I just went on a walk, played Tumbling Tower, and Blind Man’s Bluff with my wife and daughters. We made silly jokes and laughed hard enough to make our bodies ache. It was totally unplugged and it was a blast! The rest of my day was spent building a website, setting up a client’s Facebook page, and dialoguing with assorted friends online. I love that kind of stuff and theoretically I was ‘connecting’ with loved ones all day long. So why does this last bit of social interaction with my family feel like the first bit of social interaction I’ve had all day?
I have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, You Tube, Flicker, WordPress, and a variety of other forums, networks, and social media platforms. My Google Reader probably has over 300 unread blogs on it, and that’s because I just read through the last batch 1 day ago (I think….it all becomes a blur). These are all fantastic ways of touching base with people. There is a primal part of me that wishes the internet would mysteriously stop working throughout the world, but for the most part I do not wish to jump the cyber ship.
However, in light of all the technological advancements toward effortlessly communicating with anyone, anytime, and anywhere in the world, I think a question needs to be answered:
“What is community?”
It’s a buzz word. “Community” is used to describe just about any internet social media platform around. Is it merely people sharing ideas and feelings? Is it an exchange of knowledge between individuals? Or is it something more? I would purpose that it is.
I have my own thoughts on the subject, but what do you think? Does social media constitute as a real cyber society, or is it just an amazing way to relay information? Can the internet foster true community or is a pseudo society the best it can offer.