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Tiger Flynn

General Manager, Red Stag Management

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The Internet: Has it made us more or less social?

I believe that whilst the internet, used well, can open up so many more social possibilities for everyone, I feel that it has made us more insular too.

Maybe not TED users so much, but a lot of people using social networks have ironically made us more tunnel-visioned than ever. When I look at how many of my friends on Facebook use it to reach out for acceptance of almost every facet of their existence I find it a sad state of affairs. Cry-for-help statuses, choosing the best profile picture and so on.

It also makes us more lonely. For example if someone has experienced a terrible break-up and posts increasingly desperate statuses about it, less and less people like it and comment on it making the poster feel even more alone.

The way we reach out is different now and has expanded our horizons in a way not possible even when I as a teenager (I'm 30 now) is incredible in many ways. But the focus on the self and how to best represent it has become for a lot of people their raison d'etre and has made us more insular.

What does everybody else think about this?

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    Oct 16 2013: I don't think the internet has made us more or less social. Humans have always been social creatures. It has definitely changed the landscape and increased outlets for social discourse. If anything it has made us less insular. Before the internet our social reach was limited. Now we can connect with cultures all across the world.

    Comparing our society today to what it was 50 years ago may give you some insights. We could not have gotten any worse. If you really believe we were better off during the 50's I challenge you to do some research.

    There may be situations where social media is used in negative ways. That doesn't mean the internet is negative influence in general. The focus on the individual has been a problem for hundreds, if not thousands, of years in our society. This is not something modern culture has generated.

    Most of our social problems have been with us for a very long time.

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