This Week’s Mtg: Facebook and Future Of Friendship (12/9/10)

Our small social network takes on The Social Network.  I think this fits in with our occasional interest in sociology and other social science.  Of course, social networks also have political relevance, and we may see their potential in full flower in 2012.  Chris will lead this meeting, or he and I may tag team it. 

Most commentary I read on the impact of social networks on human relationships is a bit, um, alarmist.  These kids today kind of stuff.  Still, there’s a lot of commentary out there on how a wired world is changing human beings, our minds as well as our social interactions.  Family dynamics, too.  Here are a few articles to get you started.

  1. Is Facebook Ruining Human Friendship?  From Wired.
  2. Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction, from NYT.
  3. How to share Facebook with your children, from Wired.
  4. Is Google Making Us Stupid?, from the Atlantic Monthly.
  5. You Are What You Click — what the internet is doing to our brains.

More later.  Chris?

UPDATE:  Two things

  • Chris will give an opening presentation.  He is familiar with some of the research on the effects of social networks on flesh and blood people.
  • My sister pointed out another important aspect of social networks: Their ability to affect greatly the old-fashioned kind of communities — geographic ones.  Miriam is the editor-in-chief of East County Magazine, an on-line community-based news site that serves San Diego’s east county.  She said that virtual communities can help real communities in many ways, such as fighting crime, locating missing people/pets, notifying the community of threats (she sends out breaking alerts on wildfires, and freeway closures, for example), etc.  Miriam will try to be there tomorrow night, even though I gave her very short notice.
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