For example, OAK allows students to prepare for class by getting all announcements for each class at the same time just by clicking and typing a few letters. Also, in regards to e-mails, students and professors can easily interact with each other; this convenient system allows students and professors to contact each other the fastest way without interrupting each other’s privacy. This method is very useful when students need to contact their professor for excused absence notification, when a professor needs to contact students for an emergency notification about homework assignments, or when students need to make an appointment with a professor or an advisor. Another benefit of OAK, checking grades online, helps students to get motivated about their grade, and avoid the rush at the end of semester. For example, in a composition class, peer editing, which is very time consuming, can be easily done by simply uploading a paper on “Wiki site.” It allows each student to pick his or her most available time for editing a paper; even a professor and classmates can leave feedback on what people wrote whenever they are available. This common ground for interaction provides not only easy scheduling, but it also encourages students’ participation in class by making class conversation very accessible and easy to catch up with. And, as a side benefit, it is also eco-friendly because it saves paper.
A wide range of internet access should be encouraged, because the internet access provides instant convenience without physical effort, which is also an integral part of students’ life in general. The internet access frees students from trivial annoying physical work. It is easy to use e-mail notification for any types of meeting and equally easy to gather information through e-mail. For busy students who have 3 tests in a row, random, unrecognizable bulletin boards and falling-off flyers are not really effective means to convey information. Individual notice through students’ e-mail, however, is an easy method to grab their attention. Certain club’s students will get specific information about the club they belong to without effort to look for specific flyers on bulletin boards, which have flyers from many clubs: I usually get my Habitat club meeting information through my e-mail, and I feel so comfortable with that. Moreover, the internet access on campus also contributes in many other minor ways. Package arrival notification, grade check, and network connection for facilities are little things, not really recognizable minor benefits, but they nonetheless enrich students’ lives such a great deal in an invisible way. For most busy students, the post office is an awfully long walk simply to check on whether a package has arrived. In this aspect, although package arrival notification is a small advantage, it greatly reduces students’ stress. The network connection used for campus internet allows students to build a “home network” where printing and faxing facilities are all shared through a single network. It allows students to get rid of excessive cable cords from their tiny room, so that the room can be more organized and space could be used more efficiently—a trivial but significant benefit for wellness.
So far, the significant benefits of the internet connection have grown so much that it is impossible for university students to live without the internet. Although there are significant problems that cannot be bypassed, which provide compelling basis for people to argue that free internet access should be abolished, the strength of the internet in general is contributing too much to academics and university life to sacrifice. The internet access is essential to achieve students’ mental advancement through the improvement of language, to achieve convenient life, and academic support. Oxygen is an invaluable element that is indispensible for organic life; however, too much oxygen can cause the fatal syndrome of oxygen toxicity. Just like oxygen, the internet access is a priceless system that is indispensible in people’s life, but it can be troublesome depending on how people use it. Thus, self control and students’ responsibilities are required while encouraging the usage of the internet access for the successful nurturing of well-rounded future citizens.

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