One thing from chapter 5 of Rheingold’s “Net Smart” that struck a chord with me was when Rheingold is describing his parent-friend who complained they didn’t know their children’s friends any more simply because they had cell phones and didn’t need to call the house. I can remember, up until I was about 17 or 18, that that’s how things were done. You wanted to talk to your friend or the girl you liked, you called their house, probably talked to their parents or one of their siblings and asked for them. It was almost always awkward, unless you really knew their family. These days, as Rheingold describes, are a lot different. People hardly even talk on cell phones any more because of texting and Facebook. I used to really enjoy it that way because it cut out the awkwardness. At some point, though, I realized vocally talking to your friends isn’t all that bad, especially when a lot of your good friends have moved away, some of them across the country.
I can also remember AOL chat rooms. And if I really wanted to show my age, I could tell you about Prodigy chat rooms as well. I would find NBA chat rooms or Pro. Wrestling chat rooms and chat with random people all over the world. Funny to me, how THAT is even dated now. Are there still even chat rooms? Facebook and Twitter have overtaken AOL and even MySpace which was seemingly the innovative and original giant. As far as I know (I recently deleted my MySpace account) a lot of people still use it, but mostly they’re for bands and movie promoters. Do your friends still use it? Mine don’t.