Personal comment / science / tech

Social Networks, how social are they? Does it add to my life, or become my life?

There are enough ways to keep in touch today, if you are not one to avail you are really missing out. The question that comes to mind is who do we want to keep in touch with. Social networks like anything else in the real world, can be great; or can be misused.

Human nature means we, (humans), like to be liked, wanted, part of the group; social, this is a good thing! Takes us back to the small family group that was our tribe when we were just down from the trees. I have a facebook page, I keep in touch mostly with family in Europe, because they never returned e-mail, and it’s great that it’s all in one program. Mind you my friends are people I actually know and not people who just friended me, this is where I wonder what the social in social network means!

I find I am friending people I know or work with, but in the real world I may pass them and it will be “hi” or “hello”. No conversation about how we are doing or how the family is. You see I really don’t know these people! So should I just say no on the social network, or say yes thinking that by doing so we have become closer in some way?

It does no harm to become social network friends, as there may be a better chance for interaction in the future. But I must understand that being a social network friend doesn’t make you my real friend. I am not going to tell you intimate details of my life, I will not confide in you or expect anything from you. You see I have real friends and I don’t need or want too many real friends, as it dilutes the intensity of the friendship I have with my real friends. Now this could be a generational thing, (I am not young); but I see confusion in some when it comes to net-friend, and real friend. Today to break up in a relationship just change your status to single, or complicated. Or why didn’t such & such friend me, but did my other friends? It seems that some take this social network thing a little too seriously; it’s just for fun you see!

Let me say I am for social networks, I am for keeping in touch, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, are all great things. Social interaction is a way for an exchange of views, a way to communicate with a diverse group of people; to educate and learn. There will always be the usual stupidity, hate and prejudice, that makes up society; and of course it will creep in every so often. Free Speech is a great thing, not to be confused with Hate Speech which is not the same thing and should be stamped out when ever, and where ever it shows it’s ignorant face.

Social networks and electronic interaction is such a part of society, that do’s and do not’s should be a school subject at this point. When to text rather than voice, (confined places, trains, planes, waiting rooms)! Only use hands free when driving, I still see idiots on the phone and even texting while driving. The fools can kill themselves, they have a choice; just try not to kill any innocents in the process! I still feel we are at a transition, a developmental state when it come to technology. In the future some things will pass, fade as we grow up as a society, things that seem so important today show themselves as just a fad, and the true tech path becomes evident. As Tim Hunkin said in the 80’s show, The Secret Life of Machines, when a technology becomes truly part of society; it becomes invisible.

One of my favorite movies is iRobot, and I do think that the way society looks in that movie tech wise, is a fair representation of the way it will be in the future. I cannot say how quickly as American society struggles, with the idea of spending on infrastructure & energy production. It’s a bigger problem than most realize, but it must be solved if we are to maintain the tech we know and love. Maybe social networks will just divide us into groups, like right & left wing web sites do today. Will we be defined by out social group, should employers check our Facebook as part of the job interview? REMEMBER PEOPLE, If it’s on the web it’s not private, be careful what you post!

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