Clifford Stoll Isolated By The Internet Analysis

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In the essay, “Isolated by the Internet”, author Clifford Stoll explains that recent research, conducted by psychologists Robert Kraut and Vicki Lundmark, suggests that frequent use of the Internet has had a generally negative effect on the psychological well being of its users. Using examples from Kraut and Lundmark’s previously mentioned research, Stoll asks, “Will the proliferation of shallow, distant social ties make up for the loss of close local links?” The question Stoll raises here is entirely valid, and just as concerning; as the more time one spends online, the more time one subsequently spends alone, away from people he or she could be potentially interacting with. I believe Stoll’s concerns are completely justified as today, (falsely comforted by shallow, superficial relationships, …show more content…

Without regular human contact and interaction, one can develop serious social anxiety when required to meet new people or attend social gatherings. In Stoll’s piece, he tells of a Pennsylvania college student named Steve, who is online sixty to seventy hours a week. Stoll quotes Steve, who explains that when he is not online, he is obsessing over when he can return home to get back on the Internet. When Steve is required to be out in the world, he is shy and anxious. Miserable at school, where he believes he does not fit in, Steve dreads having to interact with people face to face, as he is so accustomed to isolation. Stoll also adds, “Where once people like Steve would have … slowly learned how to deal with people, today they are able to turn to the Internet for solace and escape.” Spending long periods of time alone, becoming out of the habit of talking to and interacting with people face to face can create or worsen pre-existing cases of social anxiety, and is detrimental to developing basic social

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