Magazine 2013
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
RH, VOL. 3 JULY 2013  
Is Internet Youngster’s E-Connect  
Or Disconnect?  
Sharmila Jajodia  
Internet is an e-tool to collect information and e-motion (electronic movement) for audio-visual  
communication in 21 century which has turned the dream of ‘global village’ into reality. As a result, e-  
commerce is gaining popularity and life without internet appears impossible. Therefore learning to use  
internet has become a necessity for youngsters to be forefront in the battle of life and/or to avoid legging  
behind in this age of ICT. At the same time internet seems to be an intoxication which has made youngsters  
Net-addicts. Therefore, the question arises – the young internet users is regenerating or degenerating  
physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually? In the light of the following observations, this paper is  
directed to explore whether internet is youngster’s e-connect or disconnect psycho-sociologically. What  
steps should be taken to stop the degeneration so that it can really prove a right connect instead of  
disconnect. To achieve this objective library study method has been chosen. The findings indicate that  
internet which appears to be blessing in disguise becomes a curse if used unintelligibly by the young  
generation without proper guidance and supervision.  
Keywords - Changing Structure, Disconnect, E-Commerce and ICT, Young Internet Users, Re (De)  
Internet is the most sophisticated electronic tool, a virtual library which, if used systematically, regenerates  
the life of youngsters as it overcomes the physical barriers – time, distance and location due to its accessibility  
4 hours a day and 7 days a week. It gives them opportunity to connect to schools, colleges, universities to  
collect any information. It saves time, money and energy spent in travelling from home to institute and thus is  
cost-effective for the young generation. Besides, it is the in-thing in this new age economic system for youngsters  
as they do most of their household chores online like buying groceries, vegetables, toys, books, apparels,  
jewellery, electronic items, booking tickets and hotels, paying utility bills, banking and insurance related  
transactions, employment and matrimonial opportunities, and many more things. Thus it is anytime, anywhere  
and by anyone system which saves their time, money and energy comparatively if such activities are carried  
out manually offline. Besides, online admission, registration and examination are also in fashion these days.  
Therefore, life without internet appears impossible and learning to use internet has become a necessity for  
youngsters to be at the forefront in the battle of life and/or to avoid legging behind in this age of ICT.  
Internet is an information superhighway fastest electronic method to give and receive information regarding  
any field of knowledge. Therefore, it is used for educational purposes too by youngsters in teaching and  
learning process. The young teachers use social networking sites to communicate to their students after working  
hours, to provide them additional guidance and to interact with parents of their students too.  
Research shows that the young learners’ capacity to understand and retain improves as they learn by  
experience. Technologies such as collaboration, interactivity, modeling, simulations, virtual reality interfaces  
and gaming help youngsters experience the skill while being taught. Besides, it is used for sending e-mails,  
chatting, social networking- a platform for creative expression and comment about social, economic and  
political happenings in the world through tweets and blogs, for playing games, watching movies, T.V. serials  
and news. Thus internet is an e-motion (electronic movement) for audio-visual communication in 21 century  
which has turned the dream of “Global Village” into reality. Today there are approximately 200 social networking  
websites like,, etc. 73% of teens are members of at least one such  
website. The highest numbers of active users are from the age group 15-24 years and the male-female ratio is  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
RH, VOL. 3 JULY 2013  
an unexpected 8: 2. A study report published by Harvard University states that activities on social networking  
sites are actually good for physical and psychological well being and inner connect. Looking at one’s own  
profile page is a self-affirming exercise and helps to manage stress better.  
Online communication in India is gaining prominence due to the demographic dividend. Firstly, more  
than half the population of India today is below 25 years of age. Secondly, the number of internet user is  
growing continuously. Thirdly, the growth of Indian economy is tremendous in the recent past besides popularity  
of e-commerce. But there is a dark side of internet too as internet seems to be an intoxication which has made  
youngsters Net-addicts. Excess of everything is dangerous for one’s well being. It applies to the youngsters too  
who proudly claim to be ‘internet generation’. The so-called netiquettes used by them for their upgradation  
lead them to a dark and silent danger zone out of ignorance and they become victims of cyber crimes or  
unhealthy citizens of human society.  
To find out how and why internet is gaining popularity among youngsters.  
