Tech Encounters – Oct 9th

Today’s technology: facebook games.

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time playing games on facebook.  They fall into two categories: 1) games that require constant attention for a short period of time, and 2) games that require only occasional attention spread out over longer periods of time.  As I usually have more than one game going at a time, I can provide myself with constant engaging distraction.

These games are for me a kind of escape.  They’re no different than zoning out in front of the TV or curling up with a good romance novel: they probably don’t really add anything to my life, and part of me wonders why I’m “wasting” my time with them.  But with any escape, the idea is to forget something for a little while.

As the games are on facebook, there is still a kind of interaction with others involved.  For example, in one of my games (Cafe World), actual friends of mine are “neighbors,” and they come eat at my cafe regularly.  What I find myself wondering from time to time is: why aren’t we eating together at a real cafe?  I feel like this is something we should be doing instead, but I am not sure that it really is the case.  This is, I think, part of “old person thinking,” where I assume on some level that interactions mediated by something like the internet must be somehow superficial and therefore inferior to “real life.”  In truth I wind up interacting with people through facebook I would rarely get to see or spend time with because they don’t live in my immediate area.

But still, I can’t help but wonder: as connected as young people today are supposed to be, do they miss something by being so involved in these unrealistic online worlds?  Are they learning to read and express body language?  Can they hold a sustained conversation without the disjointed pauses that often accompany online chat?  Although I have been spending more time around teenagers lately, those I know seem to have limited access to electronic technologies as compared to what we’re reading and talking about.  I have the feeling that either my experience is just not broad enough to know whether my concerns are legitimate or not, or technology isn’t as ubiquitous as some people think.

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2 Comments

  1. Robin said,

    October 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Good questions

  2. Robin said,

    October 26, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Now for my actual opinion. I think that teenagers aren’t as immersed in technology as we think they are. That is what WE are afraid of.


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