Human Interaction in the Virtual World

“Distinctions between real and virtual identity will become less sharply defined, particularly for people who spend substantial amounts of time in the virtual world.” This is the claim that Arnold Brown made in the conclusion of his article titled “Relationships, Community, and Identity in the New Virtual Society.” He is eluding to the fine line, that grey area, that is becoming harder and harder to define as technology becomes more and more integrated in our society.

I can’t help but to think about my little brother, age 12, who wanted an iPhone so bad. When asked why he wanted an iPhone so bad, one of his first answers was so that he could facetime his friends. Facetime, of course, being the closest thing to talking face to face next to actually talking face to face. His friends, a group of kids who he plays baseball with, goes to school with, plays around in the neighborhood, etc. are there to have actual human interaction with, but he wants to do it over an iPhone.

This is the part that scares me about technology. There is the ongoing joke that we will eventually become computers and live a completely virtual existence and frankly I’m scared it might actually happen.

As Facebook becomes a way to meet people, it also tarnishes relationships. Certain things people say and do might not be favorable and when a friend, for example, “likes” Mitt Romney and throws up a status ranting about how terrible Obama is, I can’t help but to have a tarnished perception of that person.

The important thing to do is to always cherish real interaction. Tagging your friends on Facebook and sharing words over the internet is fine, but humans need to be touched, felt and loved… in PERSON. We can’t get away from that, no matter how hard society gets us to.

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