Do Social Technologies Make Some People Less Social?

We know that social software does have some effects on people – in the extreme case, there’s the alone together phenomenon.

But that’s not what I’m wondering here.

I’m pretty connected, like most people anymore. I’m in different circles, so-to-speak. And I’m pretty early-adopter-ish.

I’m noting a curious thing: there are people who seem to adopt and incorporate all sorts of add-ons and plugins and hacks into their social media platforms. They’re definitely early adopters and I suspect that they’re actually kinda social people. And yet…

…And yet: in spite of all their technological link-ups and gizmos, they don’t seem to be terribly social.

In fact, they’re kinda boring actually. Nothing edgy to say. Not even any confrontations that may squeeze out useful ideas.

Maybe I’m missing something.

Maybe it’s me: I don’t like being told what to do by people who don’t know what they’re talking about – and I certainly don’t like having tools enslave me.

And maybe that’s the explanation: maybe some people don’t have within themselves the ability to express what they want, and so they end up submitting their human voice to inhuman software.

Or, at least, the unchecked convenience of inhuman software dampens the unsettling human voice.

Phil Baumann

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