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Harriet Hart questions information technology’s role in communication

Harriet with her fountain pen | Photo: Trish Carn

I recently quit the popular networking site Facebook. When asked why I explain how it encouraged me to be nosy, to spend hours pouring my attention and energy into an electronic interface, to maintain relationships in a way that required the least time and the least effort. I had begun to find that the magnetic draw of the computer was irresistible – getting back in the evening the first thing I’d do was turn my laptop on, any research was punctuated by pointless browsing of other people’s profiles and every long interaction left me a little numb. I began to question who was in charge – the machine or me? My withdrawal has frustrated a few of my friends – it saddens me to think that this potentially superficial networking site has become the main mode of communication among my generation and it leads me to question how our mode of communication affects our relationships and our attitudes towards them.

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