Last spring institute our class reflected on Deresiewicz’s article: “The End of Solitude”. Reading Benkler’s final section of chapter 10 – Social Ties: networking together brought to mind what wonderful discourse the two could have over coffee, and wouldn’t I love to be a fly on the wall in that coffee-house!

Essentially, Deresiewicz prescribes to the notion that engagement online or with other technological platforms is not meaningful, reflective, or creative … and by extension marks a shift in human nature from selfless, community conscious individuals to one driven by visibility. I suspect Benkler would question Deresiewicz’s thoughts regarding the impact of online connectivity on the youth of the Web 2.0 era, and the social networks they form.

Yes, Web 2.0 has changed the digitally connected individual and how they interact in their social spheres. However, people still function holding the core underlying drive of survival and sociability … which encompasses motivations such as safety and affiliation, alongside effectance – just as we have for ages.

Much has changed, but much is still the same. Some things are lost, but some things are gained. Is this not just the evolutionary nature of social networks?