The Rise of the Internet
Since the 1950s, television programming has been a major part of American culture.
From then on, more people stayed at home for entertainment instead of going to the theater or listening to a music recital, a historical first. The Kaiser Family Foundation once estimated that by the age of 70, today’s adolescents will have spent seven to 10 years of their lives watching TV. Since the advent of the Internet, people have even more choices on what to watch. But TV isn’t the only medium people get on the Internet. Online video games, social networking sites, and free encyclopedias are gaining in popularity, not to mention the innumerable blogs that cover every topic imaginable. People are spending more time in front of a screen than ever before.
Thirty years ago a typical 14-year-old might spend his free time watching reruns of “Gilligan’s Island.” Today’s 14 year-old is much more likely to be interacting creatively by posting to a blog or Facebook page, planning a tactical assault in a video game against peers, or looking up new dance moves before going to the after-game dance.
Discuss: How much time do you spend on the Internet? What do you prefer to use the Internet for?
Discuss: How has the use of the Internet benefited you?
Discuss: How has the use of the Internet affected you negatively?
Discuss: What would happen if you went one week without the Internet?