According to the Smithsonian, humans started sharing resources around two million years ago. By 800,000 years ago, our ancestors were gathering together around campfires. It took another few hundred thousand years before the first “true” socializing began. 

Like wolves, gorillas, and rats, humans are social creatures. This is defined by things many of us take for granted today, like caring for the sick and elderly, providing food and water, and ensuring that people find shelter. 

Much of that work needs to be paid for today but, within close-knit groups, the things that helped us survive during prehistory still guide us now. 

There’s a problem, though. We’re becoming detached. 

“Less Sociable” 

A survey mentioned by British newspaper The Guardian found that almost half the population only socialize once a month. In the US, a similar figure – 42% – are “less sociable” than in 2019, according to Newsweek. 

This information does conflict with consumer trends. The Think with Google website claims that searches for women’s partywear, places to eat, brunch, and “dresses for wedding guest [sic]” were on the rise in Europe in April 2022. 

Google’s research may be related to a minor rebellion after recent restrictions on going outside. The tech giant indicates that its searches are driven by “emotion”.

In any case, a lack of socializing might be viewed as a crisis, especially considering we invented social media to stay in touch with each other. Ironically, Facebook, Instagram, and X/Twitter have become anything but social in recent years. 

Can of Soup

People-facing industries have been trying to foster interaction for quite some time. For instance, webcams have allowed casinos to add human dealers to their game lobbies, meaning online play suddenly feels more like the brick-and-mortar variety.

Some of the best NJ casino app developers allow players to take this functionality on the go using their smartphones. Roulette, blackjack, 3 card poker, and the game show Dream Catcher can all be played with a real-life presenter.

Social media intends to take things a different way. Using AI, sites like Facebook and Instagram want to improve image sharing by making the creator the center of each piece. Put another way, people can put themselves in “fantastical” pictures, to quote the New York Times.

This is the premise behind Can of Soup, BeFake, and Snapchat’s Dreams, three networks aiming at “hyperconnectivity”. That latter quote, from BeFake’s website, is from a passage hinting at the use of conversational bots to increase socializing.

Town Square

It’s a bit of an unfortunate affair, for a famously social species to resort to artificial intelligence for interaction. Yet, it’s perhaps the only way forward for social networks that seem to have become collections of profiles and businesses rather than a virtual town square.

After the high-profile controversy surrounding Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse, it seems that high-tech ways of talking to each other aren’t a perfect or immediate solution, however.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.