Just finished reading Digital Vertigo by Andrew Keen. Excellent book – should be compulsory reading for anyone like me who spends a reasonable amount of time participating in/ contributing to social networks. Questions the value of much of this – and the gradual elimination of privacy. More of this anon.
This piece from the Verge provides another perspective. Paul Miller has recently completed 12 months ‘offline’. And while he saw/ experienced benefits he missed the online experience and the online community.
The reality is that online communities do not replace traditional communities, facebook friends do not equate with ‘friends’ – but they do provide another communications channel. I think, as more and more data is gathered (e.g. location fro mobile devices) privacy is greatly undermined – if not eliminated. But here is Miller admitting he missed it.
Swings and round abouts. I probably stay in contact with some people (primarily in other countries) on a more regular basis because of social networks. But perhaps some of the communication is lesser than were I to phone more often, travel to meet more often write more letters.