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Does Social Networking Miss Out on the Human Element?

I’m missing something.

I don’t know what.  But it’s not something that is being satisfied by the usual, “engagement online”.  The twittering, the facebook, the email, all of it, I just don’t want any of it… I want the conversations with people, not the “virtual” interaction with someone.

There was a time, when I believed we could just do away with the human element of interaction for the most part.  We have the essence of all those communications, being exchanged, and communicated through the electronic forms, from avatars, and virtual representations in second life, to the thoughts and ideas being communicated across the spectrum via email, twitter, SMS, Facebook, IM.. The list goes on and on..

But I don’t think you can just swap one for the other.

I don’t think you can fundamentally replace the human engagement and interaction with something virtual and non-physical.. Why do I say that?? Because I feel that “lack”.. I feel what it’s like to be disconnected, and not have an outlet for expressing oneself as a person, as a human, as yourself.. Without having to type at 30 words per minute, or speak into a mic, and try to pretend that you can communicate the fullness of being in an electronic form.  It just doesn’t work.  You can’t do it.

There is something there, in taking the time to be with people, to be in the company of people, and to just chill with people that we can’t get through the technology.  It’s actually something that you can pretend doesn’t matter to you, but it most definitely cannot be replaced.  Just this evening, I was going through one of those “moments”.  You know those moments, when you decide that you don’t really want to continue down the path or road that you’re currently on, and you desperately wish you had someone to talk to?? (Oh, you don’t experience times like that?  Guess that’s just me then ;)

I had just gotten to a point where I needed more than just people who shared ideas, and concepts, and work, and life.. I wanted to just chill, to relax, to unwind.. To have friends I could call upon and just talk to, and let it out of my system, and know that they understand, and will just be there for me..

It’s gotten me thinking all about what am I missing?? What am I getting from this electronic twittering, and blogging, and facebooking… Why am I doing it? Why do I care??

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