We have all been bitten by the social networking bug in one way or another, and if you haven’t, then that is considered odd these days if you’re under 40 at least. Mind you, even your gran might have a Facebook page and nobody would bat an eye lid!
Somebody said the other day: ‘”It’s called social networking, but it isn’t – you’re being unsociable,” and it got me thinking – are we more sociable today than ever before, or are we even less sociable than, let’s say, ten years a go?
Back in my early teens I remember joining up to a small social networking site before the term had been coined to such websites. It is crazy compared to today’s, because you were only allowed ten friends, you had to pay for a better profile design, etc. Then more bigger sites came along with more things to do, making the fact it was free an important part of signing up. These websites say they’re all about connecting friends and family, being sociable and so on, but you soon realise you spend most of your time behind a computer screen than actually meeting up with them!
As time has gone on, technology is influencing us all. From the iPads and smart phones to internet TVs and laptops, we spend most of our time glued to our digital life than we do to our real life. Blogging has now become a new form of showing the world what we get up to, Facebook and Twitter are our new places to rant and get a popularity status, and YouTube is the new place to laugh at stupid videos and upload ourselves singing in the hope we get signed. Where do we draw the line from our two separate ventures in life?
It isn’t all negative fortunately. Social networking has helped us to reconnect with old friends (whether you want to or not), we can read interesting blogs, we can follow interesting Twitters and we can watch some pretty talented people on YouTube. It has also helped musicians and the like get noticed, and it is more easier for them to share their music to the world. It has made possibilities endless!
Whether we like the digital age or not, it is going to get worse (or possibly more exciting!) The future seems to be about mixing our real life with the one we have on the internet, and it may seem a bit crazy now, but in the next ten years, we might just be relying on computers to think for us. Great. And if it is anything like Microsoft Word spell checker, then it isn’t always going to be reliable! What do you think?