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Social networking under fresh attack as tide of cyber-scepticism sweeps US...

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posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 11:43 AM
Twitter and Facebook don't connect people – they isolate them from reality, say a rising number of academics
Link to article

I thought this was an interesting look at the world of social networking, and since ATS falls into this category, I'd like to hear what our little community thinks about this issue...

The way in which people frantically communicate online via Twitter, Facebook and instant messaging can be seen as a form of modern madness, according to a leading American sociologist.

Turkle's thesis is simple: technology is threatening to dominate our lives and make us less human. Under the illusion of allowing us to communicate better, it is actually isolating us from real human interactions in a cyber-reality that is a poor imitation of the real world.

Another strand of thought in the field of cyber-scepticism is found in The Net Delusion, by Evgeny Morozov. He argues that social media has bred a generation of "slacktivists". It has made people lazy and enshrined the illusion that clicking a mouse is a form of activism equal to real world donations of money and time.

Fellow critics point to numerous incidents to back up their argument. Recently, media coverage of the death in Brighton of Simone Back focused on a suicide note she had posted on Facebook that was seen by many of her 1,048 "friends" on the site. Yet none called for help – instead they traded insults with each other on her Facebook wall.

Defenders say theirs is just a different form of communication that people might have trouble getting used to. "When you go into a coffee shop and everyone is silent on their laptop, I understand what she is saying about not talking to one another," Kist said. "But it is still communicating. I disagree with her. I don't see it as so black and white."

I must admit that I have mixed feelings about this article. While I'm a firm believer that political divide and conquer tactics have already been used quite successfully against the American people, and indeed, worldwide.
And while I all too frequently see netrage in social networking circles and forums, frequently due to the perceived anonymity one feels I presume. I also see real world benefits.

The ability to meet, and to have and stay in touch with any friends/aquaintenances anywhere in the world.

If you're in a position that isolates you due to illness, handicap, etc. That ability to socialize with those you may otherwise never see or even meet, becomes a lifeline for you.

The ability to discuss and debate issues you feel are important. And to do it with like minded people.

At ATS, how many times has someone who lives at ground zero updated a thread in real-time, and given us the scoop from their own eyes?

I could go on and on. Although I can see the dangers in our reliance on the technology we have become so accustomed to, I can't say that in my own life I have become an isolationist by any means. However, that doesn't mean that for some folks, it couldn't work that way. But I feel all too often that technology gets the blame for just plain old human failings

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 11:57 AM
A bio page for professor Sherry Turkle which lists her books, interviews, etc.

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 11:59 AM
You think this info will surprise people?

Social Technology is the new shackle for modern slaves of the same ol owners.

so and so likes this...

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 12:06 PM

Originally posted by zroth
You think this info will surprise people?

Social Technology is the new shackle for modern slaves of the same ol owners.

so and so likes this...

Surprise? Not by any means. At least not anyone at ATS.

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 01:01 PM
I think what we have is the illusion of communication in most cases. We have people doing drive by dumpings of pointless information. There is no true context and no real attempt to build a relationship. It is just a bunch of narcisistic posturing and pretending. That is my opinion of Face Book, Twitter and all of the other similar sites.

I think the difference in a place like ATS is that most people show up and give real information with depth. I'm not talking about the, OMG the Mason's are planning a bank run for Monday, posts. Those excluding there is a lot of debate and a lot of informative sources posted. I think places like ATS help add to the knowledge base in some small way. Of course we then get in to the debate of true knowledge versus the conceit of knowledge.

I think my sig line says everything I feel about technology. In my opinion Neil Postman's Technopoly should be required reading in high school. People need to be more cognizent of both sides of the sword that is technology.
edit on 24-1-2011 by MikeNice81 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 01:05 PM
Ironically, the Pope warns of alienation risks in social networks.

He [the Pope] said the possibilities of new media and social networks offered "a great opportunity," but warned of the risks of depersonalization, alienation, self-indulgence, and the dangers of having more virtual friends than real ones.

He said social networking can help "dialogue, exchange, solidarity and the creation of positive relations" but he also offered a list of warnings. "Entering cyberspace can be a sign of an authentic search for personal encounters with others, provided that attention is paid to avoiding dangers such as enclosing oneself in a sort of parallel existence, or excessive exposure to the virtual world," he said. "In the search for sharing, for 'friends', there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful, and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself."

Could there be a conspiracy in this? I think not, but these warnings about social networks is surprising if you consider how trendy social networks have been made out to be. I do agree with the OP's thread in that the addictive or constant use of social networking does take people away from the real world, make them more apathetic, and less attentive and caring of others in the real world. To me, it is a fact that technology is destroying SOME people's perception of the real world and their ability to operate in the real world. The virtual world, for some, is a safe-haven.

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by MikeNice81

Well said Mike. I do think people get to know a bit more of a persons inner workings here at ATS.

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 01:58 PM
reply to post by DevilJin

and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself."

A very good point. I try to be real with everyone, even if they don't believe it or don't like it. At the same time I've gone back to a post I've made, and later thought how stupid it was for me to have said that.

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 02:03 PM
reply to post by Klassified

In today's world people like to feel and act like they are important. They do this by always being on there cell phone texting or talking to show that someone thinks they are important at all times. I have never used twitter but it seems like a very stupid idea, but maybe thats just me. I try and use my phone as little as possible and don't understand why people love to text non stop when they could say all they needed to in a 5 minute phone call rather than an hour worth of texting.

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 02:07 PM
reply to post by Klassified

I agree with the OP. Communication are not just about writing. It is about body language and inflection, things that Twitter, IM , etc are not capable of reproducing.

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 02:08 PM
reply to post by LightSource

Well, you said a mouthful there. When I first got a hellphone, I mean cellphone, the first thing I did was have texting disabled. I got it for business and emergencies, not texting. I'm already on it more than I like. I can't imagine using it for anything else that takes up my time.

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 02:27 PM
Cool thread.

Nope. Doesn't surprise me a bit, zroth. Isolation. Disconnection from reality. All pretty obvious. Not just social networking, but technology in general.

Technology's great, but you can OD on it. Take advantage but in moderation? Hard to do with both its hypnotizing qualities and pressure coming at us from every direction...peers, work, corporations selling. (wow! Look how many "friends" you have. Hey, use your "friends" in business. Wow become the ultimate this and you'll help the world!)

We're creating the very spider web we're becoming trapped in.

It's up to the individual to temper it, decide what's enough and what's too much, and decide what stress and consequences they're willing to accept.

Boss wants you available by phone and checking your laptop three times a day everyday of your all-too-short vacation time? What's so important that it can't wait? Or that somebody else can't do it. Is it your ego? If you don't like it, just say no.

In the habit of dialing the cell the minute you get in your car just for company? Put it down and look at the sky...listen to music...think.

Bowling on your Wii? How about some real bowling instead. You always have a choice.

Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to become a slave to it.

How fast do we need to go anyway? For what?

edit on 1/24/2011 by ~Lucidity because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 24 2011 @ 03:29 PM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

Well said L. It's not the tech as much as it is our responsibility to not become addicts and sociopaths with it.

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