My recent exploration of the social world that is inside my computer has lead to reconnecting with friends I never expected to see or talk to again. This has opened my eyes to some of the wonder that I had shunned before.
What I would always say is "If all our communication is online won't that ultimately lead to a depersonalization of ALL communication?" Before I felt the answer was yes... now I have a new answer, "maybe." It all depends on how we use these tools.
I could try and come up with an analogy for this but we will just stick with what it is. I still feel that personal communication is a necessity, however I now see that there is also value in the mass communication (Tweets, status updates, etc...). Which is worse, not talking to someone or just sending out a message for all to see. I would say now that not sharing is worse.
So this leads to something that just happened. I had many old friends, (good friends that drifted away), many of which I could not remember their last names or even sometimes there first names. Friends I last spoke to between 2 and 10 years ago. I was looking around on Facebook and remembered someones last name. I found them, invited them to be my friend, and found more and more.
It is good to see them, good to know a little about their lives, and share a little about mine. Even open the door to possibility of seeing them in person again. This is what you lose by not using this tool. You can keep people informed with much less effort which leads to much MORE communication. Even if the bulk of that communication involves a less personal means the end result is more personal communication. That is a good thing, if it is used carefully.