November 10, 2012

Friends in the real world

Human nature doesn't change; people need other people.  Bonding with a friend is not the same as connecting on Facebook and more and more teenagers don't know how to do it. 

Mark Tapson explores the phenomenon and several new books about it in Alone, together

She relates to her friends through the network, while practically ignoring whomever she is with at the moment. She relates to the places and people she is actually with only insofar as they are suitable for transmission to others in remote locations. The most social girl in her class doesn’t really socialize in the real world at all.

In this era of easy worldwide connectedness, our youth are suffering an unprecedented degree of emotional detachment, depression and loneliness. “The more connected we become, the lonelier we are,” argues Atlantic writer Stephen Marche.
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These kids have grown up barely experiencing friendship without an online component, and that element actually detracts from rather than supplements their real human interaction. “It’s hard to know how to act around people now,” says Phil Gibson, a sophomore at University of San Francisco, “because the only thing kids know is how to act on Facebook.”

A surprising percentage of teenagers are beginning to get this and want out. A study by Common Sense Media found that 43 percent of teens wished they could unplug from their technology. Nearly half of teens say they get frustrated with friends for texting, surfing the net, or checking their Facebook when they hang out together.
Posted by Jill Fallon at November 10, 2012 8:14 AM | Permalink