The internet has been fantastically effective in allowing people to communicate. While post and phones and radios did allow communication across distances, they were not as easy and accessible as such things as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Tumblr etc. are.
Social networks have brought together political nations, self defined nations such as Leaf Nation and Ford Nation (both the vehicle and train wreck varieties), political groups, those looking for medical support the list goes on.
And yet while some find their voice, or ‘friends’ beyond number or become ‘Tumblr famous’ others feel even lonelier than ever. Being an introvert or being socially autistic, as Stephen Merchant describes himself in Hello Ladies, seems to carry over even into the social networking sphere.
It is a lonely business to be on social networks and imagine you have friends only to find you were fooling yourself. Rather like Charlie Brown thinking this will be the time he kicks that ball only to have Lucy pull it away again at the last moment.
Social networks do contribute to a more democratic and inclusive way for the world to relate to one another, however, they also contribute to and reinforce the exclusionary nature of cliques. Those of us who always found ourselves on the sidelines continue to find ourselves watching while the cool kids make connections and lifelong friendships.