Web 2.0: Killing U Softly
Which is something that puts Web 2.0, "Second Life," and the whole concept of a 24/7 online existence in a darker perspective. If you're spending all your time meeting people on the Web, attending virtual events, and ensuring you are au fait with your Internet buddies' activities, you're less likely to be ensuring you eat right, get some exercise, and actually keep up with people in the real world.
I don't need to look far for evidence that long periods spent in front of a computer can be damaging to your health. I just need to look at my feet -- when I can see them, that is. It's hard to imagine that another few hours each night in front of my Mac would improve the situation.
But perhaps it won't matter so much on Web 2.0, because you'll still have a buff avatar and you can photoshop any images you choose to reveal to the world. Certainly the advertisers now trying to figure out how to make money out of the revitalized wave of Internet content -- user-generated and otherwise -- aren't going to worry too much. As long as you make it past 35, that is -- then you'll be out of their prime demographic anyway. (Although ad-makers might want to ponder who'll breed the next generation of consumers if we're all too socially inept to hook up in the real world.)
There's a possibility that wireless devices and mobility might help to bring Second Life shut-ins blinking into the sunlight. After all, it's easier to go for a walk with a cellphone than a PC. I wouldn't lay money on it, however, mobility is probably just a useful way to ensure than you're never really offline ever again. — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung