On social networking…

Social networking is the fog we use to confuse our relationships and obscure our antisocial habits. Thoughts?

About Gospel X

Media commentator who tries not to waste time - and often fails

Posted on December 20, 2011, in real life, technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m not sure what you mean by confuse our relationships. Could you give an example?

    Social Networking (SN) has begun to grow up. It’s been a while since I’ve heard people comparing the number of friends they have. I can’t find Facebook’s poke feature. The relevance of data mining that network is obvious to everyone following technology and SN, which has led to advancements in filtering, status-update recommendations for feeds. All in all, it’s magic allowing us to follow and keep up with friends, family, and coworkers. I think each network exhibits different properties. Someone online provided a sentiment similar to: Facebook makes me hate people I know, Twitter makes me love people I’ve never met. The status-update length and follow mechanism (mutual acknowledgement?) create different ether’s for information to pass through them. I think of Facebook like glue for my far-reaching social network, greases communication with some of my inner-circle. It keeps me prep’d for running into folks and email ice breaker’s. Twitter is more like exploratory multi-media for topics of interest. There is definitely overlap, but not a lot.

    To your point, I don’t think SN is obscuring anti-social habits. Facebook has successfully created an environment where social interaction has never been easier. Just press the ‘like’ button. Shout out Happy Birthday or Congrats, they’ll even remind you of birthdays. Move on to the next update. The asynchronous, public, often one-way communication isn’t a conversation. With the exception of the luddites saying technology-is-ruining-the-world or making people dumb, few seem to be complaining about it. It’s hard to call that anti-social when it’s the easiest path for a society that wants to keep up with everything but doesn’t have the time. With 800 million users it looks like we’re all participating. We’re all engaged, even if just partially. David Weinberger (Berkman Center for Internet and Society) suggested society is taking on the characteristics of networked media: Shorter, faster, hyperlinked. http://si.umich.edu/newsandevents/jsb-symposium-david-weinberger

    Two reasons we may induce a fog surrounding our online relationships may spring from communication on social networks that have a permanent light on them. Indexed, mined, and stored forever. Forever-ever? Forever-ever. How we signal and manage our identity — our personal brand — says a lot about us to friends, colleagues, and future employers, love interests, etc. Also, there is a cognitive dissonance associated with not treating people similarly and the fog that surrounds our relationships makes it easier to avoid that dissonance. It forgives and allows unbalanced actions and relationships.

    • This is exactly the kind of response I wanted! But while the sentiment expressed is absolutely true of what I believe, I left it purposely vague. Trust me, there’s more I could say, but I’m sitting on it for now.

      Also, I have to call attention to the fact that I made a common error that drives me crazy. Antisocial is supposed to refer to psychopathy while asocial is supposed to refer to being not social. No one misunderstood me, but I thought I’d draw attention to my own failing.

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