Sunday, October 3, 2010

Social Media: Chit-Chat without the Wine

Facebook is the lazy person's journal or blog. It's too damn easy for me to type in a few random comments, upload a few photos, and walk away feeling as if I had created a "blog post" that communicates an idea, a thought, a perspective on life But it's not a blog post! It's blathering in a stream of consciousness. A blog post, at least a decent blog post, requires more thought and more coherence. But I'm not sure I have that capacity anymore. I'm too used to thinking, and sharing my thoughts, in abbreviated code.

Spitting out this abbreviated code gives me a sense that I have had a coherent thought and have shared it. In reality, though, I believe it simply allows me to avoid really thinking about anything. Rather, I experience a moment and share the experience in an attempt to "share" with a broader audience. But it's a trade-off of breadth for depth. Depth is harder to achieve. It requires much more work, far more thought, and mental discipline that isn't suited to Facebook or Twitter or most of the other social media sites. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against social media sites. I just want to recognize them for what they are. They are, in my view, very much like casual social receptions, the purpose of which are to facilitate superficial interaction. Social media sites give us opportunities for superfluous chit-chat without the wine.

I recognize, of course, that my broad-brush dismissal of social media sites overlooks the fundamental value they have in marshalling societal resources into social action and other such "meaty" things. But I think the consequential attributes of social media are far less common than the attributes that allow us to think we're thinking when, in fact, we're not.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

I love Facebook for one reason and one reason only: I know what the ehll is going on in town and who's having a party.


Springer Kneeblood said...

OK, Ellie, now that I know you love Facebook, I've asked to "friend" you...but under a completely different name. The two must never be mentioned in the same sentence...or the same day.

Phil said...

YOu disdain it so much you're running multiple identities? ;-)

As I've said before, it's empty calories, but amiable.

I'm not sure if it's responsible for my blogging dropoff...I think that's more due to my not having coherent thoughts in the first place.