Depressed and disconnected …

As we get wealthier as a society we get more miserable, disconnected and depressed … the economist Leoplod Kohr put it down to ‘size’ – ‘… there seems only one cause behind all forms of misery: bigness’ (i.e. as the organisations around us get bigger, we feel smaller, alienated, lose autonomy and control and become institutionalised – we become, ‘… dominated by gigantic, impersonal, bureaucratic, standardised entities’).

I wonder whether the phenomenal popularity of social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook are another manifestation of this malaise, or part of the solution?

4 comments

  1. I think it is one of the key strengths of entities like Facebook. I work for the same firm you do (just my blog has a different name), and I find Facebook shrinks the firm. I can see – easily – what my friends – be they Confused of Calcutta, or Inside Out – are thinking/doing/posting.

    Through that, I learnt some more about one of our recent acquisitions, tried their product, liked it. I said so in Facebook Status, and promptly got CofC asking me to post why.

    Through a quick bit of interaction with a social networking site, I learnt about tiddlywiki, interfaces to the 21C Network, and found more about the company’s involvement in Open Source.

    It inspired me enough to bounce an item into the corporate news pages.

    Does that make me feel more inspired and empowered? Yes.

  2. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind about the potential power that a social networking site like Facebook could bring to a business like ours … the sooner the better as far as I’m concerned!

    My real concern is more around social networking on the internet and whether sites like Facebook are themselves becoming: ‘… gigantic, impersonal, bureaucratic, standardised entities’ … and, more importantly, how ‘they’ choose to use the ‘power’ we have freely handed over to them by giving so much of ourselves. Also, I wonder how emotionally ‘nourishing’ social networks really are … they’re no substitute for the ‘real thing’!

    Richard

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