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April 10, 2008

Comments

Markd

I couldn't agree more. Like you, though I enjoy the company of people, I am a very private individual. As more and more connectivity technology is invented to enthusiastic applause, I keep asking myself and others; “why would I want to be more connected?” Why do I need a cell phone that would allow people to call me at will? Why would I sign up to Facebook thus making my life an open book? The benefits of constant connectivity escape me. Why would anyone want a technology that allows them to be connected to hundreds even thousands of “friends?” The technology does offer some amazing benefits, but there is a price. Our lives are less private, we have less time for contemplation and reflection. There is less time to just stop and think.

T Scott

"Why would anyone want a technology that allows them to be connected to hundreds even thousands of “friends?" -- I think it's just a matter of temperament -- my Mom, for example (hi Mum!), gets very energized by her friends and gets blue when she doesn't have a chance to hang out with somebody for a day or two. Things like Facebook would be great for her. (Unfortunately, she's miles and miles ahead of most of her contemporaries when it comes to the internet so there's not much point in her trying it out.) For people who have that kind of social nature I can see where the opportunity to have easy contact with friends unhindered by geographic barriers could be quite wonderful. It's just not the case for everybody.

By the way, regarding the cell phone, I treat it exactly the way I do the home phone -- if I don't know who it is that's calling me, I don't answer. And if I can tell whose calling me, but it's not a good time for me, I don't answer. I've never quite understood why, when we all now have answering machines, people feel that they have to answer that ring whether it is convenient for them or not.

At any rate, I'm going to try to be a little more sociable on Facebook. It's an anthropological expedition.

Oliver

What a coincidence! A week ago I told 120 first year students they could contact me via my StudiVZ account (the German pendant to Facebook). Soon after, a student send a friend request. I refused because I don't know her personally and I was not sure about the consequences. But later on I recognized that I messed up friendship with a business relation. At StudiVZ a friend request is merely a kind of a bookmark to make it easier to find or write you in case. Today a German study was published, which (beside all that dating stuff :-) ) explicitely supports that.

T Scott

I confess to being uneasy with the use of the word "friend" for these connections... But then, given how notoriously picky I am about language, I guess that isn't any surprise...

Rachel

Have you ever read the piece from The Atlantic, "Caring for Your Introvert?" - http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200303/rauch

By the way, all the cool medlibs are on Twitter now. ;)

T Scott

I'm avoiding Twitter out of sheer cantankerousness.

Thanks for reminding me about the Atlantic piece -- I was a subscriber at the time, so I remember it fondly. As I recall, I sent an email about it to my Mom (the extreme extrovert) saying, "See! See! This is how I am!!!" What most people don't realize is that shyness and introversion are separate. Lynn is as much of an introvert as I am, but she is not shy -- so she can easily be outgoing and engaging. I'm an extreme introvert AND shy, so unless I'm on a podium or have a guitar in my hand, I'm always uncomfortable in groups.

Marcus

Thanks for reminding us of that Atlantic article Rachel--it's one of my favorites!

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