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Are Social Networks really that good at being social?

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    Social networks are designed increase people's connectivity and allow communication between vast amounts of people, but does this new-found ability to 'talk' to people without talking and hide behind a computer mean that we as people are losing our communication skills, particularly when talking to people we are not familiar with?
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    They are letting this tool of communication take over them, instead of using the tool to aid communication.
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    I'm doing a project on this at the moment. I won't bore you with statistics but if you're interested in this topic then I can link you to some interesting videos. There is some research that suggests that people are becoming more disconnected, theres a very good book out by Sherry Turkle called 'Alone Togeather'.

    Check these out : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mQJY...yoRM5exe-xs2s=

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7Xr3AsBEK4
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    I'd say so. They're good to connect people together and for finding people. It may have a hollowness to it but they dedfinitely, at the core idea, are designed for socialising - though there is the line between virtual reality and real life interactions of course.
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    They're great. It's so easy to arrange meetings and social events.

    I understand why it might seem edgy to claim the opposite, just because it sounds cool to say hilariously insightful things like "you know how hot dogs aren't really dogs? well social networks aren't really social". lol that's SO funny, you should be a standup comedian.

    It's also bullcrap. If you find it hard to use social networks effectively that's because you don't possess the required IQ level.
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    I would say they are good because it allows communication worldwide. In terms of psychos etc that express their weird ideas to the internet it means the police can track and stop them and they can be treated. The internet is an outlet for people's emotions, to talk to others that they wouldn't get to talk to normally and have no relationship with
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    (Original post by Pawsies)
    In terms of psychos etc that express their weird ideas to the internet it means the police can track and stop them and they can be treated.
    When has that ever happened?
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    (Original post by + polarity -)
    When has that ever happened?
    Through IP address tracking and police have posed as young girls to catch paedophiles out etc.
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    isn't that entrapment?
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    (Original post by py0alb)

    I understand why it might seem edgy to claim the opposite, just because it sounds cool to say hilariously insightful things like "you know how hot dogs aren't really dogs? well social networks aren't really social". lol that's SO funny, you should be a standup comedian.
    The question wasn't intended to be hilariously insightful. I just wonder if people's face to face communication skills have deteriorated as a result, especially with people we don't know as well. Or maybe has it helped to break the ice in that respect?

    Have you ever wondered that people might not be trying to sound cool but instead intend to hold a debate?
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    (Original post by hully03)
    The question wasn't intended to be hilariously insightful. I just wonder if people's face to face communication skills have deteriorated as a result, especially with people we don't know as well. Or maybe has it helped to break the ice in that respect?

    Have you ever wondered that people might not be trying to sound cool but instead intend to hold a debate?
    Chill out, I wasn't directing it at you... necessarily.
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    (Original post by py0alb)
    Chill out, I wasn't directing it at you... necessarily.
    I apologise if it wasn't. The 'you should be a stand up comedian' made it seem so
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    It depends how you use them.

    It's all too easy to hide away behind a computer screen and not go out at all. This is sort of where I found myself during my university years - I found myself connecting with people far better online than offline. Then I went through a period where it was the other way around once I had graduated.

    I've now found that happy balance where (through Twitter mainly) I found some really nice people that have since gone on to form a really nice group of friends - friends that came to my aid during a recent mental health crisis. Those that live locally I meet up with fairly regularly, and those that live further away I organise regular monthly publunches where we all get together. (We had nearly 20 at the last one). What is great about these meetups is that people already know each other by the time that they've met. Thus conversations are natural - you don't have to go through the process of explaining life stories etc. Because the group has already self-selected, we all know that we at least sort of get on before such gatherings. Making them regular means that people stay familiar with each other and it strengthens friendships and trust too. The regular contact through social media means that friendships are continually nurtured as a group rather than a series of 1-2-1 interactions that you might have got by phone or letter in the days before the internet.

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Updated: April 19, 2012
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