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Social Media Makes Us Lonely?

Kympossible mentions that twitter makes her feel more lonely. There are definitely times that I have found myself seeking some sort of connection via Social Media, and if I didn’t find it, I felt more disconnected than when I set ou. 

(Twitter, otoh, mostly just leaves me dumbfounded. I’m on it, I use it sometimes, but mostly I still don’t really get it.)  

I think that Social Media is often a really pale comparison to the real thing – that is, social, only without the media. I think that social media is at it’s best when it’s a tool to do a thing – for example WoW and xBox live, you are actually doing stuff together. What you aren’t doing is the thing which is the thing… twitter is, in the end, very much about twitter.  

Social is dinner parties, late nights around a camp-fire, going over to a friends house to play lazertag for the afternoon. Board games, walks on the beach collecting dozens of sand dollars, Sunday morning at Shoreditch House, spending hours laughing while you weigh brass, singing “kung fu fighting” while accompanying yourself with a 3 string medieval lute-ish thing. Couch time. 

Video games with your oldest son. Sitting on the shooting star rock with Jed, just watching, feeling the warmth of the rock hours after sundown, just talking. 

I’m sure there are plenty of examples people have of Twitter being this great, amazing, connective tissue that binds a blind Mumbai nun to ab Albino truck driver in Topeka. Fine, there are exceptions, there are always exceptions.

But really, Social Media is at it’s best when it rewards and reinforces healthy patterns that exist in our lives. It’s at it’s absolute worst when we turn to it to provide the patterns themselves. We mistake it for being the thing itself.

Social media is a fine medium, conduit, highway. Not a fine destination.

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One thought on “Social Media Makes Us Lonely?

  1. In the otherwise ‘huh?’-inspiring IE 8 funny launch video is a clip of Jeananne (sp?!) Garolfo (no, that’s not right either…) saying of Facebook ‘it’s like friendship without all the heavy lifting of actually spending any time with friends or connecting with them in any way’. Some social networks where people put thought and time into interacting are places you can build real friendships, but so much social networking seems a place/time filler for the time you could spend actually talking to people.

    cont alt.fan.when.I.were.a.lass.moan.moan.moan

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