Cyber Behavior and its Impact in Japan

Cyber Behavior and its Impact in Japan

Kei Fuji (University of Tsukuba, Japan) and Fujio Yoshida (University of Tsukuba, Japan)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0315-8.ch104


With the rapid growth of Internet in Japan, many researches have examined whether Internet use affects social behavior on daily life positively or negatively. Early seminal researches in Japan demonstrated that the negative effects of the Internet are not universal, but such effects are dependent on the circumstances and on how the Internet is utilized by each user. Recent studies have been focusing on various activities on the Internet analyzing “what kind of user is using the Internet for what purpose.” This chapter will introduce these studies in terms of three main characteristics of Internet users in Japan. These three characteristics are: preferences for weblog, participation in online communities, and switching to mobile Internet. At the end of this chapter, future research directions will be discussed, while introducing recently developed scales designed to measure various behaviors on the Internet from three aspects: self-expression, relationships with others, and balance with reality.
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Early Research In Japan

Advancements in information technology have made our lives more convenient, but on the other hand, they have posed serious problems, too.

First, our reliance on information technology could give rise to the risk of mass panic, once technical problems in computing systems or networks occur. Also, the Internet allows its users to remain anonymous, thus creating opportunities for crimes such as presenting false information, fraud, and slander.

Second, high-tech societies familiarized with OA equipment such as computers have brought a serious issue. Although certain people still cannot get accustomed to OA equipment, there are a rising number of people who can only communicate via computer and have trouble forming relationships with family members at home and colleagues at work. Furthermore, there are certain people who confuse real life with virtual reality, resulting in committing anti-social behaviors. (Suken Shuppan, “Ethics for high school students,” 2006)

The spread of the Internet has been phenomenal in Japan since 1995, and such a phenomenon was termed the “IT revolution.” However, the Internet has often been a subject of criticism as something that has negative impacts on human life and has not necessarily been accepted with arms wide open.

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