In my sociology classes this semester at Northampton, I have adapted the this David Brooks article "The Experience Economy" to discuss the economic impact- or lack thereof- of our society's fascination and consumption of immaterial online social networks and recreational technological toys. It has produced a measurable response of thougthful astonishment and consternation in my students.
I urge you to read Brooks' piece in its entirety as some of its stats are fascinating. One of the many illuminating points from his piece explains that our technological fetishes may satiate a certain individual desire but it does nothing to wholly improve our institutional productiveness. In other words, my blogging or your reading about it may make us feel good and, perhaps, with a good post, even more enlightened. But for overall economic stability, infrastructure expansion and long term improvement in the quality of our lives, we are essentially pissing our future away.
So stop reading this and go produce a tangible widget that will create jobs for our economy. Money can't buy you love but free online socialization doesn't do a whole lot either.
PS: Full disclosure, I aspire to be as handsome and professional as David Brooks except maybe I would sport a Kangol and a Public Enemy t-shirt.