in regular

Life as a Like Button

Remember when online newspaper articles didn’t have comments on them? It’s such an interesting idea to see what people are thinking. It’s like bringing the watering hole to your house in a sense, without having to sit with misfits and folks you might not have anything to speak with. But something is lost in the process.

Sometimes, there’s just nothing to say. Other times, you want to marinate first and then say something after reflecting for a while. Or at least, I find it’s better this way.

But in the rush to be “first!” to comment or make a point, something gets lost. I was having a perpetual conversation with a friend who has one toe dipped into the social media pool, but not her whole self. I mentioned using Flickr and integrating it into a blog she’s building. Her reply was “I’m not like you. I don’t like putting myself all the way out there.”

I laughed about this, because it’s all a matter of relativity. I look at my online circle and feel like I’m reserved because I don’t put everything out there. What’s out there now is really a function partially of my own interest, but the personal things are really about being realistic. That is, if you’re doing public facing work in the slightest, in an era where people are going to google you to find out more about you; the least you can do is present context for what’s out there in your own words. To do anything else is shooting yourself in the foot and then trying to run a marathon.

But I thought about my perpetual love/hate relationship with particular social tools and my evolving use of them. I miss conversations with actual people in far-flung places that gets trivialized by the ease of reach. Everyone is busy living their own personal rat race and sometimes, what gets lost is the intimacy of getting lost

I’m talking about the thrill of re-discovering things. Old records, dusty baseball cards and people. We haven’t lost this as a society, but if you’re connected digitally the frivolity with which relationships are dispense is almost troubling. 

Perhaps this is much ado about nothing. Maybe I’m just musing on anecdotal experiences which have little application in the aggregate? I can’t put a finger on that to be sure. It’ll be research for sometime in the near future, I suppose.

The moments I speak of still exist. Life is full of vibrant connections and re-connections. Things that come and go, deep conversations and superfluous one alike. In the culture of “Like” everything can be trivialized. Not just what you say, but when you say it and how. The more I notice it, the more likely I am to work to develop some kind of defense against it.