I still remember in middle school when the internet was new. My friends and I would get together at an Internet Cafe to ... chat to one another online (using YM or this super old interface called MIRC, I don't even know if it still exists). It is really amusing now that I think about it, but back then, that was trendy. I guess by chatting online, we could say a lot of things that we were not able to say it face to face or through telephones. We connected better with classmates who chatted with us often, and grew apart from others who we used to talk on the way biking to school. Sadly.
After that, emails, and chat tools become less important. Facebook, MySpace and Twitter allows us to share so much more. They assist us well in the learning of others. For example, if my schedule doesn't allow me to get online for a week, I could stilll find out what my friends have been doing by checking their Facebook or Twitter, from their status updates to their photo uploads. I realize how much I care about someone by how often I look at their profiles, etc. On the same token, the best way to disconnect with someone for a while is by disconnecting from the person from your Facebook, not by deleting their phone numbers or stopping seeing them. All you have to do is to ....intentionally lose his/her Facebook. The sites give us the power to pick and choose who, when, how and at what degrees we can connect. When our perceptions of the world change, we go on these sites and change our profile picture, status or information thinking that would change how others view us. When we crave for solitude, we stop sending messages and start changing our privacy settings. We seem to have the power to manage the complexity of our minds through Facebook's profile layouts or Twitter's 140 characters. I guess that said enough about the importance of these sites to our lives nowadays.
Today, Kaila Colbin posted a great article on MediaPost about social networking and how search marketing can take advantages of the understanding of human behaviors. As the cycle of "connect, abandon, connect, abandon" goes on, we continuously seek for a better tool to interact with others. I am really curious about what's after Facebook and Twitter :)