Having a virtual freinds and tchating with people that you'v never seen before is something scaring, why for most of the people their "virtual life" is much important and interesting then the real one? Do we need to prove our existance through the social networks?
Communicating online is, to me, just another social skill like writing letters and using the telephone. Still, I agree that too much time online is unhealthy for a person's overall social development, so it's necessary to get out of the house and meet people in person. It's convenient and easy to go online, but it ought to have its limits.
If you're in a situation which isolates you, then I guess you'd tend to go online more just for human contact.
I have a little personal rule to avoid using my phone when I'm out with other people, unless it's an activity that includes them as well (such as taking photos or sharing information).
The internet permits you to access so many different hubs of information. It's so easy to manipulate! That being said... social networking has consumed people and this is why it's become an integral part of many peoples lives. Potentially...this isn't a negative; reality of the matter is that it really changes how people connect with each other and I fear it is a bigger issue than not. Learning who are people through text is somewhat a glimpse into their mind, but it doesn't beat the experience of who they portray themselves as in the flesh. Talking to a sometimes faceless stranger with only their words to judge them can be a scary thing, certainly. If you never plan to meet them, why does it matter? Humans want socialization, the internet provides an easy method of fulfillment. Generally speaking, we want acceptance; we want worthiness; to feel part of something. Why not find it online? It's really at the tips of your fingers. It's sad though, as much as I love technology, I don't see many kids outside playing with their friends compared to when I was a kid.
Peachey, I like your rule !
I suppose that there are some people who get problems with their social skills. when we are at home we feel safe; when we are outside we can feel fear about showing people how really we are. It is a strange situation...
I prefer knowing people face to face but I recognize that if we want to talk to people from other countries then this is the faster way.
In Taiwan, there are not so many people can meet other people from different countires if we would like to expend our horizon, the best way is to access virtual world.
If you like to make some friends from other countries, perhaps we can exchange knowledge or daily life. (^-^)