Catching Up in the Social Era
This past week I had the opportunity on several occasions to catch up with several people I know but don't converse with regularly. As part of the ramp up into conversation, the "what's new?" question came up. I started to tell them a couple of things including my recent trip to Colorado. What I noticed on each occasion was my excitement to tell them about my trip, being quickly dampened when I heard in return, "Oh yeah! I saw your pictures. It looked fun!"
Rather than feeling like it provided an even better springboard into conversation about the trip, to me my enthusiasm diminished. In my head the trip was something fun to reveal to them but indirectly I already had. On every occasion we still went on to have a nice time but it was interesting for me to think about this idea of how sharing more globally with the masses seemed to take something away from a more intimate and personal 1:1 conversation. I don't know this makes me want to stop posting but it does call into question, what things do we have left to share if we share everything in advance?
A close friend gave me an alternative lens. She said she felt people posting gives her something to ask about when she sees them next. "Hey! How was your Colorado trip? It looked fun." It could always act more as a conversation starter than one that shuts it down. And this is a fair point. I still proceeded to tell everyone quite a bit about the trip but it nonetheless made me question what is gained and lost when we share things across the web with others.
Go Forth Boldly
p.s. if you're looking for a different perspective on this, The Circle by Dave Eggers is interesting and depressing.