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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 27 2013: The great thing about the internet is it allows people of like minds and ideas to find one another in a sea of mediocrity...

    The down side is the same thing. Since many people who have lunitic ideas get to find other loons like themselves. See: Alex jones for instance.

    The internet as it became a mass phenomenon reflects the overwhelming ignorance of mankind. As the internet became more mainstream people became even more sectarian because now they could link up with people like themselves online.

    The reality is the internet allows kind of 'assortive mating' of minds that never existed in the past. This is good for the sane and intelligent, since most of us are surrounded by dull people in our families and communities. The problem is this also allows the reverse: The insane and ignorant to organize around their ignorance and insanity.

    Let's be honest, many people flock to sites like TED because they can't get some higher level of intelligent stimulation from those around them.

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