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Has the internet perpetuated cultural disconnectedness?

TED Talks brings it home

The video above got us to talking. We are a more analytical and creative bunch than philosophical, but we spent a bit of this afternoon discussing the implications of the culture of the web.

Once upon a time, it was an internal tool for the government, eventually becoming an academic tool then ecommerce tool and ultimately the marketing heaven that is the interconnected web of social networks that almost all Americans are entangled in.

If you watched the video above, you know that in recent time, Facebook serves up content to you that best suits you, as does Google with the goal being marketers (I mean people) to connect with you in more meaningful ways and bring you content that you’re interested in a narrow hose manner rather than opening the entire flood gate.

But this narrowing is disconnecting us because our boundaries are not pushed, our horizons not broadened, and we end up in our own little circles and cliques just like in real life. I suppose that was the inevitability of web culture to mimic literal culture, but it is unfortunate.

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The internet has evolved, but do you like what it has evolved into? Do you prefer staying in your comfort zone and learning more about your current interests or do you prefer for your sake and consumers’ sake that horizons are expanded online? Tell us in the comments what your thoughts are, this gave us a great afternoon of debate and look forward to your opinion.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

23 Comments

23 Comments

  1. Ben Fisher

    May 4, 2011 at 12:13 am

    This is continually becoming more common. I know I have personally seen much less phone and face-to-face interaction with clients and more emails being sent.

  2. Matt Stigliano

    May 4, 2011 at 5:35 am

    I'm not loving the tightening of the social circle. While many are advocating the "less is more" path in social media these days, I see social media as a doorway to new connections. While making each connection meaningful is the hard part (compared with how easy it is to become "friends" with anyone and everyone), without the root connection, a potential friend, partner, business opportunity, or client may never surface. Some of the most random connections have brought food things to my life – business and personal. Without these seemingly random meetings in the online social space, I would be back to the same people; traveling in the same circles with nothing new learned, gained, or shared.

  3. doug francis

    May 4, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Wow, a filter bubble around me. I have to agree that this is true, and that the controlling robots (which don't have any level of journalistic ethics) have total control and ultimately decide the search results I see, and the search results you see.

    An excellent presentation!

  4. Matthew Hardy

    May 4, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    > to connect with you in more meaningful ways and bring you content that you’re interested in

    I do not want nor do I need an algorithm to tell me which aisle to peruse in a library or bookstore. I do not stay logged-in to Google because I hate the idea of a tailored search. I can handle my own discovery, thank you.

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