I was involved in a discussion recently which was questioning whether the internet was promoting an insular rather than social culture. Does the internet encourage us all to rush home and log onto our computers to engage with our friends through mediums like Facebook, Friends Reunited and Webmail rather than picking up the phone or actually meeting people? Also is this exacerbated further as more and more companies block social media sites at their firewalls?
The answer is probably yes, especially as the cost of internet access is becoming virtually free and in some cases Laptops are being given away as part of the deal. In addition to this with the rise of smart devices like the i-phone more and more people are engaged in their own world whilst travelling to work rather than socialising.
In the future however the internet will probably evolve into a medium where you create a roaming avatar based profile (a graphical representation of yourself) rather than a word formatted one, which will allow your presence to be seen by your entire network as you surf the web (A bit like a travelling Instant Messenger). This will allow a more seamless collaboration as you will no longer need to be on specific sites to collaborate with your contacts as whatever site you a viewing if a friend views the same site you will be able to converse. You may even be able to leave messages for each other on sites you know that you friends will visit. In addition to this you could even interact with the roaming avatars offering help and assistance on the websites you are visiting.