Sunday, 9th December 2012
SOCIAL NETWORKS – ARE WE BECOMING LESS SOCIABLE? - The Internet and the Worldwide Web as we know it has transformed our lives. From the initial offering of the internet, to the public at large, in 1995, it has moved at a blistering speed in terms of the technology behind the pretty pages and transformed our lives from a disconnected state with others around the world, to an interconnected global society.
That’s pretty much the bones of the way in which we live today and the idea of the web was to allow people to communicate globally with ease. In fact the Internet, as we know it, was originally designed for the military communication purposes, but its creator knew there were some far reaching benefits by using the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP).
There is no denying that the internet has improved communication in a number of aspects and businesses have pushed the boundaries in order to make the internet faster and more accessible to the masses. But the question remains… Are we becoming less sociable?
There are those that would argue that the internet, with a plethora of Social Networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many hundreds more that we are indeed a more sociable society. But how sociable is the internet? In my view the internet is not as sociable as we would like to make it out to be. Are we not becoming disconnected from each other? How many times do we actually speak to our friends face to face and gather for social occasions such as having a simple meal. It just appears that more of us would rather send a text message or twitter someone and indeed leave half messages on Facebook.
On the other side of the coin is another question… How Unsociable is the Internet? You only need to spend just a little time online, and within the social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, to realise that there are some very unsociable people out there, which are referred to as ‘Trolls’. Even close family and friends often get involved in unsociable behaviour towards family, friends and even complete strangers.
What really astounds me is the amount of petty spats that goes on within Twitter. Only yesterday I read a news article whereby Donald Trump and Piers Morgan where sending unpleasant messages to Lord Sugar. I decided to read a few of the comments as instead of these being in private they were indeed open to everyone and anyone to view. I was pretty shocked; not at the exact content of tweets directed at Lord Sugar, but for the fact that grown men, who are high profile media figures, would and could engage in such pettiness. Yes, I did tweet both Donald Trump and Piers Morgan and asked if they realised how childish they both appeared with the twitter comments. No, I didn’t get a response from either which either leads me to believe they are not man enough to fess-up to their childish behaviour or they did indeed realise and decided to slip quietly into the night.
Now I want to stop there and let you consider my behaviour by tweeting to both Donald and Piers. Was this the right thing to do? I mean I don’t personally know either, and not bother too either, but does that give me the right to just get involved with something that quite frankly has nothing to do with me? I have to be honest, on a social level, if I had met either Donald or Piers I would have personally pointed out my feelings as I fail to see how one can score points by inflicting snide comments to another.
Of course this type of thing is merely an insignificant drop in the proverbial ocean when you take into account what some people get up to online. Trolls often crawl through Twitter and Facebook anonymously just in the pursuit of finding a victim to torment.
There will always be those who take pleasure from another person’s unfortunate situation or bate complete strangers in order to make them feel inadequate.
The real bottom of the pile occurs when someone posts their loss of a loved one on place like Facebook and it generally doesn’t take long before the trolls are out in force to add more misery to an already devastating situation.
Internet trolls come in all shapes and sizes but I have never bothered to let one bait me enough that it would give them the pleasure they seek – to cause misery.
I recently wrote an article “David Cameron Can I have a Job?” regarding a chap who had lost everything and it didn’t take long before someone anonymously posted a comment that was intended to cause offence. Meebal.com is about free speech so I left the comment on there and replied. The person replied again, with an equally meaningless answer and so I replied again. Looks like the person gave up. Read the comments on the page from the link above. I have to say it wasn’t the worst case of Trolling I have ever experienced but it is a fine example of ignorance.
It would appear that the Internet is not as Sociable as we would like to think it is and as more and more people spend more and more time online chatting via the social networks then our skills as a social species is surly going to decline further – maybe to a point where we are no longer able to communicate face to face.
Now I’m going to ask you to share this article with your friends through your social networks. Yes, it’s a bit ironic I’ll grant you.