Utopian Influence On Society

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Utopian ideals of the Web began to emerge in the inception of the Internet and World Wide Web. Individuals who thought quite optimistically of the Internet’s development saw its spread as a positive evolution of not only technology but also society. They see the internet as being limitless and uncontrolled, changing commerce and society. Individuals will behave differently with easy access to the Internet, but this will benefit society since they will be able to easily find like-minded people in virtual communities. Proponents of this online utopia idealize that the Internet will have the power to bring people together and change society for the better. However, after observing the advancement of the world wide web and internet technologies,…show more content…
The sheer range and depth of the web also adds to the limitless quality of the utopian ideal since represents ‘...all circuit, all intelligence, all interdependence, all things economic and social and ecological, all communications, all democracy, all groups, all large systems’ (Kelly, 1996, p.76). The web was seen to be a type of utopia where ‘...no one is in charge’ (Kelly, 1996, p.77) and ‘its users are proud to boost, the largest functioning anarchy in the world’ (Kelly, 1996, p.77). Limitlessness on the web is also highlighted by Kelly (1996, p.77) by stating that ‘everyday day authors all over the world add millions of words to an uncountable number of overlapping conversations’. Free, uncontrolled, and limitlessness are constantly repeated as key characteristics of the Internet as a utopia. Individuals, in this ideal form of the Internet, have the freedom to take part in any type of online conversation or community while having the knowledge that nothing is…show more content…
Proponents of internet utopia saw that it had the capability of changing commerce and more established aspects of society as well. Stewart (1996, p.67) saw the growth of the web ‘...to be a radical—and rapid—transformation of commerce and society, the greatest since the invention of the automobile’. This was due to the expansion of the web and internet network to engulf international markets and economies, creating a global market. For example, ‘the largest market in the world—the trillion or so dollars a day in international currency transactions—runs almost entirely over networks’ (Stewart, 1996, p.67). Idealists of the Internet utopia saw the growth of electronic markets being able to give businesses access to new markets due to the cost-efficient aspect of the Internet network. Everyday users would also be able to ‘...send anything to anyone else—a note to a neighbour, a World Series game to millions—choosing any form, whether video, voice, text, or a combination’ (Stewart, 1996, p.68). However, idealists like Steward (1996) fail to realize the greater implications of having a internationally networked economy. The connection and integration of
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