Considering my opinion about this, you can't imagine how bored I was by seeing the Christmas speech of Queen Beatrix, the queen of Holland. She talked about how social networks like Facebook and Hyves are a bad development because it keeps people on a distance and makes people too individual. After that she made a plead for more personal contact.
I understand how much value our Dutch queen has for the PR-value of our country, but a woman who's so old that she's got one foot in the grave should think twice about giving an opinion about new media and the social role it plays in our society. Since I left Holland, instant messaging, social networks and this blog were the only means to stay in contact with my friends and family. Yes, it's more superficial than seeing my friends for real. But thanks to the internet, I stayed in touch with most of them and I could make appointments with them even before I went to Holland.
And our majesty also neglects the good impact of social networks on society. Millions of people all over the world are now connected to each other. They talk to each other, discuss with each other and learn about each other's culture and language. And despite having less time, youngsters nowadays stay more in contact with their friends than ever.
But maybe Beatrix wants us all to go back to the 80's, when people turned into couch potatoes to watch television in their spare time. When we needed to get along with our neighbours. Not because we wanted to but because we were supposed to because they're our neighbours. Far friendships slowly died and people were dependent on their local environment. It was an autistic society compared to now.
Unless you're a total geek, I think everybody understands that nothing beats personal contact. I also understand that and that's why I go back to Holland today. I'm going to have dinner with my parents and drink a few beers with my friends. Because no matter how much I dislike Christmas, this time of the year is a good reason for a party. In my opinion, people should party and enjoy each other's company more. Not only during Christmas, but the whole year through.