In the March/April 2014 issue of Industry I look at some of the effects that social media has on our real, actual social lives. Truth and Consequences: How to find a balance between a productive social media/on-line dating identity and an attention-hungry cyberbot.
I really do think social media can alter our experience of ourselves in a social beings, especially when it replaces part or all of our social life. I prefer to use it mostly logistically, i.e. to set up plans, parties, events with friends. Self-consciousness is something I personally am glad I outgrew in my 20s, and its reemergence in the context of my online persona is a bit, well, disturbing. Are we creating strange publicized hybrids of ourselves and a brand? One day maybe we’ll all know what celebrities must feel like, even down to having your (not to mention other people’s) livelihood depend solely on your online popularity.
From the article:
I’ve never really thought of myself as a private person. Ask me a question, the more personal the better. I’ve always erred on the side of too much information. Over the years, though, I’ve learned that many times people prefer to be lied to sweetly, to be let down gently than told the ugly truth. I’m more discerning now about what I share, not only to preserve my privacy but also, the mystery. This goes against the tide of social media and on-line dating–realms in which we are compelled to give more and more information and about ourselves to a more general audience.
Read more here: Truth and Consequences
After writing this I realized that now, when I share something with someone in person, or even on the phone in a one-on-one conversation, it feels very intimate. It’s only in contrast to social media, where everything feels flatter and less risky in a real way. But that’s kind of cool as an unexpected outcome.