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