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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default More or less connected than ever?

    I was wondering if people think that humankind is more or less connected than ever and what the consequences are? In part the thread about prostitution made me think about it, relatedness is one of the fundamental needs of human beings along with autonomy, competence, self-esteem and a couple other no less significant things I cant remember right now.

    On one level humankind is more connected than ever, with the rise of social networking sites and other sorts of media, while it is all self-disclosure for the most part (I know that betrayals can turn pretty nasty with these sorts of media and others post a lot material about people) and parts of society are moving towards a culture of full disclosure faster than others.

    However, I think that this can be the sembalence of connectivity or relatedness rather than the real thing, it can permit cruelty and malicious or toxic behaviour to become the norm quicker than its opposite, so perhaps the new "connectivity" just makes people more vulnerable without necessarily securing the benefits of genuine relatedness.

    There seems to be a lot more objectification of individuals or at least neutralisation of socially conscientious thinking and feeling, it's more selfish. What do you think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member uncommonentity's Avatar
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    Advanced technology results in endless priority choice.

    "Technology made it easy for us to stay in touch while keeping a distance, till we just stay distant and never touch. Now all we do is text too much." - Sage Francis
    Mo' options, Mo' problems.

    I believe humanity to be more mentally connected than ever and less physically connected than ever.

    I think this being a good or bad thing depends on your personal views and what you believe a humans purpose to be.

    Sort of like, do you use technology to your advantage or does technology use you to its advantage?

    It'd be better to look at the children of today than people our age. Are kids more social or antisocial due to advanced tech?

    I'm going to go with more. Not to mention as soon as old people touch facebook they freak out over being able to be closer to all their friends.
    Veni, Vidi, Cessi.

  3. #3
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    I think there is greater connection overall. IMO, the "disconnect" comes from the fact that, even though we are connected to more people, we aren't capable of maintaining real meaningful relationships with that many people. I don't think it actually makes people care any less about others than they would have otherwise, it just gives the impression that they do because there are so many more meaningless/casual relationships which changes the proportional balance.

    If I had 5 good friends and 10 acquaintances that I didn't care about before technology....and then 8 good friends and 200 acquaintances with technology, it will probably appear as though I am less emotionally connected to people, when in fact this isn't necessarily true.

    Also, most people don't really care about the vast majority of people in the world on a serious personal level, and when you get open lines of communication to those people the communication is obviously going to express that until better connections are developed.

    I don't think it is a "semblance" of connectivity at all. I've made real friendships with people online. Can I also be malicious and toxic to people online? Sure, but I can do that in real life too. While it may be easier to do online, cultivating productive relationships may also be easier.

    See Dunbar's Number/Monkey Sphere.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  4. #4
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    There are two sides to that. On the one hand obviously the internet offers a lot of opportunities to get and stay in contact with people all over the world. Most people have nowadays a mobile phone, often with internet functions as well, to stay connected with people all the time.

    On the other hand, there is a development in the society as a whole towards more individualisation and egoistic behaviour, "elbow-mentality", less solidarity etc. They also don't get into contact with strangers around them that easily as maybe in the past. From that perspective people are more disconnected from the people next to them.

  5. #5
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eckhart View Post
    There are two sides to that. On the one hand obviously the internet offers a lot of opportunities to get and stay in contact with people all over the world. Most people have nowadays a mobile phone, often with internet functions as well, to stay connected with people all the time.

    On the other hand, there is a development in the society as a whole towards more individualisation and egoistic behaviour, "elbow-mentality", less solidarity etc. They also don't get into contact with strangers around them that easily as maybe in the past. From that perspective people are more disconnected from the people next to them.
    I think you're right. With the Internet and social media, it's easier to get connected more quickly with more people but I wonder if breadth of connections is being increased at the expense of depth. Also It seems like people don't even get to know their neighbors next door anymore and if they know them it's on a more superficial level.
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  6. #6
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    NPR posted this commentary awhile back: Does the Internet Make You More — Or Less — Connected? I strongly agree with some of the points made.

    My favorite bits:

    The other day my friend Mordy asked me this question:

    Are you more or less connected since you started spending so much time on the Internet?

    I'm more connected to people I don't know.

    I'm equally connected to the people I do know.

    I'm less connected to myself.

    ……………………….

    I recently walked through a hotel restaurant where every single person was interacting with a device of some sort. They were together spatially, but that was about it.

    The actual number of social interactions I have with friends hasn't been impacted by the Internet. But I do worry that the quality of those interactions has taken a hit because everyone in the room is not only connected to each other, but also to everything else in the world.

    So when it comes to my connectedness with people I know, I'd say it's about a draw. The overall frequency of our interactions has increased, but my ability to focus on them and only them has become more challenging in this age of distraction.

    The distractions play an even more aggressive role when it comes to my connection with myself. Most of the moments once reserved for a little alone time have been infiltrated by the realtime Internet. I never just wait for a bus, or just stand in line at a bank, or even just sit and think as I sit stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. At these moments, I pull my phone out of my pocket faster than a gunfighter pulls his weapon out of its holster.

    The only time I really experience any self-reflection these days is when my computer sleeps and my screen goes dark.

    ………………….

    Of course, the draw of our devices is about more than relieving boredom (a goal the devices only occasionally achieve). It's about getting a fix; reacting to a feeling of urgency that you've got to keep up with whatever it is that's coming into your stream right now. Part of the power of the realtime web is that it can quickly make you feel like you can't live without a flow of data that you easily lived without before you discovered it.

    That's the Internet's reverse placebo effect: you feel as though you were missing something important before you signed up for the latest service. It's a drug for an ailment you never had.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Sanctus Iacobus's Avatar
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    Our need for connection hasn't changed, and so I think we are about as connected as before... but as our medium of communication has changed, the way we think about identity changes with it. So the question is, does the identity we now hold in the current age of technology intrinsically drive people together or apart? I'm inclined to say neither... however, the availability of connection would increase the odds that we'll take it for granted, and as we take for granted our connection, it seems predictable that it's only a matter of time that we increasingly take for granted the people we're connected to since we can reach them all the time and in so many ways. This begs the question, then, did we ever truly value one another, or was it that the connection we have was scarce and therefore valuable?

    I guess it's probably true, you don't know what you had until you've lost it.
    Good intentions are not enough.

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