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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 21 2013: I believe the Internet has given courage to those who were (and possibly still are) afraid of physical interaction, but the opposite has also allowed people to say things they would never have stated in person. Take cyber-bullying as an example; there are more and more cases popping up daily which would never have happened (most of them) as the bully wouldn't have the courage in real life. They can hide in anonymity and behave as no one would expect.

    You will also find that some people are losing their ability to hold actual conversations let alone converse with one another using complete sentences. Watch a group of kids/teenagers/young adults at a coffee shop. You will notice they'll all be on their phones, tablets, laptops, etc. and barely speak a word to one another. They will sit at the same table and converse through electronic means rather than talk directly to the person sitting no more than 3 feet away from them.

    The introduction of the social media avenues has allowed our society to share things which would typically never be shared, to encourage actions which would not be allowed, and to make rash decisions without ever doing any of our own research. Now with that being said, we also have access to more information than ever before. We can research, verify, and validate just about anything. We are faced with an almost over-abundance of information and the access to it.

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