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


0 Replies to “Do Social Technologies Make Some People Less Social?”

  1. Hi Phil,

    Sorry to be dense, but I think I’d need a specific example or two to understand what you’re getting at here (if that could be done without hurting anyone’s feelings). Like what kinds of add-ons/plugins/hacks? Are these some kind of automated interactions or retweeting without reading or something else?


  2. Hi Phil, I think I know what you mean but I am starting to believe its down to a couple of things.

    – The ‘fire hose’ of content and info from such a huge variety of different contacts
    – Also have we (I?) become too polite on social media platforms? So we only apply the tactics of ‘agree or ‘avoid’ rather than ‘disagree’ and debate’?

    Thought provoking as always Phil!

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