This is an idea that I've been bouncing around for a while and still keep coming back to so I'm going to inflict it upon you (who ever you are).
The premise is simple, over the last few hundred years society has changed drastically (in case you've been in hibernation or something). A few hundred years ago we were mainly rural family/village centred, with the industrial revolution we became urban but remained locally focused (either about jobs or just road/church what ever). As last century progressed the focus has changed again from job to friends who may be much more spread out than previous networks. With the advent of the internet this has become global and based much more upon common interests, for example I could go to most major cities of the world and have crash space through friends I've made juggling.
This is the age of obsession, a lot of people now meet via the internet, its no longer taboo to meet someone from online or even date/marry someone met via IRC or WoW. Now more than ever we can group with people not because we have to but because we want to through common interests.
These groups form a double edged sword on the one hand its utterly possible to realise your not freak for liking Bavarian folk music as played by chinchillas on the other hand the same is true for being a fascist or snuff-film enthusiast. Hopefully the internet will still help people account for this and experience the lovely corrective glow of peer pressure.
While often labeled a bad thing peer pressure is vital, it acts as a normaliser, I'm all for weird but when it is considered normal your get into trouble. This is where peer pressure comes in, those dirty little habits you have don't get worse because of peer pressure - unfortunately it is also through peer pressure that shame for normal things can occur - for example enjoying that most dirty of acts - sex. It still amazes me that people are more worried about sex than seemingly any other act that humans perform on one another.
Anyway I would be very interested to ear whether people think that this new 'Age of the obsessive' will be good bad or indifferent. Personally I think it will be for the better as it will allow people passion that has until recently been frowned upon, I'm sick of hearing "you have too much time on your hands - how else do you do all this fun stuff?" most of the time the answer is simple - I'd rather be messing about learning to program than watching 99% of whats on TV.
Roll on the age of the geek where passion for the strange is respected!