In 1995, Clifford Stoll wrote an interesting analysis of the internet for my favorite magazine, Newsweek. The story titled, “The Internet? Bah! Hype alert: Why cyberspace isn’t, and will never be, nirvana” ends with the argument that human contact is really what’s missing from the “electronic wonderland”.
Stoll has crossed my mind recently, the first time when I ran my second 13.1 Los Angeles Half Marathon. During the race I passed 3 different people using their Blackberry. Two were texting or sending emails and the third was having a serious conversation. One would assume they were just in more shape than I considering they could multitask and all I could do was concentrate on finishing.
More recently, I was fortunate enough to attend Super Bowl XLV in Dallas. A man just two rows ahead of me surfed the web, logged onto Facebook and posted Tweets, all on his iPad throughout the entire game.
Two prime examples of just how euphoric many people find the internet and its ability to provide human contact anytime, anywhere. Perhaps we should change the meaning of “PDA” (Public Display of Affection) to someone who can’t disconnect from their iPhone?