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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 20 2013: I agree internet is a double edged sword. But about social networks its more of show-biz. Why the need to say "I am bored" or "I am tired" as facebook status. Aren't their people around us to listen to us. Why can't we reach out to them, and share these feelings? Cause, we have isolated ourselves in a way. We cannot reach out and trust people present around us. Facebook could be used in good way. Think in this way, that people from different fields, diverse cultures come can connect. Now, it remains in our hands to how to use this connection. If we take some problem and try to find some solution to it via discussions on this platform, then its a good usage. But, sadly majority people use facebook only for trivial things. Things which we can share with people physically present around us.
    Personally I am part of some forums on facebook. Which provide help about design softwares, or which provide research papers to those who do not have it. But after a time I have found the interest of members is found to dwindle. Queries questions largely start to go unanswered. Compare it with forums like Cr4, or cite communities etc. These are found to be doing a real difference in terms of usage of social media purposefully. The time we spent sharing photos and mundane status updates, the same time egypt created a revolution in Tahrir square, all via the same medium.... So, blaming the platform or the internet is not the solution. Its we who need to change our attitude!!!

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