Caught in the web

26Oct07

Smart mobs has a link to some interesting research on our interaction with the internetso, are you and the Internet a thing?

A new poll shows that nearly 1 in 4 Americans say the Internet could be a stand-in for a significant other for a period of time. Among singles, the percentage was even higher: 31 percent.

Read the full story at news.com

And Dilbert chooses this week of all (when I should be studying for my German exam scheduled for later today and instead, find myself surfing the net all day!) for this… (which also explains the sudden spurt in postr on this blog after a hiatus of three months)

dilbert2036666071023.gif

Related to this, I found this piece on BBC on how Virtual worlds threaten ‘values’. The growing number of toy-themed virtual worlds aimed at young people risks undermining the basic human values we wish to instill in children. I see this as being the same problem as with adults – the temptation. and easy possibility, of not having to be responsible for anything at all – the anonymity of it all and therefore the to put self before all – it is after all, the equivalent of make-believe worlds that children tend to inhabit often while at play.

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3 Responses to “Caught in the web”

  1. Check this post by Dave Pollard on Second Life

    http://blogs.salon.com/0002007/2007/10/11.html#a2005

  2. Charu,

    Thought you might like this as well:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200711/multitasking

  3. 3 Mary W

    Hi! Well, in terms of the internet…I understand that. If I were forced to choose my online communications/social life and my real-life one — I’d choose online, for several reasons:

    1) almost all (95%+) of my real-life friends, I also communicate with online. So by going online-only I wouldn’t lose anybody.
    2) I have many online friends that don’t live close to me — I only see them online. So if I stopped going online, I would lose them.
    3) I have much more frequent and meaningful friend conversations online than I do in real life.

    My experience in real life right now (as a woman in her early 40s in Silicon Valley) is that most of my in-person friends are insanely busy with family, kids, work, etc. I’m lucky if I get to see them or speak to them once/month (if that). And even when I see them, I may not be able to have a good substantive conversation with them: they may be rushed, they may be on childsitting duty and distracted, etc. This seems very sad, but it’s true, and according to my friends, this is very common (it’s not just me). Most people feel like it’s really hard to maintain real-life in-person friends these days.

    Meanwhile, I can get online and blog, IM, chat, etc with lots of friends. There’s always somebody I know who’s online when I want to talk. Heck, even my sister answers my emails but doesn’t return my phone calls (she’s a busy mom).

    Per the virtual worlds being bad for children: I’m worried about that too. I’m glad about virtual worlds as a social space for children — but most of these worlds are *very* consumerist and are becoming more so.

    I was at the Virtual Worlds conference in San Jose CA recently, and there was a whole panel on this issue — “how can you make money online with Virtual Worlds? Forget adults — kids will spend lots of money in online virtual worlds, and their peer group pressures them to spend even more yay!” It was depressing.



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