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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 28 2013: Both. On the quantitative front, moreso, but information lacks quality. We need intimacy, the energetic exchange between two or more human beings occupying the same physical space. It blows my mind the possibilities of being able to reach as many people as I via the internet, it is certainly one of the new wonders of the world. But the quality lacks. At best, we have YouTube, I suppose, or other ways of communicating via video. That shows more information than mere text, but it's still merely information. Numbers may not lie, but they never tell the whole story.

    The next step is to figure out a way to balance out the qualitative aspect of socializing; without depth, breadth is spread too thin. And to have quality suffer in favor of quantity is not sustainable. A lot of people are going to lose their shit, basically. It's actually for this reason that I raise an eyebrow to online dating, but if used correctly, it could be a decent opportunity. Using it as a launchingpad to meet people, that is.

    There is absolutely no substitute to human contact and human touch. So if we can still maintain those things, I think we'll be fine.

    As for the loneliness aspect, that's something we need to approach from a totally different angle, I think. It's a more complicated beast than simply having friends, either online or in person. I'm currently exploring that, so I'll share ideas when they come.

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