the vicious circle of “social” media

i’m up watching the rerun of ice dancing to catch the top US and Canadian silver and gold performances (respectively). i saw people had been twittering about them all night. i’d been following this from night to night, anyway, and definitely wanted to see it out to its natural conclusion. at one point, i had something i wanted to “say” and thought about twittering it and thought about writing the funny hashtag (sort of a way of tagging it to the rest the twitterverse) #latetothegame, since everyone else had already watched it in primetime and had already had a bunch of tweets about it.

i looked over to realize that my laptop was closed, and that i was “unable” to tweet this thought (at least not immediately like i normally am, with my laptop open, as i watch tv) and i felt myself having this moment of feeling cut off from my … people? social network? community? mind you, all i had to do was open the computer back up, or grab my blackberry, and i was easily able to throw up this tweet. i wasn’t really cut off from *anything.*

but i realized that much like i make fun of my younger friends for not remembering the days when there were no cell phones and there even was a day where there weren’t answering machines or faxes or even call waiting, i realized i had come to a point where i had forgotten that you just used to watch tv, when it was on (there did come a time where you could record stuff on the VCR, but god forbid someone fuck up that delicate system of the timer and such), and for the most part, you didn’t talk to anyone but your family or who was ever there to watch it with you. then, if it were interesting or unusual or noteworthy, you went to work or school or wherever and it became fodder for the water cooler.

and i realized that there’s something satisfying and interesting about social media being immediate and creating instant community. it allows for constant, real-time commentary and allows me to feel a part of something bigger than myself. i don’t feel so alone. did YOU SEE that? yes. you did. and so did a bunch of other people, but i can actually hear what they’re thinking about it, too. it’s not a mystery. i can hear them and i can hear them in their livingrooms in chicago and all over the country. i can be part of a conversation.

however, there’s something isolating about it, too. as i get drawn into twitter and facebook and blogging, i find that people find it easier to learn about me through technology and don’t find it necessary to make human contact. they will tell me straight to my face as i ask them how they are that they already know how i am, that “they see my status updates” or they “follow my tweets” or something inane like that. and i just don’t know. is that my own fault? or shouldn’t they still be obligated to send me an email or give me a call sometime? or is it just good enough that they know how i am? done and done. check that one off their list?

something tells me if i stopped writing tomorrow, i wouldn’t all of a sudden start getting mass inquiries from these people. i don’t know. i think it’s just a pet peeve, like people telling me “you look tired.”” great. i’ll make sure to tell you the next time i look like shit. i feel you can only go wrong with that. if i *am* tired, i already know. you don’t have to reinforce that. if i am *not* tired, now you’ve just made me feel like shit. you know?

anyway, it just struck me that there can be a real weirdness to being connected in that way and that sometimes the more connected i get, the less connected i can feel in “real-life.” more thoughts on that later.

One thought on “the vicious circle of “social” media

  1. if you stopped writing, i would have something to say about it. i envy your bravery and dedication to the interwebs; i admire your constant enrichment of eHabitants lives thru your sharing.

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