Check out Jaron Lanier's new book: You are not a Gadget: A Manifesto... another one of my heroes, is one of the fathers of Virtual Reality. He actually coined the term. His new book discusses the impact of Web 2.0 and Growing up Digital on our culture. some excerpts via AlwaysON:
“Something started to go wrong with the digital revolution around the turn of the twenty-first century. The World Wide Web was flooded by a torrent of petty designs sometimes called web 2.0. This ideology promotes radical freedom on the surface of the web, but that freedom, ironically, is more for machines than people. Nevertheless, it is sometimes referred to as the 'open culture.'
“Anonymous blog comments, vapid video pranks, and lightweight mashups may seem trivial and harmless, but as a whole, this widespread practice of fragmentary, impersonal communication has demeaned interpersonal interaction. Communication is now often experienced as a superhuman phenomenon that towers above individuals. A new generation has come of age with reduced expectation of what a person can be, and who each person might become.”
If you're in tech (heck, even if you're not!) and you don't know Jaron, get to know him. He's a pioneer and his mind continues to create new and unexplored territory... fertile plains of thought.