Does The Internet Build Or Destroy Social Relationships?

from the not-this-again... dept

This debate keeps coming up, and it's beginning to get a bit ridiculous. It's the still popular question about whether or not the internet heps people connect with one another - or drives them further away from each other. While the article has people arguing for both sides (the guy who argues that computers are "bad" seems to be using an old, discredited study, but that's another story), it makes one very good point that many people ignore in this debate: it really depends on what the primary use of the internet is. If it's being used as a communication device, letting two or more parties connect with each other, it's likely to build social connections. However, if the entertainment industry (and some service providers) get their way and turn the internet into a one way broadcast medium, then it becomes much more a way to "escape" from social interactions. So far - despite the fact that many in the content business haven't caught on to this yet - the power of the internet is in the connections being made. That's what draws people online, and keeps them connected. Thus, I'm less worried about the "social" ramifications of the internet until content companies and ISPs figure out a way to stop the person-to-person communication aspect of the internet (though, some appear to be trying).

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    thecaptain, 8 Oct 2003 @ 6:30am

    Re: the net: perception vs. reality

    "This isn't helped by the fact that the press is lapsing into its usual pattern of laziness, such as its apparent inability to tell the difference between "the web" and "the net"."

    Or its inability to tell the difference between "research" and "press release"

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.