Saturday, December 27, 2008

It's not the tool, it's the caveman

I'm re-posting this reader comment as a blawg entry for a few reasons: out of respect for Dave Allen - I was barely cool enough to have friends who listened to Gang of Four! - an excuse to share the photos I took during our recent lunch, because I have not been feeling very blawgy during the holidays, or at least clear enough to write, and because I thought Dave's anthropological view of technology worth sharing.

To understand and embrace social networking is to place the idea that says “technology makes this possible” to one side and embrace the idea of the basic human need to stay in touch with other like-minded people at all times. As Clay Shirky says “The desire to be part of a group that shares, cooperates, or acts in concert is a basic human instinct.” Think about rock concerts for a minute…..

Most people that take a position on social networking and advertising come at it from a technological point of view, as in “technology has created the means for everyone to be connected and to stay in touch.” I disagree with that statement because it removes nature from the game. It is entirely natural for humans to want to interact as often as possible as we are all social animals. Cities are no more artificial (technological) than the hives of bees. Therefore the Internet is as natural as a spider’s web. People who believe that technology is driving our interactions are missing the point - we ourselves are technological devices, invented by ancient bacterial communities as a means of genetic survival. Bottom line - social media is as natural as apple pie as we all want to be as connected as possible - we can’t help it.

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