Just finished reading a recent article on the Tech Crunch page entitled The Social Network Paradox by Nina Khosla. Drives home the emergence of a phenomenon that has driven me crazy for quite awhile now.
“Over the years, there’s been a radical change in the way we interact with our networks of friends online…We fell in love with sites that made us feel like there are people out there who are similar to us, who we are talking to and having common experiences with.”
She ended a sentence with a preposition, but I forgive her. She goes on to address the explosive growth of Facebook and Twitter and the like…sites that allow us to “friend” everybody. An embarrassment of riches, right?
Well, yes. The embarrassment comes from not being able to keep in touch with all the friends you were ecstatic about keeping in touch with. (Now she’s got me doing it – the preposition thing.)
Bottom Line: We’re not paying enough attention to all the “friends” we’re connected to online. I couldn’t possibly hope to keep up. And when it comes to sheer numbers, I don’t have anywhere near those posted by most of the individuals I have connected with on Facebook or Linked-In. There is a disconnect that occurs as a result of connection.
Or as Nina puts it “Therein lies the paradox of the social network that no one wants to admit: as the size of the network increases, our ability to be social decreases.”
There’s a lot more to the article…most notably a discussion of“the limits of meaningfulness” and how the creation of social products must involve a solution for allowing people to be “social, really social.”
Worth thinking about, my friends.