I guess that now Thanksgiving is over, I can go back to being a little curmudgeonly.
Do I Know You?
In my previous post, I wrote about how social media tends to clump us together with others who are pretty much like ourselves. As Jeff Hurt mentioned in his comment, “Like minds attract.”
So, the deal is we’re all kindred spirits with a similar world view and, gee, aren’t we all wonderful.
That’s OK up to a point but where does the “sharing” stop? Or does it? Is it possible that we’re either sharing Too Much Information while decrying the lack of privacy on the Internet? We don’t like the TSA pat down (I certainly don’t) but I’ll tell you what I think about my in-laws or my latest medical procedure or what coffee shop I’m currently visiting.
The type of intimacy that social media seems to bring out sometimes boggles my mind.
I was tooling around Twitter and one of the people who I follow and who follows me back (I think this is called a Twitter “Friend”) was tweeting to his daughter. Being the curious guy that I am I bounced over to the daughters tweetstream (or whatever it’s called) and noticed a few interesting tidbits (note: I don’t follow this person. She doesn’t follow me. It’s an aspect of Twitter that allows me to see her tweets)
My dad is getting the gun out to show. I’m heading to the other room. He is insane and I don’t trust him with it.
Oh crap my grandpa that doesn’t know my name just sat next to [name deleted] to chat. I ran out of the room. He is stuck. LMAO
Off to shower to go to my crazy families house. I will try not to fight with my brother that I haven’t seen for a yr for my mother sake.
I’m sure this was all in good fun and, to be fair, it comes from someone in the generation that will text you even when they are standing in your personal space rather than talk. Yet, there is part of me that want’s to know why this person feels compelled to share this stuff in the social media space.
Is This Authenticity?
I’m also wondering if this faux intimacy – after all, I don’t know this person at all either online or off – is good for society, at large. Is this what “being authentic” is really all about?
I’ll be the first to say that all work (business in the social media space) and no play (sharing photos of you being blotto at your friend’s birthday party) would make for a pretty boring online experience. Yet, I wonder if the anonymity of the Web combined with the illusion that only the people you want to look are looking is fueling the breakdown in our public discourse – the polarization and the downright meanness.
I’d love to read your thoughts on how much information is too much information. Or is there such a thing? Do share!