Tina's First Final Draft

Can you imagine a world with children just addicted to internet games? I actually know a student who died at the video studios because he spent three continuous days and nights playing. It was so sad when we heard about it and I did not think it should ever happen again. You might consider it as an accident because of students’ lack of responsibilities. Statistics show that 69.8% of high school and college aged students have access to the Internet.1 Lots of those students spend much more time on Facebook and online games instead of gathering knowledge. Take an example in my physics class where I sit at the back of the class. Since it is a lecture hall, I see many students use their laptops at class to chat on Facebook with their friends. They actually do not pay any attention to what the professor talks about. The internet is just distracting them from studying. In this paper, I want to mainly talk about the fact that students should realize the importance of studying to college life and learn personal responsibility. Therefore, I think college students should have limited internet access.

One reason why we should limit internet access is that students who are not willing to take personal responsibility can easily become addicted to online games. Jamais Cascio points out that the increasing complexity and range of media have made us smarter and that games (including internet games) have become extraordinarily dense with detail and more open to interactive engagement.2 Although it is true that the media exposes us to many good things, it can also have a bad influence on students if they are misguided and easily addicted to entertainment. Take the internet games like World of Warcraft for example. It might be really interesting when people can play with different people in the country or even around the world on the internet, but not when many students become victims of game addiction. Students often find a way to escape study for the games; at the same time, it makes them worse at interacting with people and reduces their language and social skills. As they spend so much time on Internet games, they have less time for study. For some students, they do not even do their schoolwork due to the games. In this case, students need to be aware that their major task as a college student is to study. They should build their self responsibility in order to not to fall into the trap of playing Internet games.

Students may also lose their reading skills while frequently using the Internet, which negatively affects their studies. As Nicholas Carr indicates in his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid,” people always use the Internet to skim for the source that they really want.3 It is not good for college students not to have deep reading, because when we are doing assignments in the liberal arts field, we have to think deeper than the surface and the way that the professors want us to think about the topic. People actually do not read Internet sources as closely as if it were a book or article; rather they only get a brief idea of the paragraph. What should matter to us is the quality of the knowledge, not the quantity. More information does not necessarily mean good information. The internet has so much information for us to seek that we do not really think hard about the problem but just simply search for the result. We ought to reduce the time clicking around the Internet to actually learn something for ourselves.

Besides, the Internet has given rise to unforeseen problems on today’s campuses such as online plagiarism and SparkNotes which are huge challenges to students’ personal responsibilities. Sometimes when we do our research papers, we use ideas that we have read on the Internet and easily use the source without citing it. We have to be responsible for our own work, especially under the Honor Code. The huge costs for plagiarism are either failure of the class or withdrawal from the school.

Due to wide use of the Internet, students’ awareness of study language usage has been weakened so that limitation of the Internet is necessary. Just as Sven Birkerts wrote in “The Gutenberg Elegies”, our unique and comprehensive ability to speak and write language is becoming “plain speak". More and more “net” languages get used in our daily life. My friend told me when he was doing an SAT essay question, he simply put “you” as “u” without thinking. He realized the mistake after he finished the test. This situation happens more regularly when students are writing their essays and papers. Those words pop up in the mind and are typed in naturally. With the rise of Internet language, the importance of studying proper English is increased.

More importantly, some students play a role in internet verbal attacks because of their lack of responsibility. Since people are free to say anything on the Internet, they sometimes do not respect each other. Take Juicycampus.com as an example: students used to post everything about others on campus to that website. Students make fun of their classmates and post nasty things which are little known. As some students’ privacy gets affected, they argue with each other on the Internet. Thus, in some extreme cases, anonymous people will use vulgarity and aggressive words to attack other people. This internet environment brings negative influence to students; therefore, limited access to some websites is essential.

However, the Internet does aid us in obtaining a huge amount of knowledge. For example, we can find our class lectures, syllabuses and grades on OAK. We will be less likely to be stressed if we know what the day's assignment is since it can be found on the web. The Internet is an efficient way to help us study and to manage our time wisely; for example, we can gather information for our research paper on the Internet much more easily than looking up in a reference book in the library. But, as I mentioned above, the potential harm exceeds the benefit the Internet provides. This harm may possibly even end a student’s life.

The Internet has saturated people’s daily life by providing broad and convenient information in various ways. For students it provides even more knowledge, while its disadvantage can be that students get addicted to online games, plagiarize and verbal attack from websites, and develop weak language and reading skills. The task which we are confronted with is how to face the challenges and to overcome the drawbacks. Here are some of my thoughts: First, we should be aware of the value of the education the internet provides us and also we should create a good healthy network for learning. Second, the government should try to limit access for students to some game and chatting sites but not limit academic websites or news websites. This would help to solve the problem.

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