Philosophical problems of the Internet

Philosophical problems of the Internet

Ainura Kobzhanova, 1st year master's student of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

Danat Zhanatayev, Associate Professor of Al-Farabi Kazakh National University

     In recent decades, new information technologies have been rapidly developing, using personal computers and telecommunications facilities. Information technology is a process that uses a set of means and methods for collecting, processing and transmitting primary information to obtain information of a new quality.

     According to N. Wiener, information is not matter or energy, but something else. VI Korogodin introduces the concept of information as a dynamic image of the surrounding world, formed in the flow of sensations integrated by a living being.

     The process of accumulating information was formed over a long history of the development of civilization, while the methods of its transmission were improved - from rock paintings to the emergence of alphabetic writing. In the modern world, we see that the most powerful source of information is the Internet and the so-called cyberspace formed by it.

     The Internet in its development has gone from the professional sphere of communication of programmers to the sphere of free communication, realizing broader personal interests in comparison with professional ones. The Internet today is not just a network of interconnected computers, but a community of people - Internet users. In this regard, the term "psychology of the Internet" is declared in the scientific literature. Research in this area, namely on the impact of information technology on a person, mainly psychological aspects, is carried out by Russian and foreign scientists. There are three main types of activity on the Internet: cognitive, play and communicative, which correspond to personality changes. In this article, an attempt is made to consider only one aspect - communicative and the problem arising in connection with this.

     When the development of the Internet was just beginning, everyone was interested in what could be useful from the possibility of communication with the help of a computer. However, the time has come to look at what is happening as a social process, since each individual person through the Internet can convey their thoughts to a huge number of people who jointly make an attempt to transform reality. The World Wide Web, as the Internet is called, has already linked millions of users with invisible electronic filaments. Today we do not know how communication, in which millions of people are involved, will affect the individual and social behavior of a person, but it is safe to say that the influence will be, and it will be noticeable. For example, participating in the life of cyberspace, social minorities gain strength and influence, various movements are organized, and third world countries are making huge information leaps forward. Therefore, all over the world now, great importance is attached to those projects that are associated with the organization of access to the Internet for broad strata of the population.

Communication activities on the Internet can be roughly divided into three types:

1.     Communication in real time (these are the so-called chats), when a user connects with one or more users. The topic of this type of communication is arbitrary;

2.     E-mail (E-mail which is arranged in the same way as a usual one: the text is “enclosed” in an “envelope”, in special places of which the recipient's and user's addresses are indicated). E-mail can be seen as a renaissance of the epistolary genre, and it is unique in that it can be delivered almost instantly to any part of the planet connected to the network;

3.     Teleconferences (newsgroups). A program called a news server accepts messages from users and puts them in an archive accessible to users of newsgroup readers; communication takes place on a specific topic.

     Communication via the Internet generally expands the sphere of interaction between people; it is characterized by the search for new acquaintances, the establishment of a circle of friends and like-minded people. This process is associated with the natural need for a person to exchange knowledge, opinions, and emotions. Working on the Internet gives a person the opportunity to express themselves and get an assessment from other Internet users. Since 1993, an annual survey of the user population has been conducted. It was found that the number of users for whom the motives for accessing the Internet were interpersonal communication and cognition have increased; decreased the proportion of business motives associated with professional activities. At the same time, users noted that they feel their involvement in the global information process, for them, ordinary communication with people is losing its attractiveness. This confirms the fact that the use of computer networks leads to changes in human activities.

     Thus, the development of the Internet and the sphere of high technologies put forward many problems, one of which is the problem of loneliness and alienation. The phenomenon of alienation has existed at all times; it is not an absolute belonging to the past eras. Each of them had its own reasons for loneliness (and its extreme manifestation - alienation), and they manifested themselves in various forms, which is reflected in the works of philosophers, starting with Aristotle and Plato. Traditionally, “alienation” is distinguished as a universal characteristic of human existence, as a characteristic of a person's psychological state, and finally, as a characteristic of a certain social state, when a person's creative activity is limited, and he himself is enslaved by the product of his own activity. Different grounds for alienation also determine different forms of its manifestation. And in this sense alienation is multidimensional and multifaceted”. Therefore, it seems that it is necessary to comprehend the causes and content of alienation at the present stage, to understand the essence of probable new forms of manifestation of alienation in the life of society and ways to overcome it in connection with the development and use of the Internet; find out what is the specificity of alienation in modern conditions, whether it can be overcome.