In her article, Someone to Watch Over Me (on a Google Map), Theodora Stites describes how she is willing to trade human contact, for virtual relationships. She praises the various types of social networks such as Facebook, Myspace, Match, Friendster that allow you to connect to your friends at any time and avoid any awkward social interaction. Stites further acknowledges how each site has a unique and specific purpose when she socializes with other people online and in real life. For example Dodge ball network is used to locate others with her cell phone and IM to communicate with friends. In another network called Second Life, you can live your life virtually and without any confrontation in person. These social networks have become so popular that people’s normal lives revolve around this virtual world. However, the use of multiple social networks decreases the amount of privacy one has and can eventually transform people to computer dependents who become frightened of confrontation.
People in today’s world can’t live without all the online networks and that creates less social interaction which leads to awkwardness when confrontation is needed. To me Stites shows that online network is her life and she describes how she wishes she could sign out at a social party. For example, I myself have faced social awkwardness of a classmate that we used facebook to have conversations to know each other more as friends but we never met in person to talk. Next, one day I asked her to meet in person and we did, but the problem was that she was unable to talk to me and could only stand awkwardly next to me. After all, the problem of the awkward silence was that we never had social interaction and we relied on facebook to have a conversation. That’s why people tend to use online conversations to overcome the anxiety that is caused when they meet in person.
People who spend all their time interacting with others through the Internet lose out on important friendships