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    • For the past decade or so people live a life allot more "shared" since social media became broadly available. And by that I refer to the sort of psychological, and oftentimes even affective kind of a "marriage" to the need for communicating with each other. One question I ask myself is not how committed should a person be to this type of spiritual "marriage" and "sharing", over the actual reality of daily life, but why? It's also amazing to me to see how this can bring a healthy dose of interesting & illuminating thoughts in our life and it can be mentally nourishing in ways no real world avenue can. We all know there are side effects. So that makes room for asking what is the doctor's view on a balanced prescription of life in social media era, which I am pretty sure will vary from person to person.

    • There are two things constantly on my mind about this. One is, are people getting bored of Facebook, Snap, etc.? Reason I ask is there is very little growth and some shrinkage of Twitter, Facebook, and Snap in North America and I frequently hear people say it has become too repetitive.

      The other question was asked in an interview I heard the other day with Dr. Jen Gunter, a respected OB/GYN who has been trying to provide good medical info on her blog to counteract the harmful misinformation that takes hold on social media. She said in her years of doing it, the internet has turned from a source of information to a source of misinformation. Good information is out there, but it's boring and sensational conspiracies have taken over.

      I stumbled onto anti-vaccination groups on Facebook and they're huge with hundreds of thousands of members and banners that scream, "Stop poisoning our kids!"

    • I think information is like food. Humans need a certain amount to survive, but we crave a lot more than we need, and consuming too much of it can be a bad thing.

      Social media is by far the most effective way humans have yet devised for rapidly spreading huge amounts of information.

      A hundred years ago, if you wanted to get a piece of information in front of the eyes of thousands or millions of people, you had to be in a position to publish it in a major newspaper or announce it over the air via several major radio stations. Today, all you need is a Twitter account, which anyone can get for the low cost of owning a computer or a phone.

      I feel a little bit like Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park when I talk about this, but I think social media poses almost as much danger to the survival of the human race as nuclear weapons. We spent so much time thinking about whether we could connect everyone in the world that we didn't stop to think if we should.

      There's a way to do it right, but so far I think we've mostly been doing it wrong, and I worry about whether, as with global warming, we might have already gone too far to fix things.

    • I think that while entirely true and accurate, the term "information" is a little too cold for my view, when it comes to fully describe what interacting over the web on social media constitutes for humans. But you bring a very interesting point as I think the key of fully understanding it is in the variety of points of view on the matter. And it being a huge amount of data is definitely one of it's main characteristics.

    • The OP writes about communication and how modern technology has changed it, and asks whether we in turn have been changed. The thread has taken that to include news and information.

      I would suggest that the two are not the same. I would further posit that rather than being new and unusual, intense social communication was, until very recently, the norm in human existence. That's because the world's population was small, there weren't many people around and those who were lived in small communities where travel was a novelty, not a common practice. Privacy was hard to find and it was impossible to avoid an intense social experience within your village/town. There were no secrets.

      In the relatively short amount of time that communities have grown so large that it's possible to be a stranger in a crowd of people, I believe the effect has been alienating and has been the focus of much scholarly and casual examination.

      Electronic media has, in a sense, returned us to where we were, I believe.

      As for information/disinformation, I think that's a separate issue. For me, it speaks to the constant battle between the rational and irrational side of human nature. I believe the irrational side is the dominant one. We are easily manipulated creatures.

    • isn't it funny that sometimes we feel closer to people we correspond on line with than with our next door neighbors? LOL. So why is that? I mean their dog doesn't really bark that loud and I really got used to it by now. Plus I have nice a Mistral exhaust on my Guzzi so I think we're even. I am just kidding, we respect each other but have little in common other wise.

      But seriously when I travel - ride and stop in new places always strike conversations with people and love it. Social media resembles a bit of that in my opinion, you cross paths but only in a certain way and other times maybe only for an ephemeral instance. There is a kind of purity to it.