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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: After giving your thoughts a little time to sink in; I started wondering if the people you write about, the people reaching out for acceptance, cry-for-help statuses and so on, are maybe just exposing their true selves and Facebook is making it easier. WIthout Facebook (or other social media) would they maybe be wearing a cry-for-help t shirt or reaching out for acceptance by following along with the crowd that accepts them or creating the best physical profile through plastic surgery.
    I think a lot of good has come about as well. It seems there are more and more legitiment resources for free education being made available, more and more collaborative ideas being tossed around. The creative engineers who place ideas out there and allow the power of the creative many to improve upon them. I sometimes think we are just learning the true power of the internet.
    All in all I don't think the internet will change people. People are who they are and they will use the internet in a fashion consistent with who they are.

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