My Digital Life

Posted: July 10, 2010 in Current Affairs

(A Chinese Authority inspects milk powder in light of another unethical business practice. Image by Associated Free Press)

Are you aware that two Pioneer Junior College female students committed suicide within three weeks apart from each other? And that China is back in the headlines for seizing 76 tonnes of melamine-tainted milk powder? Have you heard about the European who recently lost a €500,000 bet in soccer? (He chose to go against Paul the Octopus’ prediction and lost half a million euros by betting on Germany, who lost to Spain.) Or how about Cecilia Cheung’s decision to have another child? Chances are you would be kept up-to-date on such news if you read the newspaper frequently. I don’t. So how do I keep myself updated on the news?

Your guess is probably right – The Internet. The Internet allows the convergence of voice, video, data, and interactivity. It has also given birth, and plays host to many forms of Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) such as email, web chat, newsgroups, and video conferencing.

Since my family does not subscribe to the newspaper subscription, I do not read the newspapers often because it is not readily available to me. I rely on the online sites that provide news coverage to keep myself updated. From local issues to international news, sports and even celebrity gossip, the Internet provides me with fodder to satisfy my hunger for news.

This has a high level of functionality, which attracts a large number of subscribers because most households in Singapore are connected to the Internet. In countries where an Internet connection is hard to come by, communication media will be unlikely to broadcast news using the Internet since it will not reach out to a large audience.

In this technology-driven era, CMCs have provided us with so many conveniences. Without CMC, we would not have our instant messengers and online gaming portals which has become so popular with the youths. If not for CMC, other forms of complementary technology would also not have been possible. Read: The iPhone might not be invented without the existence of CMC.

Are you reliant on CMC? And how long are you able to go without the usage of CMC? I for one, am greatly dependent on CMC and life would be a bore without it. What about you?


Yahoo! Singapore

  1. jing91 says:

    Hello robin! Wan jing here!
    I agree that people nowadays rely more on the CMC for news and information rather than the normal newspapers, because of its accessibility and functionality like how you can read the news on one portal and access facebook on the other explorer.
    Thanks to the advancement in technology, not only can we have enhanced access to information but also enhanced communication with people, but such advancement can backfire seen in relationships between people in general ruined through social networking sites.
    thats all!

    • Rawbeanladen says:

      I agree with your stand that CMC bring many conveniences to our lives. With regards to CMC causing conflicts and dissolution to relationships, I think that it is solely dependent on the level of maturity and honesty between the couple. Your perspective however is interesting and I agree that CMC such as social networking sites can sometimes create unnecessary friction between people.

  2. chris says:

    The internet as a medium’s actually an area in which I have plenty of interest; I’ve always been of the opinion that although the internet appears to be a boon to society, it is in fact very detrimental to social life.

    There are many studies that show that. It is because the internet’s such an encompassing phenomenon that almost everyone in the developed world is relying on it. And we can see what happens when people start reveling in the anonymity of the internet: insensitive remarks, unrestrained bashing of others, and cyber bullying just to name a few. People appear to be braver online when in fact they are hiding. They are hiding their insecurities and putting on facades for the rest of the world to see. And what happens when they go out into the real world? Their facades are shattered; they have nowhere else to run. And so they retreat further into the shells that they created for themselves.

    The internet’s a form of escapism. But it’s been taken to such an extreme that many people are simply abusing it. There is no way (that I can think of) to stem this flow, as it’s just one of those things we’re gonna have to accept as technology advances, but I think that society will somehow evolve to adapt to it, as it always has.

    (interesting read here:

    • Rawbeanladen says:

      The negative aspect that you raised is probably a manifestation of people’s unreleased stress which stems from their individual character. While it may seem detrimental socially, I think that the benefits far outweigh the negative points. I agree that it may be difficult to stem this, but it also offers an avenue of airing their thoughts (even if it is negative) and perhaps allowing other people a chance to understand them better. On the other hand, if these people do not have access to the Internet, their views may probably never be heard.

  3. limxy says:

    Surfing the internet has been much integrated into my way of life. It is a convenient source of information whereby sharing and retrieval of information online is just a click of a button away. It is thus not surprising that we are less reliant on published paperwork in the library. We no longer have to go through thick volumes of book to get the information we want. Just type the keywords in the internet search engine and relevant information is generated in a few seconds. As such, I often rely on the internet for my academic research.

    The internet may be one of the reasons as to why plagiarism is on the rise too. The information online is already typed out and you just need to use the copy-and-paste function to insert those digitalized information into your academic work. Intellectual property rights are increasingly harder to protect as well because of the rise of the internet which makes information so widely available online. How many of you are “guilty” of downloading “free” (which is supposed to be illegal) music, videos or any other forms of media online?

    Self-censorship is another issue to deal with, with regards to the accessibility of the internet.

