Will Facebook replace face-to-face?
In her November 14 post, Elaine Eschenbacher asks whether new technology creates barriers that further isolate us from each other or whether it can be a tool to draw us closer together. Below is a story about a young man who used the social networking web site MySpace to find and connect people who share an interest in doing work for the common good. Do you think MySpace - and Facebook, Yahoo Groups and other online networks - are the future of organizing? Or do we need some amount of face-to-face interaction in order to do real, sustainable work together?
In this October 29 story in the New York Times, 23-year-old independent filmmaker Chaim Lazaros says he found several people on MySpace who are serious about making their communities cleaner, safer and kinder places. He "knew [he] had to tell the storyâ€? of these "everyday superheroes," and invited as many of them as he could to New York for interviews and to record them for a documentary he is making about a movement he calls Superheroes Anonymous. One of the Superheroes, who fixes faucets and does electrical work for people in need, said he started his work after a friend was hurt by debris that had fallen from scaffolding. â€œI said to myself, if we have to wait around for the city or the mayor to fix everything wrong or dangerous in this city, itâ€™ll never get done.â€? Most of the Superheroes interviewed for the story were from New York; their work includes picking up trash, protecting prostitutes, and helping tourists and others who are lost.