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Search Engines VS Socializing -- Why Social Interactions are Less Necessary Than Before

Updated: Feb 18



On a computer screen, a skull.

The Screen vs. Reality


There is this common argument against "screentime", or simply against being in front of a computer/phone/tablet screen for long periods of time. According to this argument, usually directed at the younger generations, some people spend more time online than they should, and that online time isn't good because it harms our mental health.


Other factors are included, like radiation exposure and real-life social isolation. Furthermore, there is also the claim in that argument, that people should spend more time outside instead, hanging out with others and socializing (which is only one part of human communication).


The point of this article will regard mainly the claims that can be relevant to looking up things online, instead of speaking with others, like in the days before the internet was so much more accessible.

The Rise of the Autodidact: The Digital Revolution's Effect On Knowledge and Human Interaction


While some may view my lack of interest in socializing as a deficiency, I argue that the internet has fundamentally altered information gathering, making reliance on social interaction for knowledge acquisition increasingly unnecessary. That's because today, the internet remains the world's largest archive of knowledge.


In the past, our knowledge was primarily limited to physical sources like books, newspapers, and conversations. The internet, however, has become an unmatched, ever-expanding source of information, accessible to anyone with a basic understanding of a global language like English. This vast resource, constantly enriched by creators like myself, allows individuals to become self-taught in virtually any subject. That's as long as they are literate. As such, a way to further unleash the human potential in an optimal way, is to aspire to universal literacy, and not just to having internet access.


This shift in knowledge access, has significantly impacted the role of social interaction in knowledge gathering. While engaging in conversation can offer valuable insights and perspectives, the immense diversity of information available online overcomes what any individual or group can provide. This convenience and efficiency explain the increased screen time observed today.


I would argue that a lack of social inclination in such an information age is merely a deficency or an abnormality just because most of the world's internet users may be busy busy chatting with each other on social media platforms, rather than enriching their knowledge online (like reading Philosocom articles of course).


Indeed, social interaction has lost some of its informational value compared to the pre-internet era. Previously, personal networks and traditional media were the primary sources of information. Today, the internet offers a far wider range of perspectives and data, from international websites to educational videos. This shift has undoubtedly diminished the necessity of social interaction for knowledge exchange.


You no longer require friends just to gain insights you can find by looking up online. You no longer need certain human experiences that once were considered part of a successful person's life. Back in the 2000's, being constantly online was as equivalent to "having no life". But today, many teenagers already "have no life" as their social isolation grows and becomes normative. It seems like being face-to-face with other human beings will only go down with time.


I attribute my own mastery of the English language to my extensive screen time. While traditional classes helped a bit, the internet provided me with an accessible platform for self-learning, and serving the development my philosophy of hermitage. I now own this site and and an organized followership behind it.


The internet has also challenged the need for traditional debate formats. Individuals can now rely on credible online sources to understand the complexities of a topic. So, you don't really need physical forums and debates other than recreational purposes. Competitive debates are such examples when you turn an information exchange into sports. This offers a more efficient and direct approach to knowledge acquisition.


While formal education remains important for certification it's important to know that knowledge and merit do not have to depend upon degrees and certificates. It's known as the degree fallacy. With the internet, academic credentials are not the sole evidence of high intelligence.


The claim that humans are inherently social creatures is a generalization. While extensive isolation can undoubtedly have negative consequences, one can embrace solitude without resorting to extreme measures, like living off-grid. Additionally, having an online presence doesn't equate to social interaction, as true social engagement requires consistent and meaningful interaction with others.


Finally, the often-cited link between internet use and mental health issues is not necessarily a direct correlation. While some may struggle with internet addiction, it's important to recognize that not everyone who spends time online experiences mental health challenges, and not everyone who has mental health challenges, is addicted to the internet. As such we need to detect if there is a necessary connection between cause and effect, before establishing the notion that there is one.


In conclusion, the internet has revolutionized the way we access and acquire information, making social interaction for knowledge gathering increasingly redundant. It's also known as the same--result problem. While human connection remains important for personal growth, emotional well-being and romantic relationships, the internet's vast resources and accessible learning opportunities no longer require social interaction to be the platform of information exchange.

How the Internet Allowed Me to Become a Hermit Philosopher


In Israel, fluency in English is celebrated, particularly due to the limited proficiency of many native Hebrew, Arabic, and Russian speakers. When fellow Israelis inquire about my English skills, my answer is simple: it's a direct result of my extensive online journeys as I consume content inaccessible to many Israelis due to language barriers. However, in the 2020's, English is becoming more popular, making Israel the most English speaking country in the middle east.


While some might label my internet usage as an addiction, I embrace it as the catalyst for my personal and growth, that allows me to work on Philosocom day and night, and maintain my followership organization behind this website.


The internet, in its vastness and diversity, has shaped me into the individual I am today. A very solitary man but also a dedicated writer and thinker for humanity. I dare say that my life would be vastly different, potentially less fulfilling, if I prioritized face-to-face interactions to a greater extent. If I did so, perhaps my overall performance on Philosocom today would've been compromised.


No further social circles are necessary for my empire. I am forging our own path and discover personal and collective fulfillment in solitude. It's time to acknowledge the value of solitude beyond the bias of loneliness, recognizing that introspection and self-exploration can be just as enriching as social interaction.


And not only for ourselves or for our friends but also for humanity at large, for years to come.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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