Which is it – Internet addiction or global connectivity?

Steven Hodson

It’s almost given. Give a human being something new to play with and chances are they will get carried away and pour all their attention into that thing. This is why we have things like sports fans or news junkies. Pick anything and chances are you find one or more people who become totally involved – some even obsessively.

There are some who say that we are becoming to obsessedeven addicted to the Internet. At the same time we have others who believe that it is a good thing that our world is becoming even more interconnected because of the Web.

Talk about two totally differing points of view when it comes to what is very quickly becoming an integral part of our lives and society. On one hand we are being told that we need to become even more connected and then on the other we have those who would have us believe we are too connected – dangerously so .. or as Stowe Boyd called it today The War on Flow.

Retrevo published some interesting statistics from a study on social media use, but unfortunately refer to those who are most connected as being ‘addicted’. [via email]

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So, the presumption is that we shouldn’t do these things, and by doing them we are participating in a pattern of behavior that is immoral, immature, or at best questionable. This is, once again, the War On Flow, where various arbiters of public morality will point their fingers and call us names.

[….]

I am completely opposed to this sanctimonious, pseudo-moralistic mumbo jumbo.

They will consistently devalue the actions that keep us connected — taking the text message, responding to the tweets — and they rate our behavior based on the context we are in when the message is responded to, but not the level of our connection with the person at the other end of the relationship. It’s all form and no substance.

Somehow I’m not at all surprised by this split personality we have when it comes to the Web and Technology.