What do you think about online social networking? Does it make you feel more connected, or less? This article made me think about the ways in which we connect to one another. I used to spend hours on the phone; in those dark days before call waiting, my parents were always telling me to wrap up phone conversations. In recent years, not so much– kind of ironic considering I now have a cell phone on me at all times. I find that I spend more time communicating with more people these days, but those long conversations are reserved for only a few people, and they’re far less frequent than I’d like them to be.
I imagine that part of this is just life happening– as we get older, our lives fill up with careers and family and a few close friends– but I also wonder if the sheer availability of everyone makes us less likely to have those long, intimate conversations in a non-virtual setting. Don’t get me wrong; I’m as Facebook-addicted as the next person, and I love that I can share the details of my life with far-flung family and friends, and that they can share things with me. We absolutely have more daily interaction than we would without an online social network. We control so much of what we present to the world online though, and I think that’s what makes more personal interactions a bit more authentic, even if our “face to face” is over a phone. Maybe more frequent technology breaks are the answer?