Monday, August 31, 2009

Social Media Revolution?

So I just received a link to this video on twitter, and thought I'd share it with you. Here's the gist of it. This video explains a MAJOR shift in the way people communicate. The cool thing for all of you who aren't up on social media is that people still communicate by talking face to face, writing letters, and even using their phones. But, I imagine if you are reading this blog you have used at least one of these other communication methods. Email, skype, facebook, myspace, twitter.

And if you haven't used any of these, well, it appears that this may be the direction the world is taking. Ironically, while people are using these sites more and more, and reconnecting with many friends old and new, the number of relationships we can successfully maintain has not fluctuated much. According to social theorists, the magic number is around 150. And according to a recent article written in 'The Economist', that number hasn't fluctuated with the advent of social media.

It's pretty wild to think about the rapid shifts that are taking place with new technologies emerging. It's hard to imagine that it was less than 100 years ago (1933) that FM radio came into existence. We make the assumption sometimes that these technologies have always been around.

Even though social media has helped facilitate connecting with others, I get an eerie feeling that we are living in an age with greater feelings of loneliness than any other. So, while these technologies can be very handy, and they do help us reconnect in a fairly splintered society, maybe we need to experience a deeper and more substantial connection than tweets, homepages, and even skype calls can manage. Maybe what we really need is to somehow learn to share a real experience with others, and to know presence.

May you experience the presence of the One by which and for which you were created. And may you find community in this world that is only supplemented by social media, and not substituted.


Michaelanne said...

wow... that video was very stressful. i'm going turn off my computer to go play w/ some kids on my block.

BrotherChuck said...

Didn't look at the video yet, but here's a theory... Social media, in many cases, seems to be a by-product of our rapid pace and focus on instant gratification. Generally, it takes less effort to establish and maintain relationships, but quality suffers. You lose the voice tones that are part of telephone chats, and/or the body language and facial expressions that add to in-person encounters. Social media seems to generally favor breadth vs. depth... can be very wide, but often very shallow. Having said all that, it does have its place.

chris ridgeway said...

I've like the iterations of this video, because it helps people understand my whole thesis and area of research: I'm looking at a doctrine of scripture in an information mediated culture.