social networks anti-social?

Facebook.MySpace.Twitter.GoogleBuzz.FourSquare.Seesmic.Youtube.Yelp.Digg.etc,etc,etc…

All of these companies either started through or are now focusing on connecting people. They profit by helping us share information and helping other businesses spread their information and products to more people who may otherwise not know about them.

This debate over the pros and cons of social networking is getting bigger everyday and I’m not here to jump into that huge arena in this short, measly post. I just want to comment on something that’s been on my mind the past couple months.

I’ve heard a few people say (that I personally know and don’t know) that social networks like the ones mentioned above just make people more antisocial. They stay behind their computers so that they don’t have to actually interact with people in person.

Maybe there is some truth to that, but I think those people were there before social networks and have other demons they’re dealing with. My personal experience speaks to the fact that social networks have let me connect with friends and new friends more quickly, so that my actual face time with them is strengthened and deepened by the information we can share with each other while not physically hanging out. I am more excited to spend time with that new friend, because the social networks are doing their job of connecting us.

So, I would say one thing about this criticism of social networks: the internet may have made public those loners behind the screens, but now we can hopefully draw them into true relationships and love centered in Christ.

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