Solely In Black and White: The Internet is... Complicated...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Internet is... Complicated...

SocialFlow's Depiction of OBL Demise/News Related Tweets  

In a previous post almost a year ago (here) we collectively discussed whether the internet has made us more stupid or not. While we as a society may never definitively know the true intellectual atrophies or gains being distorted or created by information technologies, the internet as well as our newfound reliance on technology is having some particular effects on humanity.  It’s changing the way we learn, the way we think, and the way we interact with one another. It’s not that these changes are necessarily bad per se, just drastically different with potentially harmful outcomes.

I recently read a great article in The New York Times Magazine titled The Twitter Trap wherein the author allows his 13 year-old daughter join Facebook and offers his reflections, or as he writes at the onset “I felt a little as if I had passed my child a pipe of crystal meth.” The article is a great read and offers many true insights into our online behaviors and what they are doing to us. Another interesting article from the NY Times titled Liking is for Cowards. Go for What Hurts. (Hat Tip: The Curious Jew) points out how our usage of Liking and gadget envy has altered the way we actually approach relationships, such as  liking and being liked and loving and being loved, in real life. But without even going that far, studies have proved that gadgets are wreaking havoc on our sleep patterns. That alone should give us pause, yet, it doesn't. 

Another interesting phenomenon is that people’s activities online can be indicative of their personalities. I for one find that fascinating. Perhaps this is a new form of body language? I can’t really say that this is definitive, but take this article as an example. Of course one can broach the chicken-egg argument; I don’t think that’s the case here, but that is a possibility. From the Los Angeles Times titled, Women who post lots of photos of themselves on Facebook value appearance, need attention, study finds.

The people who tended to base their self-worth on things like academic competence, family love and support, and being a virtuous or moral person spent less time online and showed less interest in attention-seeking through social media.

But don’t despair; some of our online behaviors aren’t indicative of bad qualities either. For example, Photographer Gabriela Herman claims bloggers tend to be very attractive people! Fascinating! :-)  

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