It is meaningful if I tell you that I really like the avant-garde music by Olivier Messiaen. It’s also meaningful to confess that I sometimes relax by listening to Pink Floyd. But if this kind of communication is replaced by a constant pipeline of what’s queued up in Spotify, it all becomes meaningless. There’s no “sharing” at all.
Frictionless sharing isn’t better sharing; it’s the absence of sharing. There’s something about the friction, the need to work, the one-on-one contact, that makes the sharing real, not just some cyber phenomenon. If you want to tell me what you listen to, I care. But if it’s just a feed in some social application that’s constantly updated without your volition, why do I care? It’s just another form of spam, particularly if I’m also receiving thousands of updates every day from hundreds of other friends.
Effort as friction
So, what we’re seeing isn’t the expansion of our social network; it’s the shrinking of what and who we care about. My Facebook feed is full of what friends are listening to, what friends are reading, etc. And frankly, I don’t give a damn. I would care if they told me personally; I’d even care if they used a medium as semi-personal as Twitter. The effort required to tweet tells me that someone thought it was important. And I do care about that.
The truth behind automated sharing
[It] is giving Facebook a treasure-trove of data, regardless of whether anyone cares. And Facebook will certainly find ways to monetize that data.
What happened to discourse? Real communication including nuance, tenor and tone? E-mail and texting seem to me a tad cowardly: a fear of direct one-on-one communication where the caller has to actually say something and participate in a dialogue. If you wish to communicate, call me.
[U]sing digital devices gives you “a dopamine squirt.”
That explains the Pavlovian impulse of people who are out with friends or dates to ignore them and check their BlackBerrys and cellphones, even if 99 out of 100 messages are uninteresting. They’re truffle-hunting for that scintillating one.
Americans woke up one day to find that they were don’t-miss-a-moment addicts who feel compelled to respond to all messages immediately.
The tech industry is our drug dealer, feeding the intense social and economic pressure to stay constantly in touch with employers, colleagues, friends and family. (via Whirling Dervish Drivers)
The implications (personal, professional and social) are far-reaching.