Our Demons In The Machine: Study Of Language, Network Societies And Illiteracy On The Web Free Writing Sample

The gradual technological advances continue to modify the way people do their business, have rest, and interact with others. For instance, the development of a tiny integrated circuit (SoC) made way for modern smartphones that became relatively compact and affordable daily assistants for their users. In 2018, 96% of Americans were found by Pew Research Center (2019) to own mobile phones, whereas 77% of them reported having a smartphone. Young generations, mostly aged 18-29, were reported by the same investigation to hit 100% ownership with seniors’ share gradually increasing since 2013. The Web’s available technical solutions and access enforce social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. In their turn, services provide room for people to form social groups bonded together by shared social, gender, ethnic, political stance, or common interest. Shared ideologies also guide people on how to use language and which emotions it should elicit in response to others’ comments. Linguistic norms in force on the Web should be perceived as an essential driver of modern language development rather than classified as illiteracy.

Purpose Statement

The aim of this paper is to analyze how ideologies, as belief systems that are shared by social actors, influence the use of language both on the Internet and in face-to-face interactions. Belief systems provide the needed coherence to the group to ensure its proper functioning. The focus will be on the theoretical background that explains human behavior on the Web and analysis of language norms present on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter. The nature of the topic dictates to apply the mixed research method dealing both with quantitative and qualitative data. The most recent findings and articles available in the field will be compiled and analyzed. Next, semantic and grammar analysis of linguistic norms on popular websites should be done to find current trends. The paper aims to confirm or negate the idea that ideologies reflect in social and cognitive functions of the Internet language. At the same time, the group members shape their discourse in line with their social practices.

Languages have always been evolving, shifting, and developing dialects through the history of humanity. It seems that social networking intensified this process, profoundly influencing how people use or alter their speech both on the Web and in face-to-face interactions. The communication network’s logic totally supports the development of networked individualism, which is a current significant change in sociability (van Dijk, 2020). The emergence of this structure, together with historical evolution, intensifies individualism as a dominant value of modern societies. The proposed research is of high significance as analysis of network societies and their influence on language is currently underrepresented.

Problem Statement

Well-known social theorists Barry Wellman, Manuel Castelles, and Jan van Dijk presented and developed the idea of “network society” to explain modern technologies’ social effects and new communication methods. In general, the network society is a current social formation based on media networks infrastructure that shapes its prime mode of organization and essential structure at organizational, individual, and societal levels (van Dijk, 2020). This concept opposes mass society’s idea and believes in a new media’s increased role in a hyper-connected world.

The digital era and its communication methods provide more possibilities for small groups to assert themselves in their community or even the whole world. In that case, ideologies as fundamental social beliefs play an essential role in determining which cultural values are binding them (van Dijk, 2020). Although different ideas and value sets can be found on the Web, social media is highly personalized. The specific information and content usually target those who are initially in sync with it. The main problem is that often it puts one’s point of view to the extremes. This phenomenon makes a situation when two neighbors have opposite beliefs regarding local politics or other issues possible. Nevertheless, even small groups and communities united by their own perceptions of the world may be heard by others in the network society. In their turn, these ideologies shape how group members direct their discourse to their interests and which language they use. It creates a socio-cognitive interface into the group social structure based on its members’ social practices, discources, and shared values.

Although social media and communication technologies increase linkages between people, they still feel the necessity to show their individuality. Internet users build their sociability by selecting communication networks, expressing their own opinions, joining social groups, and using language in line with their social practices. Thus, the network society is still an interconnected group of individuals who share standard features, values, and opinions. Different groups apply specific and unique words from their culture, social practices, native language, or profession. Thus, linguistic variations usually occur due to social contact between people who possess similar backgrounds, beliefs, or intentions (Stocker & Bossomaier, 2014). For instance, as a peer group, teenagers create their own slang to distinguish themselves from older generations. Social groups usually share values and norms specific to a particular network, including models of language use. If a member is deeply integrated into the system, he or she would definitely adhere linguistically to such values of the specific network.

