As if email, browsing the web, playing games, and checking Facebook weren't enough, I keep learning about new ways to spend time online. I've joined the social networks on Google+ and Linkedin (never actually go on either), looked at Twitter (too immediate for me), joined Pinterest (might prove worthwhile), and took a look at Prezi and Glogster.
It's pretty obvious what's happening. Our connectivity is great fun, has lots of potential, can even be addicting. But it also can leave us without personal contact - in a very real sense, virtually isolated.
Project ten years into the future - will we have even more ways to connect virtually? Most certainly yes. Will we as a human race be better off because of it? Hmm - I'm less certain.
I'm convinced we need face to face contact with people, real live people with quirks and strengths and smelly feet, in order to learn to care for each other. We need to get out of our home and walk through the woods and climb a hill and find crayfish under rocks in order to care about our earth. When we as a human race are faced with problems that demand ingenuity, perseverance, and collaborative effort - huge problems like rising sea levels, food distribution, water shortages - what experience will our future leaders draw on?
I'd have more faith in someone who spent their youth building a tree house with 3 friends than someone who sat on a chair and played virtual games. And I have no faith in people whose parents kept them from assuming their responsibilities. But maybe I'm just showing my age.