Being alone, together

According to the New York Times, US Americans spend more time than ever consuming media – alone.

The US census bureaus 2007 statistical abstract says that time spent with information and entertainment media increased to 3,543 hours last year from 3,340 hours in 2000, and is projected to rise to 3,620 hours in 2010. The time spent within each category varied, with less on broadcast television (down to 679 hours in 2005 from 793 hours in 2000) and on reading in general, and more using the Internet (up to 183 hours from 104 hours) and on cable and satellite television.

Sociologist Robert Putnam says: “The distinctive effect of technology has been to enable us to get entertainment and information while remaining entirely alone. That is from many points of view very efficient. I also think it’s fundamentally bad because the lack of social contact, the social isolation means that we don’t share information and values and outlook that we should.”

Interesting that the growth of MMORPGs and products like Second Life now allows us to be alone together.

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