However, such language alterations often become widely known and eventually embedded into the communication patterns of others. The same applies to network societies that foster the process of both semantic and grammar change of languages involved in communication on the Web. According to Godwin (2019), dozens of terms and phrases are currently making their way into dictionaries, while others become widely adopted into spoken language. For example, such words as “emoji,” “lol,” “hashtag,” and “photobomb” can be easily heard by someone walking down the street. Furthermore, definitions of many words were transformed, and even some nouns are used as verbs. According to McCulloch (2019), internet writing is not a crude mixture of acronyms and emojis; it is rather a distinct genre that requires a profound awareness of the language to be successfully applied. This sociolinguist point emerged following the assessment of Tumblr punctuation that is famous for its own grammar norms. The most important task is to elicit an emotional response using the right words, signs, and acronyms. It is an essential skill that everyone should learn to enjoy a normal social life.

Internet and social network services have also changed the meaning of literacy and illiteracy. In the modern world, when still many people do not know how to write or read, the skills necessary to understand and write texts on the Web are of top priority (van Dijk, 2020). The ability to navigate the Internet with the help of a computer, smartphone, or other devices is coined as Web literacy. In developed countries, individuals who do not know how to use instant messenger or Facebook would probably be isolated both from economic and social lives. For instance, it is not easy to imagine modern business relations regarding services without social interactions based on the Internet. The majority of preliminary negotiations and deals take place on social websites. Thus, in the world of network societies, it is not enough to know how to read and speak in real life; it is also essential to be effective on the Web.

Users usually perceive the smartphone and Internet language as appropriate since it follows network-specific rules. For instance, the one who opts to abstain from using acronyms in his/her tweet may be perceived as a strange one. However, from the perspective of conventional rules of language, such words and texts can be characterized as a sign of illiteracy. In general, illiteracy is a lack of education that becomes evident when an individual cannot read, write, or count. In the modern world, this simple definition should include Web literacy that requires specific social skills. The knowledge people acquire from social practices is also important to direct their discourse to their own interests since group communication is based on shared beliefs.

Research Questions

As was earlier stated, the study’s main aim is to confirm or negate the idea that group beliefs determine the use of language on the Internet. Hence, the paper would answer a set of questions that emerged from its theses. How ideologies (beliefs) influence the behavior of the group according to network society theory? Does it exert an impact over language usage on various social networks? Are these alterations destructive, or do they contribute to the further development of language? What is the modern definition of illiteracy?


Godwin, R. (2019). How the Internet is changing language as we know it (ikr lol). The Guardian. Web.

McCulloch, G. (2019). Because Internet: Understanding how language is changing. Harvill Secker.

Pew Research Center. (2019). Mobile Fact Sheet. Web.

Stocker, R., & Bossomaier, T. (2014). Networks in Society: Links and Language. Jenny Stanford Publishing.

Van Dijk, J. (2020). The Network Society (3rd ed.). Sage Publishing

Performance In Safety Management Systems (SMS)

Study Design

The study will employ a cross-sectional research design in examining regulations and technologies employed in the aviation industry to provide a high level of performance in safety management systems (SMS). This research design is appropriate because it is easy to implement, promotes data collection from a representative sample, allows examination of multiple variables, and permits hypothesis testing (Creswell & Creswell, 2019). The research question is: What are the common patterns of applied aviation SMS regulations and technologies that provide high-quality SMS performance? Based on this research question, the study hypothesizes that the most effective SMS regulations those with international and collective patterns. Another hypothesis is that the most productive SMS technologies are those that belong to the software sphere. The study will collect data on improvement patterns of SMS regulations and technologies as two qualitative independent variables and risk factors and accident rates as two quantitative dependent variables using a structured questionnaire to test these hypotheses. In the analysis of data, the study will use descriptive statistics to establish patterns of regulations and technologies and analysis of variance to test their effectiveness in SMS performance.

