I am not certain people still believe that the Internet is leading all of us into greater and greater isolation. I would argue just the opposite. As the Internet evolves it is promoting a new connected-ness through social networking channels like MySpace and Facebook.
I created a MySpace page for the ASAA in 2005 with the thought using it as way to get more people to visit our various web sites. Looking at the stats as far back as they go that site has generated only a couple hundred referrals.
I have spent time, as many people do, pursuing friends and the list has grown to over 400. Of course, this pales in comparison with the number of friends popular actors and musical groups have for their pages.
I can usual count on a new friend request every couple of days and I enjoy "commenting" on their page with one of my two standard comments... sometimes there is more behind the snore or happy PSGing. The list of my friends includes many apneics and family members of those with apnea, but included are also many RPGSTs and sleep techs (hence the reference to PSG).
From time to time I answer questions and provide in some small way encouragement for those with OSA. Mostly, MySpace is a perch for me to observe a small portion of humanity... a portion that I have something in common with.
Am I "connected" with these people? The cynic would argue it is, in a false sense. Anyone can write anything they want about themselves or others and there is no easy way to confirm what they written. While that may be the case for some, that is not what I see when I read the entries.
While it is not likely that I will meet more than just a few of my friends from MySpace and most will remain just words and pictures on a computer screen. I feel I am part of a community, perhaps more as an observer and as such not entirely alone.
Busy week ahead... I'll be back.