Friday, April 05, 2013

One about social media

I thought this was a good article on the relevant magazine about social media, and it's dangers. I liked the point she makes about the times when we check into social media not being the times of our own peak experiences, but those peak experiences are what we usually see of others' lives when we look. (And even when we say we are 'keeping it real' it's usually a selective "realness".) And the point that's it about public vs private. 
But seeing the best possible, often-unrealistic, half-truth version of other peoples’ lives isn’t the only danger of the Internet. Our envy buttons also get pushed because we rarely check Facebook when we’re having our own peak experiences. We check it when we’re bored and when we’re lonely, and it intensifies that boredom and loneliness.
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It’s not about technology or not. I’m not suggesting you get all old-school-pen-and-paper about it (unless that’s your thing.) It’s about connecting instead of comparing. Instead of using the computer to watch someone else’s perfectly crafted life, enter into someone’s less-than-perfect life. You can use Facebook if you want, but you might find email, Skype and phone calls work better.

Using technology to build community instead of building carefully-curated images of ourselves is an option, and a worthwhile one. The distinction I’m making is public vs. private, not in person vs. long distance. I have very close, very honest friendships that depend on phone calls and Skype dates and long wandering emails, and I’m thankful that technology allows for those connections. But I don’t think you can build transforming friendships that take place only in a public sphere like Facebook or Instagram.

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