Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Here Comes Everybody

In Here Comes Everybody, the author, Clay Shirky, writes:

Our recent communications networks --the internet and mobile phones-- are a platform for group-forming . . . Ridiculously easy group-forming matters because the desire to be part of a group that shares, cooperates, or acts in concert is a basic 
human instinct . . . 
H u m a n s  a r e  i n h e r e n t l y  s o c i a l  c r e a t u r e s

& because of the availability to be constantly social, it has become a relatively easy necessity to meet. 

However, it does make me wonder if it has become too easy.  People update their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram profiles nearly daily, if not more than once a day.  It is nothing to be aware of what is going on in someone's life without having to communicate with them directly.  One simply has to observe.  

This is where you have to decide how involved in a group you desire to be.  Does liking’ something that someone has posted online count as being involved?  Does commenting?  Do you feel that makes you part of a group?  While most people would argue that a group consists of more than two people, I believe that two people can be a group because you have to consider the other connections that each person has and the fact that most social interactions involve more than two people because they can be observed by other people in the world online.

Another concept of human interaction that I am confused about is whether or not communicating with groups online functions the same as communicating with groups in person.  Does it fill the natural human instinct to be social?  Or is it simply a step that has been added to establishing groups in today's world?  Do you communicate firstly online, but then expect for the communication of the group to be moved into direct person-to-person communication?

Maybe this is just a giant paradox.  Or perhaps all groups communicate online and person-to-person and each form of communication holds a specific place among group members.  My head hurts. 


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