    • Rawbeanladen says:

      In a way, I think that piracy and the violation of intellectual property rights stem from the same source – disrespect of the author’s works. It is a social issue which can be solved by a proper education and setting the offenders’ mindsets right. I’m certain that most people are able to relate to illegal downloads due to ease and availability which authorities find difficult to deter.

  4. keeteng says:

    Yes , i am one of the many who will rely heavily on CMC , as it has been beneficial to my life, be it work-related or social-related 🙂

    While there will be a great many who will say there are bad points about the increasing scope what technology can do for us, i think at the end of the day , it all boils down to self control and effective governance of online media by the related authorities.

    There are and will never be any solutions to the drawbacks faced by people – we are all inevitably pulled forward in the “Great Chain of technology” , whether we like it or not.

    • Rawbeanladen says:

      With proper self discipline and some sensibility, technology is definitely brings more benefits than disadvantages. The evolution of society is aided with the help of technology. We either move along with it or be left behind, like you said.

  5. You Loon says:

    When it comes to living in Singapore, it’s definitely hard for us not to be somewhat affected by the reliance towards CMC.

    Most of us are computer-literate here in this urban jungle, and thus we’ve incidentally found a media so accessible and convenient, we would be glued to our tiny little desk space with our eyeballs immensely focused onto the LCD screen.

    As good as it may sound having unadulterated access to various forms of information over the cyberspace, I feel that the healthy lifestyle of many is compromised. People, for example, might no longer be able to uphold decent conversations face to face as online chatting allows prolonged thinking times in order to ‘search’ for the right answers.

    Guilty as charged, I’m an (or used to, rather) be overly reliant on CMC. Easily requiring and thus, spending hours using almost all the services that CMC can provide me with. However as time goes by, thankfully I would say, realization that it’s crippling me off the actual social life that all human deserve, and therefore I’ve made an effort to reduce the usage.

    To wrap things up, my point is that we cannot ignore the benefits CMC has provided us with, but we all should know our limits and that excessive reliance could bring upon disadvantages like social degeneration.

    • Rawbeanladen says:

      Fortunately you realized the negative effects and managed to keep in under control before it had any adverse effects on your social life. Many people however get addicted to CMC after being immersed in the virtual world, not realizing that they have overly-indulged in CMCs. I agree that we should know our limits and keep the reliance on CMC under control in order to prevent possible social degeneration.

  6. Kuanyi says:

    I don’t bother much with the news. Personally, I find that I can get by on just word of mouth. I hang out a lot on internet forums, so although I have never physically visited, the people who DO keep me updated. I am confident that in the event of a terrible catastrophe, for example, aliens from outer space appearing to conquer the Earth, I’ll be well informed by the running, screaming and panicking people everywhere.

    Yes, I am not the best and quickest informed person out there. But so what? I am so self absorbed that the day-to-day activities of others bores me. I don’t care what is going on in the Philippines. They can go and nuke each other back to the stone age for all I care. Go ahead and do whatever you like World, just don’t bother me.

    • Rawbeanladen says:

      Internet forums are another form of CMC. That goes to show that most of us can’t live without CMC – in one form or another. Being deprived of CMCs will probably make us feel lost and deprived from one of our most familiar ways of getting information.

  7. Sandy says:

    Well, I guess I’m quite reliant to CMC. Ever since I started using Blackberry and subscribed to the BB plan, I tend to keep myself online 24/7. Facebooking, Msn, twitter, using the internet to search for places etc. When it comes to news, I will search using the internet (, Channel news asia, Yahoo! news)

    What i can comment is that, CMC is very convenient. Just a click away, you will be able to retrieve information that you want, connect with your friends.

    Like what you said, without the existence of CMC, life would be bored. Sometimes I do wonder, what will our life be without CMC.

    • Shawn says:

      I guess with the convenient of CMC, it has caused many of us to be addicted to it without us knowing. Life will be different without CMC, one day without using the internet will be weird for most of us. Although this addiction might be good in certain ways, there are also many disadvantage that comes along with it as well. Without computer or the internet, we might not know where else to search for certain information.

      With our dependent on CMC is increasing everyday, we need to be careful as this convenient may one day caused more inconvenient to us.

      • Rawbeanladen says:

        After so many years of getting acquainted with CMCs, I just cannot imagine life without it anymore. Certainly the Internet has made our lives so much easier in searching for information. Going without it would definitely make us feel crippled now.

  8. Lai Hui says:

    We are small innocuous fishes already trapped IN-THE-NET(internet).
    Drug addiction, gambling addiction and now internet addiction- a kind of addiction unheard of during our parents’ time. Check out the seriousness of your internet addiction on

    Growing worries of internet addiction- Should we put the blame on the very existence of the internet or the ubiquitous medium which allows us to gain access to it?

    • Rawbeanladen says:

      Interesting reference you made with regards to the Internet entrapping and keeping us ‘In-The-Net’. The raising worry that you mentioned about Internet addiction definitely requires more attention from us and we need to practice care in order not to become addicted to it, which I think many of us already are.

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