by Jay Fajardo
I remember when critics of the internet warned how it would drive society into withdrawn lifestyles, shunning healthy ‘real-world’ relationships as we all retreat into our technology shielded holes.
Cocooning– a trend that surfaced in the 90′s, gained significant momentum with the introduction of the web.
When Web 2.0 and social media hit, this trend was totally reversed as social networks connected us to a massive web of colleagues, business relations, classmates, relatives, and friends both old and new. As the platforms evolved into life streams, we became aware of every trivial event –sometimes in real-time– that occur in the lives within our network.
The most dramatic result of this is the hyper-interaction we found ourselves in. The previously shallow and platonic exchanges we had with acquaintances had been transformed into active and sustained relationships. Even with those we had not seen in many years, the personality of the conversations are as if you’d only last spoken to them yesterday. Even the awareness of wide geographic distance is lost.
Here’s a sample exchange brought about by a Facebook status update I did.
Jomike is a friend I now only see once a year at the La Salle Green Hills homecoming.
Jonathan was a college classmate from De La Salle University I had last seen in 1989.
Neither personally knows each other but are both my connections.
Me (Manila): “I just became aware of the 1/3 pound burger being sold by Jollibee.”
Jomike (Cebu): “I still prefer the classic hamburger taste of Tropical Hut.”
Jonathan (Sydney): “You’ll be surprised to know that the Jollibee recipe is derived from the Tropical Hut one.”
Jomike (Cebu): “I still prefer Tropical Hut, it leaves that classic after-taste when you burp!”
Me (Manila): “Now I’m hungry.”
Apparently, the notion of isolation was totally wrong. We’re more social than ever!