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The Impact of Social Networking on Society 115

Anonymous Pingu writes "The latest edition of New Scientist has a series of features on social networking. These include an analysis of the impact on our social attitudes by Sherry Turkle, a feature on the possible privacy implications of using sites like MySpace and Friendster, and a short science fiction piece by Bruce Sterling. It's certainly interesting that so many people post very revealing stuff about themselves on these sites."
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The Impact of Social Networking on Society

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  • by MECC ( 8478 ) * on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @09:55AM (#16145553)
    "For some people, things move from "I have a feeling, I want to call a friend" to "I want to feel something, I need to make a call". . . "You can give media culture a positive spin and say that people are more socially enmeshed, but it has a darker side: as a feeling emerges, people share the feeling to see if they have the feeling."

    I was thinking of sharing something about how the article seemed to confuse the act of verifying the existance of a feeling and sharing a feeling actually experienced with others in order to solicite validation, but then I thought about putting up with the modbots at /., and I experienced a feeling ( and I didn't need to check to see if I actually had the feeling, because I directly experienced that feeling) - nausea.

  • by PrescriptionWarning ( 932687 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @10:11AM (#16145652)
    just as the 60's saw the age of hippies, we are now seeing the age of emo. what better way to describe how miserable your life is than to tell it to the world (or the six people who actually care to read about it)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @10:24AM (#16145733)
    The Internet is often used as a last resort for finding a partner. It's where desperate people go, when even classified ads in newspapers have failed to find them a match. Sure, there are some relationships that started over the Internet, and worked out very well. But of all the ones I am aware of, they have all ended in abysmal failures.

    I have one cousin who has been in several such relationships. She is, to put it nicely, fat and ugly. It's no wonder that she hasn't found a date via her everyday interaction with people. So she has resorted to going online, and it has allowed her to find men. But the one's she's found, they've basically been scum. One was just a fat person fetishist who wanted nothing more than to anally fuck her. One of the other guys lied about his age four times over before she dumped him. Another one had two other relationships going at the same time, and my cousin found out after a few months of them going "steady".

    Bars or other gatherings tend to be viable meeting places for socially-acceptable and socially-adept individuals. People who lack such skills often resort to newspaper classified ads. When even those are complete failures, such people turn to the Internet. But since the cream of the crop have already been paired off between bars and classified ads, only the "worst" people for Internet dating. Because of that, the relationships often fail to work, if they're not outright disasters. That's why Internet dating has such an awful stigma.

  • We feel your pain.
  • by darkuni ( 986212 ) on Wednesday September 20, 2006 @11:45AM (#16146431)
    What happened to wanting to ACTUALLY be around people? The teen-faux-angsters are DYING to be seen, heard and listened to - yet they choose the WORST POSSIBLE medium to do it.

    This shouldn't be rewarded. It should be punished. For anyone over the age of 12, do you recall what REAL socializing used to be? You and your buddies would kick it at one of your houses on the weekend, crammed around the Colecovision, playing TOGETHER, waiting for SNL to come on so you could fall asleep during the musical number? Remember what it was like to actually talk smack without having a headset on? Still know those people? Are they still your friends? What's the longest friendship you've had? I'm 37, and I have a friend of 24 years. Wonder what the average "friendship" expectancy is over MySpace? Doesn't matter - there are 18 million other people dying to bump their friend count by adding you.

    Just as with everything else, this generation has created YET ANOTHER disposable product; friendship. MySpace and it's ilk have CHEAPENED friendship and turned it into another mass-market, easily tossed commodity with zero expectations of longetivity or nostalgia value. "Something given has no value" and the most valuable items come through rarity, hard work and sacrifice. How many REAL relationships can one person expect to maintain with any sort of value? What rarity, sacrifice or hard work does it take to "make friends" at MySpace? What REAL value do you take away from it later in life? MySpace is the little bird tattoo on your boob that sounds like a good idea when you're too dumb to realize in 20 years, your sagging breasts will turn that bird into something out of an H.R. Geiger. "Gee, I had 367 friends on MySpace when I was 13, now that I'm 20, I have no friends to hang out with on Saturday night".

    I swear to Christ I'm going to make black T-Shirts that bare the phrase 'I'm stalking your daughter on MySpace' and wear them around. Or maybe 'I'm the dude your daughter met on MySpace'. I'm certainly no prize to look at - old, fat, receeding hair line. Maybe these shirts will wake some parents up and they will start doing a little parenting and keep their teens off these obvious "stalker centrals". Don't give me any crap about how you're just as likely to meet a stalker at a bar as you will on MySpace. I can't believe anyone can believe such tripe. It is a simple matter of numbers and audience. Where do pedophiles hang out? They ain't hanging out at bars. Or singles clubs. They are sitting outside your daughter's high school RIGHT NOW. If you're car shopping, you don't go to Wal-mart, right? And if you were going car shopping, do you go to the little local lot in the middle of nowhere where they have 10-20 cars in stock, or do you cruise the "auto mile" where there are THOUSANDS of cars of every make and model waiting to be test driven? If *I* wanted to stalk underage girls, MySpace would be my FIRST stop (and guess what - my ONLY stop ... the veritable Wal-mart Super Store for the sexually demented). Gee, difficult math.

    Danger aside, I'm disgusted by disposability. Music, film, video games - and now friends - have all been demoted to the shortest half-life possible. I weep for the future.

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