Transformation of Normality and Abnormality
Today, people all over the world use all the benefits offered by the cyber technologies that make their lives easier and more comfortable. For instance, one may make purchases online, and there is no need to leave one’s home because the package will be delivered straight to the mentioned address. Another example is online chatting; people use different social networks to communicate with each other. Among the most popular sources of online communication are Facebook, Twitter, and others (Scharl, 2004). The point is that online communication has altered the traditional way of conversation and making friends. On the one hand, online communication helps people find those who share the same values and principles or have similar interests; this opportunity makes people closer. At the same time, people lose connection with the real world.
At least ten years ago, the ordinary way to find a new friend was to go outside and visit frequently the places where you could meet people with the same interests. Today, it is not necessary; the search can be provided directly from a laptop or mobile device. According to this fact, individuals may become acquainted with hundreds of new people at the same time from different corners of the planet without leaving their homes. At present, one is able to observe the following situation: the traditional way of making new friends still exists since people get acquainted on the streets or in public places; however, the tendency of the online searching is growing every day.
The young generation spends much time online. Even if they get together, they still chat via mobile phones with somebody else. One may observe a paradox situation when a group of young people sits in café and everybody stares in their mobile devices, although they have an opportunity to communicate with each other in real life. The older generation does not share the same principle, and they prefer to meet their friends not online but as they used to do it before.
Today, it is still considered to be normal if people meet each other in real life and abnormal if people communicate only online, especially if they live in the neighborhood. Nevertheless, in the future, this tendency may change. Moreover, the interest to the social network communication is not only the tendency of the younger generation, although they are the leaders. For instance, in 2006, there were 20 percent of people at the age of 18-30 years old who used social networks regularly (Scharl, 2004). Only 4 percent of adults at the age of 30-45 years old employed the Internet communication, and less than 1 percent of people at the age over 45 years old preferred online chatting. Nine years later, the situation has changed dramatically. Almost 80 percent of young people visit social networks every day. 55 percent of adults at the age of 30-45 years old use social networks, and almost 40 percent of people older than 45 years spend time daily in the Internet (Scharl, 2004). As one can see, the amount of people who use online communication has increased and continues growing. Even the large part of the older generation does not view it as something abnormal. In the next few decades, the amount of people who use the Internet for communication will reach its top. In such circumstances, finding new people in real life would be viewed as something unusual and strange. Therefore, the normality that exists today may change to abnormality.
Using the statistical data, it can be said that the image of communication will be different in the nearest 10-15 years, while some may notice it even today. In fact, it is more cultural than evolutionary transformation (Scharl, 2004). The modern culture has introduced such an opportunity to the society, and the latter has adopted it. People are social creatures; they require communication every day despite the fact that somebody needs more, while others less. However, communication is one of the central demands of human well-being. The point is that it is going to change the usual forms of communication and it will be moved to a new level of development.
One may also view this phenomenon from the evolutionary perspective. People live in the era of information technologies. Information connects people’s lives everywhere and at any time. Therefore, communication online is a new stage of evolution in communication; people adapt to new conditions of life as the evolutionary theory states, although it does not mean all life conditions but social ones (Lawson, 2008).
The benefits of online communication are significant: people receive an opportunity to be in touch with everybody they like whenever they want. Nevertheless, the disadvantage of online communication consists in losing the connection with the real world and dipping more in the cyberspace.
Same-sex union is a common phenomenon in the history of mankind. However, same-sex marriages or gay marriages have been viewed negatively for a long time until the beginning of the twenty-first century. Same-sex marriage is a political, cultural, social, and religious issue. However, religion is probably the main factor that has shaped the negative attitude towards gay marriages in the society. According to the religious canons, marriage is a union between a man and a woman; all other forms of unions, including the unions between two men or two women, is viewed as a sin. Christianity as well as many other world-spread religions condemns the same-sex unions because they are not able to give life to a new person. Nevertheless, despite the recognized social and moral rules, one cannot state that there were no same-sex unions in the twentieth century when the vision of family was severely influenced by the religious canons.
Being gay meant to be abnormal because one acted in a different way which was opposite to the norms of society and religion. According to this fact, gays tried to hide their nature, and the issue of same-sex unions could hardly be raised. During the second half of the previous century, this situation changed, and it continues altering. For instance, in 1968, only 5 percent of the Americans supported gay marriages; today, this figure has reached 56 percent. More than half of the American population views gay marriages as a normal phenomenon, although 40 years ago only one of 20 people could say the same (Snyder, 2006).
Today, there are 17 countries which have legalized gay marriages; these include the United States, France, Canada, the Netherlands, Argentina, Mexico, and others (Snyder, 2006). In fact, it is a giant breakthrough for gay marriage supporters; but still, the biggest part of the world does not recognize this phenomenon and still views it as something abnormal or even dangerous.
If people compare the statistics of gay marriages in the United States during the last 40 years, they will discover that their number has increased. For instance, in 1970s, there were no states in the United States which allowed gay marriages; moreover, even the civil unions were forbidden (Snyder, 2006). Today, the situation has changed: 7 states allow gay marriages, while more than 15 are free for gay unions.
Taking into consideration the changes during the last 40 years and the scales of the spreading of this phenomenon worldwide, one may state that gay marriages, which are still viewed as an abnormal behavior even in the western countries, will change their face in the future and become an ordinary thing. In the nearest 30-40 years, the attitude towards gay marriages will change for the better. Generation X and Generation Y are more tolerant to same-sex unions than the previous generations. In fact, about 80 percent of gay supports are representatives of the new generations, while people who were born in 1970s and earlier have more traditional views on marriage (Snyder, 2006). Therefore, the new generation which will follow Generation Y will be even more tolerant to this phenomenon, which will lead to the moving of this phenomenon from the category of abnormality to normality (Lawson, 2008). According to this fact, the first reason of such a change is evolutionary: the new generation adapts to new conditions and norms of life. The second reason is cultural. Even today, one may notice that this issue is widely discussed in the society, on TV, and even in the Congress. This issue is not a problem that should be solved anymore, but it is the reality which must be accepted. People by their nature are able to show the homosexual behavior. The same behavior one may observe among animals, where the gay unions are not a rare phenomenon. People as the representatives of the animal kingdom may also demonstrate the similar behavior. Therefore, ignoring of same-sex unions during the long period of time was not a natural reaction but the influence of culture and society where people lived. Society dictates the norms which become normality, but they do not always correspond to the natural rules. Consequently, the second reason is the cultural aspect and the shifts in the vision of this issue in the society.
One cannot say for sure whether this change will be beneficial for everybody, but it will alter the image of the traditional societies. On the one hand, it will give people more freedom because they will receive the right to marry a person that they want without distinction of their sex. On the other hand, it will require the reviewing of basic social norms and standards which could adopt the new changes. In addition, there will always be a certain percentage of people who will never accept it, and they will demonstrate it widely and even in a violent manner.