The SharePoint Designer

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Mar 17

CyberSocial or CyberDependant

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It is amazing how we mis-read emotions, gestures, facial expressions and body language. In this day and age of social media and personal technology; we are starting to lose that ability of “real” interaction with members of our species. But on the other side of the coin, we have freed ourselves mentally and we find that even the most introverted of people can explore and grow confidence in this world of Bytes and Binary.

I find myself with so many programs open, Skype, MSN Live Messenger, Twitter (in my case Tweetdeck), Facebook and those same programs are loaded on my phone. Heaven forbid, we are out of contact with cyberspace for more than ten minutes.  When someone doesn’t answer us, we become insecure or annoyed, or if someone mis-speaks, we throw an iFit. But when we are with these people, the conversation barely flows.

There is an old saying “Person + keyboard + anonymity = Asshole” and in many cases it is true, but where we have fallen away from the IRC world of the 1990’s, where we had hundreds of friend who we had never met, to a more personal cyber social circle. We talk to people of similar interests and in most cases we have met or are planning to meet them in real life, we speak to our close friends daily and we find freedom in the knowledge that most people will respond to us as we want / need them too, and it is low / no-cost.

From a relationship point of view, Technology can make or break a relationship. Not many people are as fielded in this area as us ‘Geeks’ and so we see chaos everywhere – FaceBook Divorces – Twitter Custody cases, the list goes on.

But when one partner is overseas, the technology contact is as close as you can get to a real touch. But does that extend to when the person is sitting right beside you? Are you more comfortable speaking with your fingers on a keyboard? It is a harsh thing to have to decide.  And if this is your case, I think you need to go outside and re-introduce yourself to reality.  Does your heart skip the same beat when you see them in person, as it does when your skype notification states they are talking to you?

Do you use the technology as a link, not a life line? Do you depend on people to communicate with you via these technologies or else you get insecure? Or are you using it as a cost effective way to keep in touch.

Are you Cyber-Dependant? Or just a Cyber-User?

Figure that out, then look at your lifestyle. Sometimes real words with a light touch are the best reality, virtual is not supposed to replace it, just assist.


  1. Gary Wilson (earthgecko)No Gravatar

    April 21, 2011


    Interesting question. However, I think if we really evaluate the current paradigm, cyber dependency is the more weighted factor here.

    In order of magnitude:
    1. cyber dependent
    2. cyber user
    3. cyber social

    In fact, if we really evaluate our current, modern, technological paradigm, the evaluation should leads us to pause and reflect, as we realise that our entire modern lifestyle is dependent on technology. Our just in time delivery infrastructures, our commerce, our delivery of critical social infrastructure services, electricity, water, food distribution, etc, etc.

    Although we bask in the wonder of our ingenuity, we really need to wake up to the reality that we have created an incredibly low entrophy system in a high entrophy universe…


    Your sentiments about real world experiences are not amiss in this context. We should indeed be having more real world experiences. Our current paradigm has created a populace that is ill prepared to function without technology.

    Technology panders to “me” and we are enthralled with it, ourselves and virtually everyone else. It is driving our evolution at an INCREDIBLE rate and making us more dependent on it at every step.

    We are losing so many “civilising” skills at a wholesale rate. Skills which got us to this point. Those are loses we really cannot afford, as we may may indeed need those skills again at some point in the future.

    Although, liberating, fascinating, entralling and wonderful, we should not lose sight of the fact on a cosmic scale, we are still insignficant and our technology is vulnerable too possible overt failure from vectors that have not even been thought of yet.

    It is a comment 😉

  2. NatalieNo Gravatar

    June 19, 2011


    Excellent article and easy to understand explanation. How do I go about getting permission to post part of the article in my upcoming news letter? Giving proper credit to you the author and link to the site would not be a problem.

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