Shiny Poll: Does social networking make you less human?


We’ve been reading a few reports this morning that social networks, like oh you know, Facebook, make you less human. In the words of the author of a recent book Alone Together – by MIT academic Sherry Turkle they are a ‘modern form of madness’.

According to the Telegraph, her new book shows that “under the illusion of allowing us to communicate better, technology is actually isolating us from real human interactions in a cyber-reality that is a poor imitation of the real world”.

Turkle added that a lot of the behaviours we take for granted today would have been considered madness in the past.

“A behaviour that has become typical may still express the problems that once caused us to see it as pathological.”

She told US chat show host Steven Colbert “there are times, there are places, we need to give each other our full attention,” Turkle said.

While she has some points about the damaging consequences of kids getting ignored by parents glued to their Blackberries, she is basically making the old Matrix argument that we’re all trapped in a fake alternative reality and we don’t actually grip the real world because we’re all living out in some weird tech-fuelled fantasy world.

People say the same thing about video games, they said the same thing TV when it came out, and hell, they even said the same thing about novels, back in the 18th century when they were considered to fill the heads of young girls with silly fantasies.

They always threaten it takes away from reality – whatever that is anyway. In these cases it usually seems to boil down to going on walks in the forest with your family.

Anna Leach

One thought on “Shiny Poll: Does social networking make you less human?

  • I think better etiquette about when to put the phone/latptop/ipad away is needed. It has more of an obsessive quality because you carry it around with you now with the smart phones and such.

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