Sooooo……What do you think is the culmination of this social media frenzy?
ICQ, Yahoo chat rooms, MSN Messenger, Hi-Five, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Google Buzz….etc….
Social interactions with people you would never really interact with in the flesh. The virtual self seems to be more appealing – how do we aggregate all of this extraneous information?
Are we trying to communicate that which can not be said?! I wonder. McLuhan believed that eventually media technologies would lead to a ‘post-literate’ world, where the written word and language would be superseded by the visual medium.
Hmm. Well, that’s hardly the case is it?! All of our ‘social’ networking is highly contingent upon the written language!! Gah! Literacy is a HUGE aspect of how we now communicate in our ICT (information and communication technology) laden world!
But is literature social? The written word is not entirely a social thing – I mean you are reading this and I have written it and in some way we are sharing the experience – but not in ‘real time’, not with any meaningful fleshy connection (no sexual innuendo intended here). Doesn’t being social inherently include a human connection which is predicated upon a physical human characteristic? (Touch, taste, smell, sound…you get the idea). We are experiencing a social moment together in some sort of suspended time warp where the human aspect has to be ‘guestimated’ – sarcasm and intonation fail miserably over social networks.
Even if we can have updates that are fractions of a minute or second apart (ahem..twitter), it’s not nearly as quickly as you could transmit a message by just talking to me in person. Granted of course that these technologies are leaping great distances in short periods of time, What is the need for people in the same place to have an interface between them? More over – why do I need to know INSTANTANEOUSLY what is going on in the world?! How have our social interactions been hijacked by technologies created by the inherently anti-social? We sit in our own rooms distanced greatly not only by physical geography but by a constant interface through which we must first pass our message. I suppose telephones did the same thing – but then with telephones there was a physical connection still – the human voice.
Oh – and does Blogging count as a social media?! Is a cork based real life bulletin board a social media? So confusing!
Obviously this is just the beginning of a phase or stage of communications technologies – we have yet to plateau. Where are we going – where is this taking us? After you have read this, are we now ‘friends’?! (I’m a pretty great friend who always has chocolate on hand just so you know)
So many questions!!