Archive for July, 2009

Low-Level Contact


It’s said that everyone in the world is connected. The only thing between me and some other person on this planet is, at most, six degrees of separation.


Now thanks to modern technology we can all be directly connected. Everyone we’ve ever met can be our Facebook friend.

I have 283 friends.

I haven’t seen many of them in person in years. It’s generally not because we’re separated by a large land mass or anything, in fact some of them live very close to me, it’s more because we have a mutual disinterest in each other’s lives, but still I receive daily updates on their “mad college nights out” and their J1 last summer and their upcoming trip to Thailand. Just about the only thing I have in common with these people is the fact that we both have a Facebook account.

I guess i’m just tired of low-level contact with people I don’t really know anymore. I understand that talking to others can be intimidating for some people. Technology that removes the human aspect from interpersonal contact is a god send for these people. But just because you’re less intimidated by the prospect of sharing your thoughts doesn’t mean you should share every mundane thought that goes through your mind.

Was human interaction better, or indeed, easier back in the pre-internet days? I mean if you didn’t have the internet or text messaging would you bother phoning some casual acquaintance or even writing them a letter just to find out about what’s going on in their life? Would you go to all that trouble to ask them the most generic mundane question about their plans for the summer or how their exams went and so on?

Did people have to deal with having awkward disjointed conversations on Facebook Chat with people they don’t know very well or much care about?