Friday, February 20, 2015

The changing landscape of communication

A friend of mine was recently banned from Facebook, because he was using a pseudonym. I've never felt the need to use a pseudonym on Facebook, as I’m both fairly mundane in my postings there, and fairly naïve about how the data is used. I’m sure it’s mined 7 ways from Sunday, but most of my data is of so little use as to be laughable.

However, he brought up a couple good points. I asked him if it was an opportunity for growth, and he responded: 'no just an opportunity to discover how the changing landscape of communication favours isolation... I'd rather be alone in a crowd than alone in my room.'

The online world gives us the illusion of being with others, while still being able to maintain our ‘security’ or ‘anonymity’. We can interact without having to actually interact.

In my mind, that’s becoming more and more of a bad thing.

I use Facebook as much as anyone. It’s on my phone, and usually open in my web browser. I use it most when I’m bored or tired, and need a distraction. 80% of the people reading this probably came here from Facebook. I also have 755 ‘friends’, some of whom I've known in past lives and just keep in touch with on Facebook; some of whom I've never met. I enjoy pictures of my nieces, nephews, sons and daughter as they post about their daily lives. I have a daily interaction with a few folks, but most of the people on Facebook have been ‘unfollowed’ or muted, because their day to day minutiae of their lives simply clutters my feed.

But I've been less and less enamored of it, and more and more focused on my locality. Spending TIME with my friends, my family, rather than following their exploits online. Calling my friends on the phone, rather than shooting them an instant message. It’s more time consuming, requires more attention. To me, that’s a benefit.

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