The Internet and You
August 31, 2006 7:40 PM   Subscribe

The Internet and our social and psychological well-being : This older study correlates Internet use with declining social relationships and isolation. A more recent study (PDF) shows that the Internet has changed and positively affects social relationships.
posted by lpctstr; (6 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think this just reflects the changing level of acceptance for the Internet and computers in general in society.

At first, it was strictly for geeks, and normal people didn't hang out on it beyond the initial novelty of the thing. The technical (research) basis for it was well-founded, but the social 'scene' of the internet was still pretty warped and weird - for example, I had cybersex with a chick who, in retrospect, was almost certainly a 40-year old, furiously masturbating man. Luckily, I was pretending to a be 40-year old, furiously masturbating man, so there was a sort of poetic symmetry to the falsehoods we traded.

Then came the dot-com boom. People started turning on to the Internet, but rarely did they venture beyond passively looking at websites and basically treating it like television that you had to read. But it got people using it, and they became more comfortable. It was at this time that I engaged in cybersex with a 40-year old woman, who I'm pretty sure really was a 40-year old woman, and I represented myself honestly as well - the internet was still kind of a strange place to hang out, but it was getting to be more mainstream.

Today, an entire generation has grown up with the Internet at their fingertips. E-mail is just another way to stay in contact with friends, and Myspace, Blogspot and sundry other sites hold testament to the fact that there is no longer a stigma about being a "nerdy computer dweeb" if you happen to have a website. It is during this era that I didn't have any cybersex at all, thus proving that it has finally reached a rough approximation of real society.
posted by kfx at 8:09 PM on August 31, 2006 [1 favorite]

I've had this argument for years now. If anything, the internet has made most people more social. If I didn't have the internet, I'd be reading a book or watching t.v which are much more reclusive activities than the cyber world that links you to millions of people across the globe.
posted by liquorice at 8:51 PM on August 31, 2006

Screw you all (I'm really trying to be a better person).
posted by ZenMasterThis at 10:29 PM on August 31, 2006

Um. Perhaps someone could add in some links to more recent studies? 2001 is so pre-web2.0 Heck. It's 5+ years ago now.
posted by mmdei at 11:35 PM on August 31, 2006

There are some recent Pew Internet & American Life studies acknowledging that is all about having extra means for communication, for most. Not less.
posted by ijsbrand at 4:18 AM on September 1, 2006

posted by caddis at 7:56 AM on September 1, 2006

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