How does technology change our relationship to each other?

I’m just thinking about how communication technology changes behavior and how we relate to each other.

We have talked about why vlogging is popular; we have discussed why your blog is necessary. They both boil down to communication – you are connecting with other human beings, mostly people that you do not personally know or perhaps have never met face-to-face.

Yet you feel as if you can know, like and trust this virtual stranger.

How will we relate to each other in the future as vlogging, blogging, paying bills online, seeing recent pictures of your grandchildren on Facebook,  (and some say Virtual Reality) become more standard?

I recall many road trips as a child wherein some hotels would advertise “wireless internet” to the thousands of passing cars along the highway. This was a draw for potential guests since not every hotel had it then (some still don’t). However, now the internet is a utility, the internet is just as much expected to be at a hotel as is running water or a bed.

What will these cultural shifts do to us or for us?

The format of communication seems to change the way we view the other person. Let me explain what I mean.

When movies were king, seeing Clark Gable on a 30 foot screen was the most fascinating thing ever. According to film star Robert Wagner in his autobio, Pieces of My Heart, you never expected to see these luminaries of the silver screen in real life.

Fast forward and television is taking attention away from film. People do not have to put on their shoes and go out the door to see famous people; everything is right there on a box in the living room. Wagner says that, because of this format, TV stars were considered more homey and relate-able, people who seem as if they could be your neighbors. (Mr.  Rogers, anyone?)

I wonder, then, what mobile devices have done to our view of other people. If you can have your entertainment or communication in the palm of your hand, do you feel as if you own the show?

Because the communication is now a two-way street, lots of feedback coming from readers or viewers of the content, do they feel as if they know the person? Do they feel better reflected or represented?

It might be too early to tell.

I’m just thinking through some stuff. You can’t have this seismic shift in communication – this heavy internet use- and not change culture, and not effect our relationship to each other.

What do you think?