Internet and Hyperconnectivity

My conversation with Rajiv on hyperconnectivity continues.  I began to comment and once again found myself going on at length.  Here’s part of my comment to Rajiv’s post:

“I’m starting to wonder if there is generational difference with hyperconnectivity.  I grew up without computers, without even remote-controlled TV (in fact, our first TV was black and white), without cell phones or even portable phones, etc.  So while I have jumped into the social media soup, I seem to be less inclined to drown in the broth of hyperconnectivity (sorry, it’s early, I’ve only had one cup of coffee so my brain is making up weird metaphors).  For example, with Facebook:  it’s been easy for me to stay “offline” so no one can chat with me and I do enjoy the feature of being able to “hide” the posts of certain “friends” so I am not sucked into interactions that I don’t want to be in.  Do you think there’s a generational difference here?  And, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll carry this over to my blog since my comment is (again) getting rather long :)”

I’m seeing more and more discussions about social media and how to manage various accounts and still get one’s work (writing) done.  It’s an issue that I would like to address more “professionally,” but, as seems to be more and more often, I have to wait until I have a nice chunk of uninterrupted time to put together a coherent post.

My kitchen is scheduled to be demolished tomorrow (Friday).  We’ll see how well I can write around that kind of chaos 🙂

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About 1WriteWay

Writer, blogger, knitter, and cat lover.
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10 Responses to Internet and Hyperconnectivity

  1. I am a 55 year old woman who never heard of a computer until 1997 when my daughter went off to college. I have embraced technology fully and completely (some may call me a geek). My iPhone is an extension of my arm I think. I’m connected all the time. And I’m okay with that.

    That being said, there are times it would be nice to think I could function without being connected. I’m a social creature by nature so social media is made for people like me. But it can be exhausting. Or maybe I should just quit my job and go live on a beach (with wi-fi of course).

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  2. Rajiv says:

    Oh my this is such a cool post! Who wrote this?? 🙂

    Thanks for the reblog, Marie.

    As for Pamela’s comment, many lonely and unsocial people can have an exuberant Facebook page or online presence. In this way, internet can be quite the digital smokescreen.

    One thesis of my post (and Almereyda’s movie) was that internet and Hyperconnectivity do not so much make us Connected as they make us Isolated and fragmented.

    But of course, I focus on the dark side. I’m sure there are many positive sides…. this WordPress interaction, for example. 😉

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    • 1WriteWay says:

      The “dark side” does need to be acknowledged. Not too long ago I read an article in the New York Times about a teenager who decided he didn’t want to be on Facebook anymore. I think his reasoning was along the lines of “I see my friends at school. Why do I need to be on Facebook?” When he began to delete his account, Facebook sent pop-up messages to the effect that so-and-so would be so hurt if he deleted his account. It was weird (and creepy) because it was Facebook that was questioning his attempts to delete his account, not his friends. Fortunately, this young man had enough self-confidence to ignore the messages. (I hate to always be dumping on Facebook, but they make it so easy.)

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  3. Rajiv says:

    Marie,

    I just noticed your comment in the post too. Good luck with the kitchen and the rest. I will write my feedback to your comment.

    Is there a generaltional gap in the way we interact online socially? Well, simple answer to this is YES. We often see people from older generation who never wanted to migrate to internet, cell phone texting and so forth (even though they could easily afford to, They Rejected interactions with new technology). Most of great writers and novelists, for example, rejected internet. Earlier generation of writers rejected Word Processors or computers and stubbornly stuck to their typewriters (or wrote in longhand).

    On the other hand, the answer is more complex. Many people from the older generation did migrate to the digital world. Pamela up there is a great example. New York Times’s technology writer David Pogue (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Pogue) always makes this point that just because you’re older doesn’t mean you cannot “learn computers”. He himself grew up in the age that had no PCs, Macs, internet, cellphones, smartphones and so on….

    Lastly, I will say that by now, we’re increasingly living in an age where most people–old and young– know less and less of the non-digital past. Those who did not want to migrate, were dragged into it anyway. In the next few decades everyone will have been born into the digital age and it will be impossible for them to know for real what it was like living through the non-digital age.

    The world has changed forever. There is no going back, for better or worse…..

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    • 1WriteWay says:

      All good points, Rajiv. I think my husband and I are fairl examples of the transition from the non-digital past to the digital present. I am far more “hyperconnected” than my husband. He is proud to say he doesn’t have a Facebook account 🙂 In fact, to my knowledge, he only has a LinkedIn account and that’s for professional reasons. (I think he checks it once every few months, if that much.) In contrast, I have social media accounts all over the place (LinkedIn, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc.), which actually makes him a bit nervous, especially since the NSA leaks. So, as you say, it is complex. Different people get different things from social media, and not all social media is created or used equally. What underlies my main concerns about hyperconnectivity is that technology has the best of us right now. We take it for granted; we let it rule for the most part, and that’s not a good thing.

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  4. You and I are true contemporaries, Marie. I don’t even have a cell phone, much less an effing “smart” phone! I tend to have what I need and need what I have, so there’s an exquisite balance. Somehow I get the feeling that the hyperconnected aren’t all that balanced. 😉

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  5. 1WriteWay says:

    I think part of it is how mindful people are when they are hyperconnected. When people use hyperconnectivity to fill what they think is a void in their lives, that’s sad and troubling because then the user is more vulnerable to being used and abused by social media. For myself, hyperconnectivity is an extension of the full life I already have. It does get overwhelming trying to keep track of all my accounts, but in the long run, I think there may be a benefit to me as a writer to have a broad presence.
    I have to admit that my husband and I do have cell phones, although for the past several years we’ve only used pay-as-you-go services. I had a health crisis 13 years ago and we decided to get cell phones then so we could more easily be in touch with the doctors and hospital and each other (my husband used to travel a lot). But those 2-year contracts were awful! It’s great having pay-as-you-go because we use the phones mainly for very brief calls (like my husband calling and letting me know he’s safely set up in the woods for a night of stargazing ;)). But I guess this is an example of having only what we need. I may want an iPhone but I don’t need one and for that reason alone, I don’t have one 🙂

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  6. Rajiv says:

    Ah… cellphones. I think with the inclusion of internet and Wifi they perfectly represent the hyperconnected age now. People blog, tweet and youtube from cellphones.

    And there has been a new ever-increasing phenomenon called selfie. It means taking your own picture or making your own video from your cell phone and posting it on social media networks. Most celebrities tweet and do selfies all the time.

    Talking of selfies, you may wanna see this selfie by Charlie Sheen posted on his Twitter account….:

    http://twitpic.com/c86fok/full

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