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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 18 2013: The internet indeed has made the world seem smaller as one can find and reach out to people from many different places, including other countries.
    Humans being social creatures, most of us can't help with our instincts to live for others as a major component of our purpose of life.
    We have become more and less social due to the advent of the internet.
    We have become more social as we are now able to interact with more individuals, both in the virtual and real world.
    We also have become less social, because "others" have become more dispensable, in the sense that when we meet incompatible people online, it's okay to shrug the experience off and move on because finding someone else is so simple when there's an unsurmountable number of people to connect to out there. The insouciant attitude towards "others" also often has been carried over to real life situations as well, even though the people we meet frequently in real life don't vary much.

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