I was talking to someone about a book called our winter of disconnect or something like that, its not a book I have its one they had, but its about a family who decided to cut out facebook, internet, mobile phones, all those things, I think possibly for financial reasons but found out it was positive for their family as they started connecting with one another and friends over boardgames spending time together etc.
Anyway, my friend was suggesting that people should disconnect from the internet, cell phones etc. to reconnect in person and in social/shared space instead.
I dont know what everyone thinks of this but I dont think the internet created a want of society in real time or caused a disconnectedness in actuality, I think perhaps it could be sustaining or maintaining it or contributing to the same but I think it was a response to its already existing lack of it in reality.
Bertrand Russell wrote in the conquest of happiness about how he felt that the isolation of thinkers in certain unintellectual or anti-intellectual communities caused unhappiness for them and until some means was devised to overcome that it was just how things would be, I could see how he'd have thought the internet would be marvelous. I definitely think it compensates or permits relatedness which is abscent in real time and I dont think its abscence can be overcome by simply speaking to strangers and seeking to forge links etc. There's generally some major qualitative differences between the links I've made online to those I've made in person, some of which are less voluntary, ie work connections, associates, neighbours etc.