I chose to cover the chapter of Connected titled Hyperconnected. This chapter described how the advancement of technology, more specifically the internet, has changed the way we interact with people as a whole. Many different experiments were discussed to show how the interaction of people has changed, for the better in most cases, due to the introduction of new technology such as telephones, internet, and air travel. In one experiment discussed in the book, a town known as “Netville” was receiving broadband internet technology and it just so happened that for a length of time, 60% had the new technology while 40% did not. During that time, the people with the technology forged deeper, broader, and more meaningful bonds than those who did not have the technology. The opponent of this type of technology would argue that with the introduction of the telephone and email, social bonds would become vaguer and less face to face interaction would occur. Quite the opposite actually happened, people use technology to supplement their relationships, not supplant them. Another main example the book kept going back to was the use of virtual worlds and avatars for people to accomplish a multitude of things. For example, the virtual war game of World of Warcraft has millions of players playing at a given time. People use the game not only to protect their villages and team up to wage war on enemies, but users create virtual relationships with other users and even have virtual pets. Some of these virtual relationships even turn into real in person relationships. This just furthers the idea that people use technology to supplement, not supplant relationships.
Overall, this relates back to the main ideas of the book that what other people do shapes the way we act, feel, and go about our days in the non-virtual world. If something bad or good were to happen to a user in the World of Warcraft virtual world, studies have shown that people are more likely to feel more or less confident when they leave the computer and go out into the real world.
Personally, I think the argument the entire book makes is completely spot on. Everything we do as humans is completely shaped by what other people think, say or do. Without that concept there would be no such thing as fashion or style. We would all wear the same color clothes and act the same way. One thing I really like about the book is that it covers the six degrees of separation concept a lot. I find myself thinking about that from time to time and it really is amazing how true the concept is.
What do you think about the six degrees of separation concept?
Do you feel that in the introduction and advancement of technology has changed the way we interact with people?