The critics of social networking are assembling

[2011-02-16] society, life, computers
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Let the eternal game continue: First, the young take to a new trend. Say, social networking via Facebook and Twitter. Next, the old complain about the decline of our culture. In the article “Social networking under fresh attack as tide of cyber-scepticism sweeps US” the Guardian describes that a growing number of US academics argue that all the social activity in virtual realities lead to social isolation in actual reality.
Some points are more valid than others. For example, I don’t share the concern that the ability to look up information on the web robs us of our ability to comprehend or remember things. On the other hand, my attention span has shortened in recent years, due to the always-present distractions offered by mobile computing. But mainly, I think society has not changed much and superficialities that have always been present are just more obvious now. A quote at the end of the article puts it well:

He also pointed out that the “real world” that many social media critics hark back to never really existed. Before everyone travelled on the bus or train with their heads buried in an iPad or a smart phone, they usually just travelled in silence. “We did not see people spontaneously talking to strangers. They were just keeping to themselves,” Kist said.