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Will People Become Even More Afraid of Personal Contact?

Critics say that it is better for people to socialize in person, to visit one another, than to stare at monitor. This article points out two sides of the coin.

Author: Milan Dinic
Date: Nov 11, 2011 - 4:22:52 AM

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World is globally connecting and everyone affects everything. Every voice counts, one way or the other. If nothing else, we shape public opinion by communicating with friends. One day all important decisions will be made in line with public opinion. That would be ultimate democracy.

At the beginning of his book “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, Ernest Hemmingway has put a verse about wherever something happens, it happens to everyone. When bell tolls, it tolls for everyone. It is more obvious today than ever, because information flow by the speed of light, continuously. We can see different events in live broadcasts and all are related to us.

In spite of global connecting, many are concerned about alienating of modern man, and blame modern technology for it. “Young people don’t hang out any more these days. They just stare at the screen.” It doesn’t matter that new technologies brought new means of connecting, communication and global associating. Critics do not admit that. For them, friendship is only when you visit someone in his home.

Industrial revolution caused one grandiose wave of alienating. Millions of farmers were breaking all bonds with their families, going to factories in cities to work for 10 to 16 hours every day. Millions abandoned not only families, but – continents. That was more alienating than relocating to the Moon would be today.

For some reasons, those alienations, complete, often final, alienations which roughly destroyed whole communities are forgotten. No one mentions them, as they never existed.

But news about alienating because of Facebook and social networks are all around. Critics say that it is better for people to socialize in person, to visit one another, than to stare at monitor. But why? And how are they alienated when they are more connected than ever, in contact with hundreds of friends and acquaintances, 24/7.

It does not look like alienating at all to me; it’s more about new social relationships. In past times, three or four generations abode in the same household and were separated only by death. That was not inherently good, cosmic reasons were not the point, reasons were simple and practical. It was safer and easier to live in group. If you get sick or injured, or have to transport huge carriage, it is better to have someone around. Today, there are hospitals, doctors, and machines you can rent. You don’t make bread, you buy it. Besides that, man likes independence. That can be burden sometimes, but today shared in small families.

New communication means, scary to some, are helping us in that. Hundred thousands of people would live in isolation without Internet. Thousands and thousands from opposite parts of the world are in continuous contact with their parents, friends, associates, soul mates, thanks to new technologies. In United States of America, one of every eight marriages started through Facebook introduction.  

Here is one interesting experience. Few months ago, one friend got hit by a car, and he ended up in the hospital. Everyone connected by Facebook to him got the news in just a few hours. By one post from hospital he informed everybody what has happened to him.  Then he organized transportation to kindergarten for his daughter. Everyone with Facebook could see what he is eating, reading, what he thinks about. He was connected to family and friends, and has insight in all news that he usually tracks. I don’t see how he was alienated.

But what is with personal contact? True is that Social Networks can help us to connect and to communicate with friends but would this kind of communication lead to fear of personal contact? Above mentioned are things and situations that are speaking in favor of social networks but will the charm of looking someone in eyes in process of communication be lost?

Problem is in fact that too much usage of Social Networks can lead to an addiction and this is a major problem. According to psychologists addiction can lead to fear of personal contact and the fact is that number of people that are social network addicts arises. This fact is the reason why number of Internet monitor usage for tracking time spent on websites of this type is increasing.

Milan Dinic. In order to download free internet monitoring software visit: Internet monitor

View all articles by Milan Dinic

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