In his book, NetSmart, How to Thrive Online, Howard Rheingold writes a chapter on how “Social Has a Shape” and explores the ramifications of the social aspect of the internet on our social lives. Many argue we are losing our social ability for the sake of computer screens and minimalized contact online. But the above quote really got me thinking. We have both extroverts and introverts in both physical social circles and online as well. Online, they tend to be what I call net-roverts. The ones who aren’t completely against the use of the internet and social media, but they really don’t want to get into it too far for a variety of reasons. They are the ones who still have an egg for thier Skype image or an outline on facebook. The lurkers or the newbies that don’t know what to do so they have the account but really, the tool sits still in their hands.
The point is, it takes work to be online and connect. A LOT of work. You must keep up with the newest waves of technology and know when to let a sinking ship sink or when to jump to the next bandwagon. You have to be willing to put yourself out there in order to use the tools and all the more so to use them well. It doesn’t take less to be connected online- it just takes the same effort in a new way.
Text from Netsmart, How to Thrive Online by Howard Rheingold, 2012.