Posted by: eaubeauhorn | March 3, 2013

The problem with social media

First there was snail mail; I remember corresponding with people in the years before email. Letters were informational, and you could have deep discussions about things if you wanted to. There was plenty of time to frame an appropriate response, and it was worth the time because the pace of exchange was so slow. You had to be literate to write letters, and to read them.

Then came email; content changed because you could almost have a conversation about something, because the pace had increased. But emails could still be similar to snail mails in content; we discussed topics that required more than a quip in reply. Some of us formed friendships through email.

Then came social media, where the quip seems to be the only communication. People have their “pages” where they present a persona to the world; one person’s page is all about spirituality, his brand, another’s page is all about her approach to a medical problem, yet another page is about someone’s life in a tent. They are quasi-commercial, and the deep communication that was the foundation of the long-gone snail mail, and still possible with email, appears to have vanished. Nothing left but selling oneself and quipping back and forth.



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