Today in class, we got to pick an article from the Daily Mail and create a debate about the topic. At first I went with the “intelligent” article, where they were discussing the financial crisis in the U.S (where they mentioned, among other numbers, $1.2 trillion. No, I can’t get my head around how massive of an amount that is either. $1.2 trillion. Try to picture it. Can you? I’m impressed.) and Barack Obama was all like “I can has veto, I can has use it, hah!” and the Republicans were like “Well you suck!” and it was all very mature and grown up and interesting.
But then me and the girl that was doing the assignment with me started talking about other things. It was my fault we got side-tracked (and that usually never happens *coughs*). I said “They only got into the crisis because today, money isn’t an actual thing any more, it’s an abstract concept, an empty number. If you can’t see the money, if you don’t have money that you can hold in your hand, then how are you supposed to grasp the idea of your actual resources?” This quickly lead into “Nothing is real any more!”, “Can you believe this years Christmas-present in Sweden is a 3 month subscription to ‘Linas Matkasse’ (Note for non-Swedish readers; Linas Matkasse is a grocery-bag with a selection of groceries and recipes, so you don’t have to decide what you want to cook for yourself any more, and if you don’t want to bother with planning a meal and finding the recipe yourself, you probably don’t want to go to the store either, so yes, it comes to the door for you) how sick is that?”, “I can’t remember where someone said this but you know how if a guy wanted to ask a girl out in the good old days he had to turn up with flowers on her door-step and now he can just scroll through a list of eligible young singles and click ‘send flirt’ on the ones he thinks are hot enough for him (e.g, way out of his league)… Oh, I’m pretty sure that’s what Drew Barrymore says in ‘He’s just not that into you’. Yeah, that’s probably it”, “In fifty years from now people won’t even talk to each other in real life because you never have to leave your house to do anything!!!!!” and other similar remarks.
Seeing as how I felt this conversation became so interesting I figured it would be more fun to start a debate on this topic, so we quickly scrolled… I mean, looked through the page… I mean, newspaper, to see if there was an update… I mean, article about Facebook. Lo and behold, there was! According to this article we’re now several steps closer to anyone else on the planet… getting in touch with them, that is. The question me and the other girl decided to ask was this; do you feel that iPhones, laptops, media in general and networking-sites such as Twitter and Facebook brings people closer together or makes people more detached?
My own response was instant. “More detached, of course” I thought to myself. Then I stopped and mentally chided myself for being so hasty. Because think of all the people we would not even bother to keep in touch with if it wasn’t for Facebook? And all the people who would not spare the time out of their day to see what was up with you if they couldn’t read it all in a tweet? In this sense, the social networking does help us keep in touch with people. Ok, so I guess that’s determined. But wait. Keeping in touch with people, is that the same as maintaining a friendship, or a functioning relationship of any kind? If there were blue elephants and I was friends with one on Facebook, we’d be able to poke each other and hit the “like-button” every once in a while when one of us posted a status-update, but “Phoowro-proooo-pheeeuut!” (< what it would look like if a blue elephant could type. Assuming they exist) doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, and so even though I might think that the blue elephant is an all right dude, I wouldn’t really know the blue elephant, or care to get to know him. (In case any blue elephants are reading this, I’m really sorry, I apologise for my race’s inability to understand any language but its own, I know, we’re very ignorant.)
With these questions in mind, maybe the social networking of today brings people closer together while making them more socially dysfunctional at the same time? Or are we just developing a new way to socially interact, which might be different but doesn’t have to be wrong just because it’s not like we used to interact? We don’t bow to people and kiss their hand any more (if you do, that is totally rad. Keep it up), just like we’re now starting to get closer to equality between men and women and in certain awesome countries and states, gay marriage is legal. So who’s to say that only some change is ok, but some things have to remain the way they’ve “always” been? Maybe this new way to socially interact is just another step forward in our evolution, and not a step backwards into social awkwardness and seclusion.
I’m sure you guys have a lot more interesting input on this, so I would like to hear your thoughts regarding networking-sites such as Facebook and Twitter and how they’re affecting social interaction today. If you can be bothered to comment 😉