Population Sample

The target population of the study will be employees who work in the aviation industry. To enhance the findings’ external validity, the study will target employees working in both international and domestic airlines. The sample size will use a sample size of 390 employees estimated using Cochran’s formula by considering the significance level of 0.05, the proportion of 0.5, and the margin of error of 0.05 (Anderson et al., 2017). In the selection of respondents, the study will utilize the convenience sampling strategy. The study will ensure that respondents work for both domestic and international airlines, have experience of more than five years, and understand SMS regulations and technologies advocated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Variables and Measures

The study will examine four variables, which are regulations, technologies, risk factors, and accident rates, relating to the performance of SMS in the aviation industry. Regulations and technologies of SMS are two independent variables. In contrast, risk factors and accident rates comprise two dependent variables. Regulations and technologies will be measured on a categorical scale of “Yes” and “No”, while risk factors and accident rates will be assessed on a seven-point ordinal scale. As an essential relationship of these variables, the adoption and implementation of SMS regulations and technologies would effectively reduce risk factors and accident rates in the aviation industry.

Data Collection Methods

The study will utilize a questionnaire as a research instrument in the data collection. Qualitative data of regulations and technology and quantitative data of risk factors and accident rates will be collected from selected respondents. After seeking informed consent from the aviation industry’s target respondents, the study will administer the structured questionnaire and collected data. Appendices A and B have the cover letter and the questionnaire, respectively, for the study.

Data Analysis Method

The study will employ both descriptive and inferential statistics as techniques in data analysis. Descriptive statistics, which are means, standard deviations, and frequencies, are appropriate because they will depict patterns and trends of risk factors and accident rates in response to SMS regulations and technologies’ adoption and use. Analysis of variance is a suitable inferential technique because it evaluates SMS regulations and technologies’ significance in reducing risk factors and accident rates in the aviation industry.


Anderson, D. R., Sweeney, D. J., Williams, T. A., & Camm, J. D. (2017). Essentials of statistics for business and economics. Langara College.

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2019). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (5th ed.). SAGE Publications.

”Boy” Directed By Taika Waititi As A Representation Of The Local Culture

The film Boy (2010), directed by Taika Waititi, is a comedy-drama that tells the story of a young Maori boy’s relationship with his father, who returns from prison. The story is set in a poor Maori village, with all actors drawn from local communities, and many details communicating the local sense of place. It is directed and edited in a lively visual style that aims to depict the world how Boy sees it, with hand-drawn and fantasy sequences that provide insights into the character’s personality.

The movie touches upon the themes of growing up, childhood trauma, and abandonment. Boy’s father left him when he was very young, and he has been fantasizing about him throughout all his childhood, imagining him to be a warrior and a hero. When the father returns, Boy’s illusions shatter, as he gradually realizes that he is not the man that he thought he is. When watching the film, it strikes how tenderly and knowingly Waititi portrays the boy, making the viewers sympathize and empathize with him.

As the film is set in the Maori community, it also serves as a representation of the local culture and touches upon Maori issues in contemporary society. In the article “A Short Commentary on Boy” (2012), Leonie Pihama, a New Zealand Kaupapa Maori academic, criticizes Waititi’s portrayal of Maori life. She claims that the film “in essence maintains and reproduces some of the basic stereotypical views of what it means to be Maori” (Pihama 60). She names among the stereotypes that Maori children are often neglected, left to fend for themselves, and live in poverty, while men steal, lie, party, smoke, and often abandon their families. Overall, it seems that the depiction of Maori in the movie is too stereotypical and exaggerated, which does not appeal to all members of the local population.

Work Cited

Pihama, Leonie. “A Short Commentary on Boy.” New Zealand of Media Studies, vol. 13, no. 1, 2012, pp. 59–61.

Essay Voice-over

error: Content is protected !!