In Telephones and What is Good for Us, Randy Cooper writes about the Amish. My big takeaway was this:
It took all summer for them to decide whether they would have phones. They finally decided against it. And they had two reasons. First, they knew that if they began to use telephones, they would carry out conversations less and less in a face to face manner. Second, if they had telephones, they feared that their children would begin talking more and more exclusively to one another. The decision about telephones was made in light of what was good for the community and for the human word.
As much as I love computers, the Internet, and technology as a whole (although, I’m still not all that fond of phones), I strongly empathize with the Amish here. We strive to create social connections on the Internet, because we seem to have forgotten the ones in our immediate vicinity.