Do we all need to get out more?
February 17, 2000 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Do we all need to get out more? Although they're putting the "too much time with computers, not enough social interaction" spin on this study's findings, there are actually some good results of it. Heavy internet users spend less time in traffic (because they look up traffic before going anywhere?), less time in malls (shopping online instead, duh), and less time watching TV (this is the best news of all, I barely watch it anymore because it's mostly inane garbage, whereas on the internet, I can find interesting things to read and enjoy). As for the less face time with friends and family, I have a growing number of friends online that I consider to be as close as any Real Life friend could be.
posted by mathowie (11 comments total)
My take on the "isolation" aspect of this survey was that someone somewhere must have Decided that online friends don't count. Which is bull; it makes me snarly when non-wired people assume it's impossible to develop strong or meaningful relationships with "people on the Internet". They're different relationships, sure, but the value judgment applied, that friends who live no further away than across town are the only one who count, is the part that gets me every time (we've been down this road before).
posted by Sapphireblue at 12:05 PM on February 17, 2000

Isn't this the same technophobic "human interest" story that they've been running periodically for the last 5 years?

Hey, hands up everyone who thinks the internet has made me an introverted recluse.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 12:12 PM on February 17, 2000

Oh, and Matt? I love this. I just found it about a week ago, and it just rules. A version that renders well on a Palm Pilot for on-road checking would be great... does anyone know how this does on Palms?
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 12:28 PM on February 17, 2000

A week ago? Man, you need to turn off that computer and get out more! :)

That maxwell traffic site has been up since 1995, it was one of the first killer apps of the web for me. They do in fact have a text version, which is clunky as all hell to read, you look up a freeway and it tells you about the accidents. I heard there was a WML (pcs phone browser) version on the way, but text only and cumbersome compared to that one beautiful gif.

Also note Joe, that they have other cities as well.
posted by mathowie at 12:32 PM on February 17, 2000

The annoying thing here is how the study assumes that using a computer is an inherently anti-social experience. And anyone here, looking at this page, can tell that's not completely true.

I think that, like all things in life, it depends. Sure, I can use a computer to avoid social interaction. But I can also use a book to do that. Or a guitar, as I did for most of adolescence.

I can also use a computer to meet and interact with people. Are computer-mediated social interactions different than real life interactions? Of course. But are they exclusively non-social? Uh, no. Duh.

Preaching to the choir,

-- D
posted by fraying at 1:15 PM on February 17, 2000

Preach on brother!

I will (grudgingly) admit to a net.friends gathering at CyberJava (when it was in Venice) where we were all on IRC on about 3 different machines, and when somebody got off a good zinger, it sounded like a sports bar ("Aaaaaaaaaww!" "Woooo!" "Hah!")... of course, we were inter(net)acting with friends in other parts of the world who couldn't be with us as well, and there was plenty of sitting on couches drinking coffee and chatting each other up - so it was nerdly, but not totally anti-social.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 1:45 PM on February 17, 2000

If you think computers and the internet are a negative influence, wait'll you see what they've found out about dogs! Personally, I have both a computer and a dog, so that explains why I haven't caught much of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire". And, besides, if dog owners are bad, what about CAT owners? (Ruh, roh, just remembered casual survey showing most webloggers are cat people)
BTW, when did Wired News and the Onion merge?
posted by wendell at 2:08 PM on February 17, 2000

apparently this article has an issue with the fact that using the computer more equals less time watching tv...
until Ally McBeal starts answering my email, I will consider my internet pursuits much more interactive/communal. how many people have you met
watching tv?

posted by jessamyn at 2:53 PM on February 17, 2000

Well, I went to a couple of Twin-Peaks watching parties, but none of the friendships really lasted much past the cancellation of the series...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 3:44 PM on February 17, 2000

What does it think, precioussssss... doessss usss need to get out more?

posted by jennyb at 4:46 PM on February 17, 2000

See! BOOKS cause antisocial behaviour!
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 7:24 PM on February 17, 2000

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