The Internet is a household word in the West and is responsible for the wide dissemination of information all over the world. It is perhaps the greatest invention of the 20th century and gives great power to its users; with great power comes great responsibility, especially for youths.
The Internet is a new medium for distributing information. It has its own culture, its own way of communicating, no law enforcement, no national boundaries as well as free access to every kind of information known to mankind. Its potential for good and evil is mind-boggling with the possibility of every household being connected. After the September 11th attacks on the United States, it was rumored that Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda organization used the Internet to covertly exchange messages to prepare for the attacks [Kelley, Jack. Terror groups hide behind Web encryption. USA today. 2001.05.20. Available on life. http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/2001-02-05-binladen.htm].
But the Internet has so far mainly served as a very valuable tool to bring mankind closer together and to remove some of the barriers inherent in the “real” world (such as expensive textbooks and far distances to travel to see someone). It has had a great impact on those countries that have adopted its use and provides some kind of measure of the gap between First World and Third World countries. But what exactly is the Internet? And what are some of its uses? And what are its impacts to the society especially youth?
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Many computer literate children and youth access the Internet daily for both educational and recreational purposes. While the Internet provides a wealth of positive information, there has been increased awareness of its potential dangers, especially to young people. To address concerns surrounding Internet safety, in 1999 the Internet Safety Group of New Zealand was established. The Internet Safety Group is comprised of a number of Community groups and government agencies. Their objective “is to offer Schools and libraries resources that will help them educate and protect children and Young people, and educate parents/caregivers on the safe use of the Internet.” (Internet Safety Group, 2000, p.3). There has been much discussion to date about the ‘unsafe’ Internet practices of youth. Empirical research in this area is however limited. Auckland Rape Crisis, as a member of the Internet Safety Group, wanted to increase their knowledge and understanding of how youth use the Internet, and more specifically what youth may or may not be doing to place themselves at risk as a result of being on-line. Thus, it is imperative to study on the impacts of Internet to youth in Tanzania.
1.3 IMPORTANCE THE STUDY
1. The study will help the researcher to have practical skills on conducting research.
2. The study will open room for other researches to be conducted on the field so as to identify what should be done to prepare youth to overcome the challenges of Internet.
3. The study will also help the government and stakeholders in policy making to review country policies concerning the usage of Internet.
4. The study will also reveal the danger associate to internet usage among youth in Tanzania.
5. The study will also reveal the danger associate to internet usage among youth in Tanzania as far as our culture is concerned. 1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Specifically the study will focus on the following objectives: 1)To find out and analyze the level of youth awareness and competence in the use of Internet. 2)To identify different types of Internet services and their uses to youth in Tanzania. 3)To identify what are the positive and negative impact of internet to youth in Tanzania. 4)To identify what youth in Tanzania benefit from Internet usage.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study will focus mainly on identifying uses of internet among youth in Tanzania and how internet affect their behavior and their day to day activity plus revealing the advantages that they will obtain from the internet. To meet the goal the researcher will study and analyze critically youth behavior on using the internet, what services they prefer to use on the internet, what kind of Webpages they prefer to visit and how internet affects them.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is affected by the following limitations: a)Fund provided by the sponsor is limited hence the researcher will conduct the study in accordance to the fund available. b)Availability respondents and response from respondents will limit the researcher form getting relevant information at the right time. c)There is no enough proof of the information given by respondents, which might limit the research from meeting the objective of the research d)The availability of literature will affect the study. Few literatures may hinder the efficiency of the study.
1.7 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study will investigate on the following questions: 1.Are youth in Tanzania aware of the Internet and to what extent? 2.What service offered by Internet (web) do youth prefers? 3.How Internet influences youth behavior? 4.How does youth benefit from the Internet?
STATISTICAL HYPOTHESIS 1.Are youth in Tanzania aware of the Internet and to what extent? Hypothesis •Youth in Tanzania are aware of internet •Youth in Tanzania are not aware of internet
2.What service offered by Internet/web do youth prefers? Hypothesis •Youth prefer most of the services offered by the web. •Youth do not prefer most of the services offered by the web.
3.How Internet influences youth behavior? Hypothesis •Internet does influence youth behavior. •Internet does not influence youth behavior.
4.How does youth benefit from the Internet? Hypothesis •Youth does benefit from the Internet. •Youth does not benefit from the Internet.