How the internet changes relationships?

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First, welcome to the new year!. May it be filled with good health, happiness, and the realization of your dreams.

Second, I’ve been planning on starting a blog for quite some time, to share with you the many things I discuss with colleagues, clients, writers/editors, students, association and corporate audiences, interns, etc., and there’s no better time than the start of a new year. So, here goes. I look forward to many insightful conversations!

Someone recently asked me, “How has the Internet changed relationships?†We brainstormed on the many ways the Internet is changing our lives and how we communicate with one another, and considered what future implications and directions might be. As with all technologies, it’s not all good or bad; the issue is how do we harness the trends to improve our lives.
Thus, the issue is; What’s changing from a psychological, social and business perspective?

Here are a few trends I’ve noticed.
1. We’re always connected. On the positive side, it’s now possible to stay in touch with people with whom you want to be connected. You can monitor and communicate with aging parents and children. It’s easier now to reach out and converse with a friend who may live half-way around the world as well as your local group of friends. Portable devices allow is to access news, opinions, advertisements, music, op-eds etc., anywhere and anytime. On the negative side, we’re losing some of the quiet time or “slack†in our routine; our sphere of “personal privacy†is shrinking as our purchases, responses, comments reveal aspects of our lives.
2. Our access to information has skyrocketed. We can access facts, statistics, definitions, photos, movies, opinions (blogs),news, lesson-plans, company descriptions, resumes, medical information, etc., within seconds. Ignorance is no longer an excuse.
3. Quality of care, such as health care, is increasing exponentially with increased access of medical records, second opinions and long-distance medical advice, monitoring of vital signs, and new methods of cost-controls.
4. People are relating directly with institutions, cutting out the middle “middle-menâ€. For instance, organizational control of information is giving way to social media’s empowerment of individuals for civic journalism (blogs), people’s discontent and resistance to governments (Twitter and Facebook) and whistle-blowing. People are taking on greater responsibilities for their lives as they interact directly through on-line banking, investing and purchasing.

Which of these issues are most relevant to you? How the internet is changing your relationships and others? As the internet’s role in our lives continues to increase, what other transformations should we expect?

Someone once said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. So, let’s get busy!