To determine whether the use of internet by young generation proves a right connect for their social and  
psychological development  
To suggest measures/ strategies to stop the psycho-social degeneration of young net users  
Research Methodology  
To achieve the above said objective, the research method mainly used is library study. The study is  
purely based on the secondary data collected from books, journals, magazines, newspapers and websites.  
Research Limitations/ implications: This study is made only in relation with secondary data available from  
various library resources.  
Discussion and Results  
The changing structure of teacher-taught relationship and family relations, launching of various handheld  
devices – smart mobile phones with internet facility, tablet PC, mushrooming of cybercafés in proximity are  
responsible for unlimited and unintelligible online communication. We have come a long way from Gurukul  
System of Education to Online system. In the former system, the students used to be in the care of the teacher  
for 24 × 7 till the period they complete their education. The relationship existent was Teacher <=> Student (IQ  
EQ+ SQ) But with the introduction of formal education system the relationship took a U turn as the teacher  
and students are staying together for maximum 5-6 hours and the emphasis is on 3 R’s of learning and developing  
the Intelligence Quotient only. In this process, the vital essence of life – i.e. EQ and SQ are not only neglected  
but lost too. The teacher becomes facilitator and friend at times yet neither the teachers nor the students get  
freedom to interact freely due to their constraints, limitations and both of them lose the rapport which was used  
to be shared between them in Gurukuls. Now, the relation is – Teacher - > Students (IQ ± EQ - SQ). The  
relations in future when online education will be implemented throughout will be – Teacher [ ] Students ( The  
wall of emotional and spiritual distance between the teacher and students)  
The easy availability of course content on various sites though helps them to understand the concept  
better yet it is misused by the young students for their assignments and projects. They copy and paste the  
contents. They become lazy. They don’t use their minds. It kills their thinking power and creativity too. Like  
every other body part, our brain too need exercising but excessive use of internet have put them in ‘the  
wasteland’ and they are intellectually degenerated whether it is matter of creative composition for their institutional  
magazine, its cover page design, essay and poetry writing, elocution or debate competition. They even don’t  
use their mind to correct spelling and grammar but directly use the inbuilt mechanism to auto correct spelling  
and grammar. They even ignore whatever correction takes place. Then they expect teachers to encourage them  
to submit neatly typed assignments and project reports even if it is a complete violation of copyright act or  
plagiarism. It leads to their ethical downfall unconsciously. Not only this, the uncontrolled use of internet has  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
RH, VOL. 3 JULY 2013  
affected language and communication skills of youngster as they started using informal shorter expressions,  
abbreviations, emoticons, numerals for words even in formal situations- official correspondence and examination,  
for example, they use ppl instead of people, 4 instead of for/four, gn for goodnight, sd for sweet dreams, tc for  
take care, hand for have a nice day, lol for lots of love/ laugh out loudly. They send e-mail/SMS/ MMS any time  
not only informally but formally too. They consider it good manners of this digital age, superfast communication.  
They prove them to be multi-tasker using internet during formal communication, social get together or meals.  
So the line of demarcation has been blurred between what is right and wrong, acceptable and unacceptable,  
formal and informal, professional and social as well as what is real and virtual. The notions of privacy and shame  
appear old fashioned to the young tech savvy generation.  
Public Relation Executive Li Jiayi, 29 says, “I know a friend who will log on to Facebook the minute he  
wakes up and posts, ‘Good morning, Facebookers!’ and a minute or so after that, ‘ I’m having my breakfast  
now.’ I mean who cares?” (R.D., 105)  
Assistant professor Michael Netzley, Singapore Management University says: Much of this behavior is  
due to “increased transparency and narcissism.” Further he says “Everything we do could be on display and  
the web experience thus increasingly becomes more about ‘me’.” (R.D., 105)  
While these social networking websites are designed to share photos (holiday snaps) and updates, the  
lack of etiquette extends to sending lovers’ quarrels too and the barrier to exit is very extremely low.  
