In the Web of Doubts and Prospects. Consequences of the Digitisation of the Modern Society
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New information and communication technologies are an inherent part of the contemporary man’s living space. Since their very beginning, the media have always, to a lesser or greater extent, determined the functioning of individuals. Today, however, due to unlimited access, impressive growth of the media market and human creativity in the area of new technological developments, the involvement of mass media in people’s lives is taking on a new, unprecedented dimension. Such a state of affairs was envisaged as early as in the middle of the last century by, among others, M. McLuhan, who wrote that “the new media will transform us entirely: nothing will remain unchanged, untouched”, or J. Baurdrillard, who speculated at the time that media would become the life itself. Nowadays, these speculations are taking on a real form, especially as regards the net generation, which is an audience strongly dominated by the impact of the media for a simple reason, i.e. because its representatives — contemporary children and young people, unlike adults, were born and have been growing up in the digital world. Thus, the article is an attempt to present opportunities, challenges and threats involving widespread use of the latest technologies by digital natives. The authors show consequences of the phenomenon in the social, cultural, educational and security dimensions through references to the Polish and foreign literature, focusing on ambivalent implications of changes in the net generation’s way of thinking, communicating, collecting information and learning. Moreover, the article gives examples of juvenile perpetrators of attacks who were strongly linked with the virtual world prior to committing their crimes.
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