This is a phrase from Randy Pausch’s famous book “the Last lecture”: when we are connected to others, we become better people. The fact is that man is a social animal. We want to be with others, we want to engage with others, we want to communicate and interact with others. The rules of social engagement and the allowed and offered ways for people interaction are imposed by the given cultural-historical context.
People are determined by the surrounding society and also determine and change society in a mutual way. Place and history and current events co-construct the human fate. Human actions are causing changes in the already modulated historical-cultural social capital to be delivered as a social context for the subsequent generation.
According to this historical-cultural approach, online social networking (facebook etc.) is the result of the appearance of some concurrent factors. Information Society, modern communication technology and infrastructure, social parameters of living in modern crowded big-cities are some of these factors. Modern citizens and adolescents are modulated by social networking and simultaneously are define the dimensions of social internet.
We are humans and we need to be connected to be humans. But what is the role and the place of social networking connectivity in relation with the traditional ways of social interactions that includes human touch? Is virtual experience similar to lived-real world experience? Is it superior? Is it inferior? Is it complementary?
We live our lives in present time. Our life today is hybrid with a virtual and a real-world part. And we don’t know, we cannot now how our life would have been without internet and modern communications technology. So we can’t make comparisons and decide what is best. We have to live in the specific historical-cultural snapshot and cannot do otherwise. May be that’s why we have to understand what is going on, how computer and internet mediation is affecting personal and social psychological processes. How our social mind is changing in the social media era, what are the possibilities, the new horizons and the pitfalls.
In any case biological and cultural development do not occur in isolation. Social interaction and social learning actually lead to cognitive development. May be the same is happening with social networking learning…