Moving amplifies the truth of Aaron Sorkin’s statement “socializing on the internet is to socializing as reality television is to reality.” There are social networks I see the usefulness of (facebook, due to it’s size), others I enjoy (twitter, instagram) and some I don’t quite understand the niche yet (google plus.) When you use social networks primarily to connect with people you have relationships with, it feels like a natural extension of friendship. When you’ve moved away, it feels more like grasping for what was and won’t be the same again.

That isn’t to say that there is no value in keeping up with old friends on facebook, it just makes the natural detachment of moving much more strange. It certainly makes it easier to wish I were back in Birmingham doing x at y with z right at this moment.

4 responses to “YouFace

  1. i agree totally!

  2. It really is interesting to compare this latest move of ours with all the social networks in place with our move from Colorado to Missouri in 2005 pre-social network. In many ways I’m staying as in touch with my MO friends as I did before with the major exception of not actually being able to meet them somewhere (as you mentioned above) but it made the leaving not feel as real.

    When really it is.

  3. I think I find the most value in social networks discussing things I would not otherwise discuss with people – politics, etc. These things can be awkward in person, and it’s rare to find a group of interested people for some topics (like, say, the debt ceiling, or urban planning), but on Facebook I can discuss with many people who have never met each other. This isn’t as easy on Twitter, since your thoughts must be so cut off.

    I don’t really use social networks for keeping in touch with people for it’s own sake – but I don’t really keep in touch with people well in the real world either. So maybe what I do on FB is an extension of my real world way of interacting with people?

  4. I agree that the way we interact on social networks is an extension of the way we generally interact with people or shows the way we want to. People have the opportunity / access that they don’t have in real life, and the distance of a keyboard, so some will be more forward than they typically are. Some might pick fights ;) others might over share or send tons of game related invites or whatever.

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