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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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    Nov 15 2013: I think it all depends on the individual and how they use social media. I like to think of social networks basically as online journals or diaries that everyone can see and comment on. That is why I think social networking tends to be a more reliable measure of who a person really is. Extroverts will use social media to become more extroverted while introverts will use it to become more introverted.

    I don't think the internet has necessarily made us less social but it's given us a new way to be social. We may not talk in person as much as we used too but we do communicate with one another more than we ever have. Take the invention of the telephone for example. Before the telephone was invented we pretty much had no other option but to communicate with one another face to face. After the telephone was invented you could just pick up the phone and call anyone you want (or anyone else that had a phone).

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