Today more and more persons are choosing to communicate via social networking sites. In digital spaces like facebook you have the sense you have all your friends together in a cyber-neighborhood. One consequence of this is that someone feels no need to call his/her friends and meet them for a drink or dinner, to see each other and discuss in a time-spatial proximity. If I feel I see my friends on facebook, then there is no need to meet them. I have already learned their news in “minifeed”. I read the wall posts. I know they are good and healthy, so there is no need for more intimate contact. So virtual intimacy is growing by reducing direct contact.
The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that we are facing a totally different quality of communication and sociality. There is a lack of direct body contact which is replaced by virtual contact, characterized by different qualities. This has significant results in the area of individual’s psychology and in the ways of social interaction and communication. The hybrid new environment combines virtual and direct social contact. Due to this there is a transformation of psychological functions in the area of conception, imagination, memory, emotions, cognitive procedures and mental functions, as well as learning processes. This transformation of psychological mechanisms can be compared to the transformation due to the transition from oral to literate societies.
Nowadays being wired in the social networking’s cyberspace means to be physical separated by the means of direct contact. Cyber wired but physical disconnected resulting in a different quality of intimacy. Body contact, smell and feromones were always a significant way of moving from individuality to humanity, from individual to person. For thousands of years human psychological mechanisms were developed without literacy and virtuality. The last few thousand years literacy dramatically changed our mental horizons. Virtuality in the last few years may be is changing our route in a way that will be understood in the future by the next fully digital generation.
This is not science but I beleive time and spatial closeness is the key to strong, intimate and health providing personal relations. Be wired results to be physical disconnected, results to be not touched, literally and metaphorically.