Decay of cultures by Internet
Outspread of media in the beginning of 21st century and the serious issue of internet role in forming culture, identity, beliefs and social values increases the importance of research in this context.
In our modern society, tendency to internet and using it has become such common that most of the families have personal computers, and family members spend most of their time using internet. Internet has a special appeal to all of the social groups including men and women, old and young, literate and illiterate. The present paper studies some of the cultural damages caused by unregulated application of this social media.
Fading out of progressive values
Every society has some values which arises from its culture, but some of the progressive values of societies are fading out due to the influence of unbound and permissive culture of the West, values such as modesty and chastity of women, importance of one’s personality rather than his/her sex and the taboo of nudity.
As a result of outspread of lustfulness, sending pornographic images among Islamic communities is increased, free relations between young teens is generalized, provocative dressing and nakedness in parties is spread specially among the youth and finally, the value of some behaviors which construct healthy and useful relationships among people is lost. Over time, this situation will lead to the growth of violations against exalted religious values and even will result in committing some crimes.
(Out of norm) friendships and relations between boys and girls before marriage, is one of the problems that for many reasons is increasing in our society – especially in last two decades.
In west communities, these relations not only face no legal prohibition or moral and traditional prevention but also are encouraged by liberal cultural context which governs those societies. But according to Islamic teachings, relations between unmarried individuals are allowed only within the framework of requirements of social interactions and religious limits should be respected in these relations. Thus, what is spreading in our society today as friendship between girls and boys is incompatible with Islamic teachings and requirements of Islamic community.
Holy Quran has explicitly reproached the girls who make secret relations with boys and the boys which make secret relations with girls. It should be noticed that the stealth aspect of this relations denotes their illegitimacy, in other word, the perpetrator of this act is apparently hiding himself/herself from religion. It doesn’t mean that, it won’t be any problem if the illegitimate friendships become public. (Surah Al-Nisa, Verse 25, Surah Al- Maida, Verse 5).
One of the problems of internet is that it provokes secret relations.
Outspread of permissiveness
Respecting social rules and following the moral teachings are the most fundamental principles of each culture. Obviously, outspread of permissiveness in cyberspace will eventually affect the people’s refrainment from committing immoral and abnormal actions in public. The source of some immoral behaviors at the level of society is its permission in cyberspace.
Weakening the cultures which have low attendance
One of the main characteristics of cyberspace is that it is under the influence of any kind of culture which is offered in it. Although this field is a channel and context for presentation of different cultures, only the cultures with more dominant and extensive presence will surpass the others.
The truth is that the unbound culture of the west is spreading throughout all cyberspace, and the domination of English language has caused the present users of cyberspace to get away from their own national language, while involving English language. This condition will naturally lead to the domination of western culture on all communities, especially Islamic ones. Thus, values, methods and identities favorable for western cultures are injected to other communities and the process of transformation of cultural elements accelerates.
Depression, anxiety and social isolation
Kraut et al have presented a model in a longitudinal analysis, according to which excessive use of the internet takes one away from community and real social relations, and through elimination of social systems and one’s control over life leads to solitude and eventually depression.
It was proved in a study with the aim of determination of the relationship between harmful use of internet and detection of symptoms of anxiety and insomnia that there is a meaningful correlation between components of harmful use of internet such as obsession, conflict and quarrel with detection of anxiety and insomnia disorders. Excessive use of internet is usually described by concepts such as harmful use of internet, disorder of addiction to internet, dependence to computer, online dependence and cyber addiction, excessive use of internet and problematic use of computer.
Ybarra introduced anxiety as a result and risk factor in using internet. Their study on young persons who used internet compulsively showed that the more their anxiety was reported in school, the more they had used internet and sent messages.
Finally, it should be noted that the outspread of internet in society entails some opportunities to increase public awareness and even to create jobs for some people, but there are also some threats.
The most positive outcomes of the internet are facilitation and speed of communications and information exchange. The most negative outcomes of internet include: risking individuals privacy, their isolation, dissolution of family foundations and addiction to internet. In addition, internet is highly regarded in the field of immoral affairs, because it facilitates the establishment of friendly and romantic relationships and thus it causes ease of betrayal in marriage relations and establishment of illegitimate relations.
The last point is that we should know that external control isn’t enough to protect our children from injuries of internet, but our moral and spiritual education should always make them to see themselves in the presence of God, thus, they learn not to commit any sin in the presence of God and it is only achieved when we guarantee that true and deep-rooted faith is internalized in them.