I started to wonder recently with the phenomenon that is Social networking how social is it really. The concepts of connectivity, where I can create a space that describes me, my interests and allow others to see/or interact with that space does not seem that social. Interaction is with a computer, or device (phone) with a computer. In most cases you are sheltered from emotion or intent and in the grander scheme of things the nuances of face to face interaction can expose. The information posted can be true, false or anywhere in between with a general feeling of protection from the outside world.

Our true online substance can become nothing more then a marketing campaign focused on the number of views, or virtual friends one can get, based on an online persona. We have now gotten to a global popularity battle.

I get social networking. I understand its strengths and its contribution model, but I really do believe that some of its weaknesses are rooted deeply in how the human interaction model changes to a more flat gated community. 

Knowing my own life some of the best experiences occur outside, with real people having real interactions and seeing the intent (happiness, sadness, anger) in their faces and being able experience all of those emotions on a more personal level that a computer cannot provide. Hopefully Social 3.0 will bring physical human interaction back into the equation.

– Mark

1 Comment

  1. Hi Mark,

    I do like social sites. I am mainly in to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn (which isn’t as “social”).

    I guess I don’t really see it the same as you. For Twitter, I’ve been able to get insight from people that I feel are smarter than me when it comes to development and have actually tried some new things as a result (that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise). On Facebook, I’ve re-connected with friends that I have long since lost touch with. I’ve found friends from High School and Collage and have connected with them again. Even though our conversations are online, it’s still nice to have an avenue to find each other again and talk on occasion and see what things go on in their lives with their photos and activity streams.

    I think social networking as a long way to go still, but I do think it is more useful than just an online popularity contest. To be honest though, I didn’t really “get” the whole social networking thing until I started using the stuff regularly.

    -Ryan

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