Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Reading related comparison contrast essay: “Social networking in the 1600’s”, Level ** reading tasks
As a social species whose survival, welfare and overall happiness depend on staying together, cooperating and looking out for each other, an age when there was no social networking is unimaginable. No man is an island and team work often brings out the best in mankind. Communication as a community also has many social, psychological and even educational and political advantages and this has always been the case. ‘Social networking’, in other words, is far from being a new phenomenon; the only thing that has happened is that there have been some changes over the years in certain practical aspects though the basic tenets have remained very much the same. There are far more similarities than differences between 17th century social networking and the modern day version.

The basic features of social networking were very much the same in the 1600’s although the venue was the coffee house rather than cyber space. The coffee houses in the period, the equivalent of the modern World Wide Web, were the accepted meeting place for people from all walks of life from ministers and great scientists to simple workmen. There, everyone was encouraged to talk to each other, discuss the latest developments both in the country and in science and listen to each other respectfully; very similar to modern day chat rooms. Penny universities as coffee houses were then called were venues for lectures and talks delivered to the public by the great thinkers of the time – think ted talks, courser, udacity or colingo. A lot of people also used coffee houses to receive post rather like e-mail accounts today. In fact it was this system that made the Reformation possible in Germany; not to mention Lloyds and the London Stock Exchange

The basic principles of social networking have remained very much the same; the only thing that has changed is the venue. Gone are the coffee houses which have been replaced by cyber space which has, in turn, enabled the whole world to become one big coffee house or ‘penny university.’ Social networking now involves the whole world where anyone can communicate with anyone else albeit by Skype or via Google hang out. Face to face communication is out and technology assisted communication is in. Technology enables us to do wonderful things now like holding board meetings across continents, remotely treating patients and communicate on a scale hitherto unimaginable.  Yet if one looks carefully, one will quickly see that the basic principles stand firm.

To sum up, there always has been and there always will be social networking although the practical aspects may change. People will continue to benefit from sharing ideas and theories, discussions and cooperation, as team work is in our nature. Time and new developments will continue to transform various aspects of social networking in the future but it won’t disappear.

Provided by: The Oracle

1 comment:

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