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Social media changes us. (This could be bad…)

Twitter and FB and other social media changes how we interact with other people. Everyone knows that, but I’m not talking about the obvious ways…

As we get more used to everyone following us on Facebook and following us on Twitter, or FriendFeed, or whatever social networking service we use, what happens with the people who still don’t have regular internet access? Or the people who don’t have a smart phone, or a text messaging plan?

I actually find myself sometimes annoyed by the friends I have who don’t follow me on FB or Twitter, when I talk to them and they have no clue that ‘my crown fell out three weeks ago and I’m missing a tooth’, or ‘I just started my new job two days ago’. Needing to tell them what I’ve already been talking about on Twitter and Facebook all week… well, it’s annoying.

Having had that passing thought, which I quickly chided myself for and relegated to the attic, I started wondering: “How many other people start to feel that way?” Do the friends who aren’t on our social media networks start to become less important? And what does that mean for people who don’t have regular access to the internet and so can’t participate much in social media networks? Are people without internet access going to find it harder to make and keep friends than the rest of us, simply because they lack those tools?

I’m not sure I have any answers to those questions. I can say that I have at least one friend that I speak to regularly who doesn’t follow me on any social media networks, and also never feel annoyed when filling them in on all the latest goings-on in my life. And the individual for whom I most recently felt annoyance at needing to answer their questions was one I’m not as close to, and so perhaps don’t care to talk to as much. So maybe it’s simply that I’d rather the people I don’t really want to talk to that much follow me on Twitter and Facebook so that I don’t have to talk to them. That’s possible.

It was still a disturbing thought.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Kaitlyn | August 4, 2010 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Yeah, that is pretty disturbing. I’ve kind of gotten to the point that if someone I know isn’t on facebook or another social networking site I frequent, I tend not to keep up with them because it seems like it would be too much extra work. Which is kind of depressing and reflects pretty badly on me, when I think about it.

  2. Rena | August 4, 2010 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Well to a certain extent, it’s inevitable. It’s always been true that we’ll put more effort into keeping up with people that we care more about or find more interesting… and it isn’t possible for us to keep up with everyone. I mean, it just isn’t.

    On the other hand, if the only reason we’re not bothering is because they’re not on the same social network as us… it kinda points out just how important and integral social networking media has become. Definitely something I want to ponder.

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