Researchers there gamely tracked the social habits of virtual lifers and concluded that - get this- for our physical health and psychological well-being, humans need actual face-to-face contact (I know, it sounds gross). Ironically, the study finds that the more time we spend amassing virtual friends, the fewer "real" friends we have. (What's a "real" friend you might ask? I like to think of it as someone who will sit right next to you in the blue light of your BlackBerry, and never, ever ask you whose e-mail you're reading.)A great read. But hmm, makes you kind of feel like a dork, huh Facebook fanatics? :)
Over the past two decades, the amount of time the British spend with one another - just chatting, interacting, eating crackers, and whatever else British people do when they're staring at each other's dark brown teeth - has fallen from six hours a day to two hours a day.
Now let's just set aside the larger question: Would YOU want to spend more than two hours a day with British people? .... Still there's something to the report that I can't shake, some truth it sheds on modern life, virtual and otherwise. Because if you're honest and look around you, there are signs everywhere that reality is losing its grip on reality - in the way, say, that electronic friend "acquiring" has begun to stand in for intimacy, or in the larger ways we've become unthinking about our online existence.... Even an 80-year-old woman I know has lately taken to telling everyone "Google it" whenever she means "I'm telling you the truth." She's also a Limbaugh-loving Republican, so now she ends every argument by saying things like "Nancy Pelosi is a terrorist - Google it!"
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
"If you spend a lot of time on Facebook and other social networking sites, chances are you're alienated, lonely, and quite possibly demented."
To further emphasize why I love reading GQ, here's a little snippet from a recent article. The author starts off discussing a new report from a study done by a British journal: