Kara Andrade has an interesting article on Forbes today talking about those who are always online. Yours truly was mentioned, as it’s true, I spend more time in the virtual world than I do in the supposed ‘real’ world. To me, the online world mirrors what’s happening in the real world, and they both impact each other. The power that we have to meet, talk, listen to so many others virtually far outweighs that of the conversations I can have in real life.
Although the power of face to face (non digital) conversations go much deeper than any online relationship, there’s strength in quantity, reach and spread.
Today, I had lunch with a former employee of Sun, who mentioned to me the very online and collaborative culture that the company has. Many work from home, or have private offices with sliding glass doors, the ability to connect, work, and communicate online is often the preferred one. This former employee mentioned that after awhile, it becomes a real hollow experience not to see people face to face, something we as humans crave and desire.
On Sunday, my kid sister graduated from UC Irvine (pics), and I attended the ceremony. The valedictorian references how his generation grew up on the internet (the first) and their online relationships in Facebook really defined who they were.
When you look at this interactive tool to see Technographics (how people use social technologies) the adoption for youth is astounding.
The question remains: Is this a generational thing that Gen Y will continue to communicate this way for the rest of their lives? Or is this a life stage experience where only the young participate online. I’m going with the former, expect to see my kid sister texting her friends until the next technology comes along, some sort of embedded in-person communication tool.
I’d love to hear from you:
White collar workers in America spend much of their time online, in fact the number one medium in the workplace is the internet, how does this impact our interpersonal skills? What impacts does this have to our culture, especially for home, dating, and family? Will Generation Y continue this adoption path? If so, what does that mean for the future? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about technologies’ impact on our cultures?
I’ll answer below in the comments…