"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
April 26, 2008

Alt Text On Social Networking

“The Internet is to human interaction as Pringles are to potatoes. Closeness and companionship are ground up into an unrecognisable slurry then artificially reconstituted into a mockery of their natural form.” Priceless. I’ve become a a real fan of the Alt Text vidcasts and this one really sums up a lot of my feelings about […]

“The Internet is to human interaction as Pringles are to potatoes. Closeness and companionship are ground up into an unrecognisable slurry then artificially reconstituted into a mockery of their natural form.”

Priceless. I’ve become a a real fan of the Alt Text vidcasts and this one really sums up a lot of my feelings about social networking and especially the micro-quotidian aspects of sites like Twitter and Facebook. It’s not that these sites lack value, in fact I really appreciate the reconnecting aspect of Facebook, it’s just that it shouldn’t be confused with deeper aspects of human interaction. Sometimes less communication can mean more relation.

And, if you have time, check out the vidcast on Logical Fallacies (great if you have ever been sucked into inline debates).

Responses
Duncan McFadzean 15 years ago

Not sure that leaving a comment is appropriate after that youtube! It’s a fair call, twitter seems totally pointless but somewhat addictive. And you never get real joy or see someone’s real pain through a virtual network. But they do add something and to entirely de-link from the system would not be appropriate response. I think “social networks” enhance relationships with those people you rarely see, don’t add much to those you see regularly, and help you get to know some people you’ve never met.

Fernando Gros 15 years ago

Duncan, that’s a really good way to describe it. Twitter is, to me, the least interesting aspect of social networking, because broadcasting the quotidian minutae of our lives seems so pointless to me. After all, that’s not really a mirror of how we build relationships in the real world. There’s a pretty serious difference between describing our day, telling a story about our day if you will and just simply broadcasting the unedited version of it. One feels engaging, the other, well, a little psychopathic to be honest. To me twitter is the social networking equivalent of being stuck on a bus listening to everyone sort out their grocery shopping in semi-mindless phone conversations.

All this is a round-a-bout way of saying that in real-world relationships we do a lot of self-editing and that self-editing may well add meaning to our lives in ways that are sometimes missing online.

Steve 15 years ago

This comic reminded me of your post:

https://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyimages/1103.jpg

Fernando Gros 15 years ago

That’s good!

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