My wife and I have had an ongoing discussion concerning whether our ever connecting technology actually isolates us or connects us with others. My wife’s view is that technology isolates people because it precludes interpersonal interaction with others. Does technology interfere with people learning social skills and interacting with a diverse group of individuals? So the question is this: Does social networking isolate or connect individuals to other individuals? The answer to this, like so many others is, Yes. And if they do connect, is it a real connection?
Certainly, those individuals that are already uncomfortable with interpersonal relations can find a retreat in communicating over a social network. It allows them to communicate, connect but reduces the practice they need to be comfortable around others. Some very outgoing people love the social networking because it increases their influence. Although it may allow some people to avoid personal contact. I think there are many ways that technology keeps us connected. We can now connect to relatives that in the past, we only saw at weddings or funerals, or those that live far away. We can keep connected with our loved ones throughout the day with fast messaging.
And then there are those that stay connected. They want us to know where they are at all times, what they are doing and even what they are eating, I am glad that they are that excited about their life.
My stance is that people who wish to isolate themselves find the internet and social media a useful tool to be by themselves and yet have a window on the world. Which in my mind, is better than just isolation without connection, even without personal interaction.
So what do you think? Does social networking isolate or create real connections?