The Decay of Social Networks

Unac­count­ab­il­ity and anonym­ity on the Inter­net has brought about “the end of empathy”, says Jason Calacanis, as he dis­cusses the ‘con­di­tion’ of Inter­net Asperger’s Syn­drome:

This dis­ease affects people when their com­mu­nic­a­tion moves to digit­al, and the emo­tion­al cues of face-to-face interaction–including tone, facial expres­sion and the so called “blush response“–are lost. […]

In this syn­drome, the afflic­ted stops see­ing the human­ity in oth­er people. They view indi­vidu­als as objects, not indi­vidu­als. The focus on repet­it­ive behaviors–checking email, blog­ging, twit­ter­ing and retir­ing andys–combines with an inab­il­ity to feel empathy and con­nect with people.

[…] In IAS, screen names and avatars shift from rep­res­ent­ing people to rep­res­ent­ing char­ac­ters in a video game. Our 2600’s and 64’s have trained us to pound these char­ac­ters into sub­mis­sion in order to level up. We look at blog­gers, people on Twit­ter and pod­casters not as indi­vidu­als, but as challenges–in some cases, “bosses“–that we must crush to make it to the next phase.

A good art­icle dis­cuss­ing the per­ils of liv­ing our lives in pub­lic, although I feel it loses some­thing toward the end when it takes on a more per­son­al tone.

via LA Times