Людмила Володимирівна Колотова


The theme of the Internet’s influence on social life is one of the most popular now.  The  Internet  significantly changes  modern  social  institutions,  creating  new practices and removing the old ones. The Internet has gradually gained the status of socialization agent. It is already analyzed by scientists as one. It should be noted that the Internet can be included in both the primary and secondary stages of socialization. The processes of primary and secondary socialization are mainly controlled by society because much depended on them: society existence, stability, direction of development, etc. Is it possible to control Internet as a socialization agent? Can a state  do  this?  A  family?  These  questions  are  quite  important  and  we  have  no responses yet. It also should be mentioned that there is a fundamental difference in the perception of the Internet phenomenon for different generations. In the opinion of older people, Internet is improved (by the ability to see the interlocutor(s) during Skype communication) and a relatively cheap way of communication, and this is its main task. For children, teenagers, and young people, Internet is the whole world. And they don’t respect people (even parents and grandparents), who are not involved and who are not prepared to use Internet services and social media. At the same time, due to the Internet as socialization agent, the importance of coevals for children and teenagers grows much. These two forces (coevals and Internet) complement each other, multiply their influence many times, and displace or decrease the value of other agents, which are unrelated or loosely connected with the virtual space. The notion should be made on a great influence of the Internet on the young audience (the phenomenon of "Internet addiction" is mainly noted in this social group) and the lack of such influence on the older generation. The paradox of the situation is that the phenomenon which caused such big changes can become a means of  adapting  for  society.  The  Internet  becomes  an  agent  of  the  socialization  for children and youth naturally. But to make Internet act as a socialization agent for the older generation purposeful efforts should be taken. Now we have the problem of digital inequality of different generations in the same society. Therefore, we can talk about one more form of social discrimination of the older generation. Speaking about the economic and social inequality in one state, we firstly mention pensioners as the most unprotected group. This is because a whole range of problems: the lack of financial resources, physical extinction, feeling of uselessness in most spheres of social life, and, as a result, reduction in social activities of our elderly citizens. Innovative processes in our society put on the agenda issues of socialization of older generations and the role of younger generations in this. Working hard to overcome the digital divide between Ukraine and more developed countries, we should not forget about digital divide within the Ukrainian society. Besides the unequal access to the Internet and computers, there is a social divide in Internet use, a knowledge gap, and communication. Eliminating digital inequality, we can promote economic and political development in specific regions of the country - new sectors of the economy will arise there, people’s participation in public policy will increase, and degree of social isolation of the older generation will reduce.


Internet-communication; socialization; agents of socialization; youth; older generation


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