It’s actually an important, but unresolved, question.
I am as enthusiastic about social networking technologies and their ability to connect us with friends and colleagues all over the planet as the next person, but Marc Van Eeckhoudt just sent me an article that is sobering at best, and actually more than a little disturbing.
It’s just been published in Biologist, a British magazine: “Well Connected? The Biological Implications of Social Networking.”
The core message in the article: more and more people are becoming “loners,” and that’s really dangerous for their health. Unfortunately it is not clear from this article whether or not people who rely primarily on electronic means of communication can overcome those health risks.
I’m really not sure after reading the article if collaborative technologies are a way to overcome social isolation, or if they may in fact be a primary cause of it.