November 15, 2008
A few comics
If this is you, you're not alone...it's a very common occurrence, especially when important or frustrating work needs to be done to take "a minute" to surf around that turns into visiting a random string of websites that leads to a lot of time being wasted on a diversion from the original distraction from being productive. We'd like to think that technology makes us more effective or efficient...but that not always the case.
This second comic from xkcd is also an interesting commentary on our new, technology fueled existence. It won't come as a surprise to anybody who uses Facebook that the internet has created a new artificial, almost anti-social definition of 'friend'. I know that I and many of my friends are 'facebook-friends' with dozens of people I don't know well, haven't spoken to in years, or are simply acquaintances with. In some cases the internet makes social interaction easier, especially when bridging the gap between close friends living far away, but in that you can interact with someone online on a regular basis who you would have very little to do with without the internet. It's interesting to think about how Facebook contributes to communication but also makes us dependent on it, for instance, for the validation of relationships. I know some people who have said they would have to be less confident in their relationship if their partner would not make their status public. As a side note: there have even been serious University studies into the social impacts of Facebook.
Before to Mount Allison I chatted with a few upperclassmen and other incoming frosh, and even added them as 'facebook-friends' months before I would actually meet them. At the time it was a little comforting that there were people I 'knew', that I could at least recognize, before I came here...but with few exceptions there's really no way to really know someone until you spend time with them face to face. It has been almost three months now, and at this point it's almost only the people I initially communicated with to face to face that I'm closest to. So dispite its usefulness, the internet cannot replace real-life, person to person communication.