Does that headline seem familiar? It might. It’s the headline I wrote for today’s story in USA TODAY. (I did not, however, edit the online story.) Didn’t read it? That’s OK. I’ll recap and link: Men’s Health, with the help of Rodale Inc., is reporting that Washington, D.C., is the top socially networked city in the country!
The exclamation point there is just a result of an extra cup of coffee on a rainy day — not actual surprise. It makes sense that the one U.S. city where reach and influence is everything that every person would be wired in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and beyond. (“My 140 crappy characters will change this world! I know it!” ~Insert name of unknown congressman here.)
El Paso appears to be the least wired-in city, with research suggesting that residents have a high rate of job satisfaction. The USA TODAY story quotes psychologist and MIT professor Sherry Turkle who says El Paso residents could simply be happier with their off-line lives.
From the story:
“When people are gratified and fulfilled in their face-to-face interactions, when these satisfy their desire for connection, for gossip, for feeling wanted and plugged in, they don’t need to feel technologically plugged in,” Turkle says.
It’s a shame this story couldn’t have been longer because Turkle touches on a question I wrestle with daily: Would I be so plugged in if I were happier and more connected in the physical world? I think that’s something everyone should ask themselves from time to time, especially as digital networks continue to expand and permeate our lives.
Would we be happier without Facebook? Twitter? Digg? Reddit? Etc.?