Is the internet the end of people connecting?

You can pay your bills…do your banking…order your groceries…order supper…buy clothes…buy cars…hell what can’t you do?

Nope…I’ve seen virtual toilets…:slight_smile:
It will soon be cheaper for say your electric company to give you a web tv kind of thing to pay your bills with.

Seriously…is the internet causing us to lose touch with others? I can see it coming…I can see everyones life run through a puter.

Is this a good thing?

Firstly, not everyone’s life is going to be run through the computer. Unless you are anti-social and have nothing better to do, there is nothing to worry about. There are an UMP-TEEN number of things that computers can not do. I play football, for example, for physical exercise. Can I do that on the net? Unless you are talking Virtual Reality, but I would still choose to run outside in the fresh air any day.

When television came, a lot of people were aying “OH NO now everyone is just going to sit at home all day watching TV”.

And sure, some people do. But the bulk of the population do not.

Same with computers, some people will run their lives by them… others will go out and get some exercise.

(Just my thoughts)

I think it’s fair to say that it will change some of the ways in which people connect, but it isn’t going to end it. In a very real way I connect with more people through the net than I do IRL. This board, for example. It isn’t often IRL that I can have a conversation on as many far ranging and interesting topics as I can here. No, it isn’t the same, but it is interaction.

Now if we ever get a holodeck…

I hear that Alexander Graham Bell has just patented a new invention called the “telephone.” It allows two or more people to talk to each other without even having to be in the same room together. Will this be the end of people connecting?

I, for one, am very antisocial… I hate using phones, and am often uncomfortable meeting new people (though my brief acting experiences allows me to pretend to be fine). However, I was like this before I began using the 'Net big-time a couple years ago. Before then, I used the 'Net primarily to download porn (hey, I was fourteen, okay?).

Believe it or not, there’s a uniquely gay perspective on this… when you’re a fifteen-year-old closeted gay boy, going to a homophobic school and scared out of your wits that someone will find out, the last thing you want to do is connect with someone in person. I was on an internet mailing list for several months before I ever actually met any gay people. I don’t know how to estimate how many suicides the internet has presented by providing a safe-space for sexual minority youth to connect with one another. I know some gay boys and leslings who are languishing in the square states with no way to meet other gay people and get emotional support from their peers except the internet. Thank goddess for it.

It’s not about verbal communication or words on a screen. It’s about touching…seeing…being with…are we going to be living on Islands of our own making in the future?

There’s one thing you’re overlooking, though: the biological drive to reproduce. Unless we come up with some way of insemination via computer (and the logistics of such a device are beyond me), face-to-face contact will always be a part of human interaction.


You are assuming that everyone at a puter terminal are single…

I think you will find that most are families sharing the same terminal or if lucky enough have their own terminal.

I don’t think that the things the internet replaces, grocery shopping, banking and the others you mentioned in the OP, lend themselves very well to interpersonal relationships anyway. Those are all situations where we really have little interest in the people behind the counter just so long as we can buy our beer and pretzels and we don’t have to stand behind someone with 60 coupons and who is going to pay by check.

FWIW, I think that the more gregarious among us will still be doing the same things they always have done. The internet isn’t going to take that away. If anything, it helps the less socially adept among society feel less alone. As you rightly pointed out, there really isn’t any substitute for many things. Cybersex is something I definitely don’t understand. Who wants sex to be like typing a term paper?

In a very real way, this kind of communication is a great equalizer and fascilitator. It brings people together on very equal level. Think about it. Despite one’s , economic status, physical location (remoteness even), health situation or physical handicap, forums of this kind as well as various special interest (automotive, knitting, sports, etc…) forums bring people closer together. Think about it. Even if you commute 1 and 1/2 hours to work every morning on public transit, how likely are you to involve a dozen complere strangers around you in a conversation like we have here. Not bloody likely. Strangers will sit on a plane for hours next to eachother and barely utter an exchanged word. But give those people a laptop with a cell connection to an internet forum and they will type non stop for the entire trip - still never having said a word to the person in the seat next to them. The kind of annonimity offered by the internet is hard to come by in real life and in most cases, it’s just the kind of thing many people need to open up and get engaged in conversations with their fellow surfers.

As for groceries, banking, dry cleaning pick-up and delivery on line. Bring it on. I for one do not miss a single teller at my bank or checkout clerk at the grocery store. Ditto for movie rental stores and car salespeople.

Asmodeus said:
“It’s not about verbal communication or words on a screen. It’s about touching…seeing…being with…are we going to be living on Islands of our own making in the future?”

“You are assuming that everyone at a puter terminal are single…
I think you will find that most are families sharing the same terminal or if lucky enough have their own terminal.”

Well, then a familial unit would, theoretically, be interacting in what we would call a “normal” manner. It would be difficult to form a nuclear unit without that personal, physical interaction, which is why your response confuses me. On the one hand, you’re saying that people will be living in isolation, with their only link to other humans being a glowing screen and a clicking keyboard, then you assert that people will be clustered around said computers in groups. Which is it? I’ve never been able to cluster without interacting.
Besides… I’d be all too happy to remain at a computer terminal all day, but my parents drag me away to, a) perform chores, etc. around the house, b) run errands, getting me physically out of the house, or c) for meals. :wink:
I wouldn’t consider myself the most socially outgoing of people, and indeed it is the face-to-face interaction that causes me anxiety. I wouldn’t give that contact up for the world, no matter how nervous it made me. Why? I believe the need to interact in a personal, physical manner is one of the facets of humanity- that which makes us what we are.

Lets keep inbreeding out of it please…:slight_smile:

I went to school in Iowa… there’s no escaping it… :wink:

matt_mcl wrote:

Did you mean presented, or prevented?

I think the popularity of chat rooms has really changed how some young people socialize, but unforutnatly the most popular ones are global not local so the chances of meeting an on-line person is pretty low.

Other than that I don’t believe it has had a major impact on people other than anti-social types that end up addicted to MUDs or Everquest. Maybe when VR is perfected and cheap we’ll have some real social problems.

That’s prevented, with a V. Sorry.