The Internet has been blamed for everything from overthrowing Arab governments to destroying your child’s mind. Despite the fact that its existence has helped save the world’s economies from disaster and create new businesses (like mine), lots of people prefer to believe it’s a cesspool of porn, anger, hate, and worst of all, politics. That it is- but a whole lot more. Just like life itself.
When I see books and articles like about “Alone Together” on Slate, positing that Facebook makes us more lonely and isolated, I chuckle and, ironically, post it on my blog. Why? Because it’s not things or networks or machines that make people do the things they do. It’s people themselves.
Since I was a kid, I’ve been a solitary sort preferring working, studying, and making things quietly by myself (art and other creative ventures are not team sports to me). But I like being with people and enjoy socializing and talking about nearly everything as anybody who knows me will tell you. I often feel lonely because I work at home and on the road by myself but I believe that’s not only natural but healthy. It’s certainly more efficient.
If the Internet, Facebook, et al, are somehow responsible for society’s growing “loneliness”, how do you explain the trend of fewer marriages, families, and more people living alone? That started way back in the 1970s, long before the evil Internet. Blame TV? Newspapers? Obama? No, it’s people who cause themselves to do the things they do and they do them for reasons. To me the major reason is it’s natural and healthy to be alone and sometimes the right thing, especially in a potentially abuse relationship.
Someone who likes or needs to be around people all the time sounds needy, co-dependent, and just a little bit overcaffeinated. Does that sound healthy?