As far as our family relations are concerned, earlier in joint families, when mothers used to be housewives,  
scenario used to be different as mothers and other relatives used to share time with them by attending to their  
emotional needs and they never feel isolated, alienated, frustrated and depressed. They used to vigil most of  
the activities of the children. There used to be face to face interactions and so there were fewer chances of  
youngsters being astrayed. But with changing requirements, both the parents working, nuclear, small or even  
single parent family system, youngsters experience loneliness; they feel lack of love and affection in their lives  
as their parents being busy on professional front can’t give them quality time however willing the parents are to  
do so. Sometimes, parents meet their children directly for dinner. The youngsters are glued to television,  
mobile and computer mediated internet; They even get exposure to pornography by mistake initially in the  
absence of a guide but later it becomes an addiction. They spend too much time with their friends online to do  
away with the void in their emotional lives, which generally leads to disintegration of personality. This leads to  
chaos as they become more and more mechanical in their family relations; emotions find no place at familial  
level throughout; they try to seek it elsewhere which paves way to greater number of incidences of drug  
addiction, domestic, social and psychological violence including terrorism.  
Innumerable pedophiles use internet to lure and abuse youngsters all across the world including India.  
They are lulled into false sense of security when they venture online. These online groomers are manipulative;  
hide their real identity – age, gender, name, profession etc. and pose to be their friends/ well wishers. Parents  
of the young and innocent online users being unaware or ignorant of such activities online are least bothered  
that their young child is being seduced / exploited psycho-sociologically, emotionally and can be abused  
physically in real life too.  
Cyber bullying and trolling are also issues which make the innocent internet users frustrated. These are  
malicious, threatening, humiliating messages, tricks which cause emotional distress, depression and even  
compel the victims to commit suicides. Thus such online adventures not only prove nightmares for the victims  
but also for their parents. In many cases parents, police and government keep on trying to get hold of such  
criminals but nothing fruitful happens.  
According to an EU survey conducted last year, 49% of the 9-16 years old questioned revealed that they  
use the internet in their bedrooms where it is difficult for parents to vigil; 59% have their own social network  
profile, more than a quarter of it can be viewed by the public at large. Nearly 1/3 of them admit to have  
communicated with someone they have never seen; 9% actually go on to meet that person in real life.  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
RH, VOL. 3 JULY 2013  
The parents have recently reported that most social networking sites provide members with an option to  
block certain people from viewing their activities and children use it to keep themselves away from their  
parent’s vigil.  
Medical concerns regarding the use of social networking sites have been raised alarmingly due to  
adverse physical and psycho-social impacts. According to a study conducted at the Maryland University when  
students were suddenly prohibited from using social networking sites, they showed symptoms similar to those  
shown by drug addicts and alcoholics. The study claims that it could ruin some parts of brain, shorten attention  
span, weaken the immune system and isolate one from physical and social interaction.  
This generation of young internet users is not necessarily as astute when it comes to business etiquette,  
says Mark Sparrow, Managing Director of recruiters Kelly Services, Singapore.  
Suggestions and Conclusion  
Therefore, we teachers, parents and government have the social responsibility to have a look into where  
we are leading our young generation to. The parents and teachers need to be vigilant. They must talk to them  
and make them feel comfortable so that the youngsters can share their uneasiness. Make them understand that  
people lie online too. So they need not share personal information unnecessarily. The internet users must be  
made aware of the dangers and must be made aware of the dangers and taught to identify the risks as this is  
the best defence mechanism. The parents need to install Net nanny, an internet software programme which  
automatically filters the websites visited by the users. The parents need to visit websites like or which teaches youngsters of age 5-17 how to be safe online. They contain useful advice for  
parents as well.  
The government need to reform cyber laws as required. The police must attend to the victims and their  
parents immediately to avoid accidents. Workshops need to be organized to guide parents and the youth. The  
internet companies /site owners need to take more progressive steps like looking for patterns, certain words to  
avoid red flags; they must also use software that sifts through chat logs more efficiently.  
To conclude, there is no doubt that these are new channels and people are still learning to use them in  
a balanced and reasonable way. At the same time, it is a social learning process which takes time though it is  
unlikely to find hard and fast rules. Still it is genuinely needed to take these precautionary steps to stop the  
degeneration so that internet can really prove a right connect instead of disconnect.  
Mann et. al. (2009). E-commerce. Chennai: MJP Publishers. Print.  
Modern Manners, Reader’s Digest, October 2011, (104 - 111) Print.  
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“The Internet will help achieve ‘friction-free capitalism’ by putting  
buyer and seller in direct contact and providing more information  
to both about each other.”  
Bill Gates, Co-founder of Microsoft,  
Redmond, WA, U.S.