"Over time, I found my eyes drifting to tweets from folks with the lowest Klout scores. They talked about things nobody else was talking about. Sitcoms in Haiti. Quirky museum exhibits. Strange movie-theater lobby cards from the 1970s. The un-Kloutiest’s thoughts, jokes, and bubbles of honest emotion felt rawer, more authentic, and blissfully oblivious to the herd. Like unloved TV shows, these people had low Nielsen ratings—no brand would ever bother to advertise on their channels. And yet, these were the people I paid the most attention to. They were unique and genuine. That may not matter to marketers, and it may not win them much Klout. But it makes them a lot more interesting."
Seth Stevenson, What Your Klout Score Really Means - Wired
I still want mine to go up. Oh, vanity. When will you learn?
"A considerable part of Facebook’s appeal stems from its miraculous fusion of distance with intimacy, or the illusion of distance with the illusion of intimacy. Our online communities become engines of self-image, and self-image becomes the engine of community. The real danger with Facebook is not that it allows us to isolate ourselves, but that by mixing our appetite for isolation with our vanity, it threatens to alter the very nature of solitude. The new isolation is not of the kind that Americans once idealized, the lonesomeness of the proudly nonconformist, independent-minded, solitary stoic, or that of the astronaut who blasts into new worlds. Facebook’s isolation is a grind. What’s truly staggering about Facebook usage is not its volume—750 million photographs uploaded over a single weekend—but the constancy of the performance it demands. More than half its users—and one of every 13 people on Earth is a Facebook user—log on every day. Among 18-to-34-year-olds, nearly half check Facebook minutes after waking up, and 28 percent do so before getting out of bed. The relentlessness is what is so new, so potentially transformative. Facebook never takes a break. We never take a break. Human beings have always created elaborate acts of self-presentation. But not all the time, not every morning, before we even pour a cup of coffee."
— Stephen Marche, Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? - The Atlantic
"Is it cheating? Let he who is without sin cast the first +1. We’ve all tweeted to someone above our station or hearted the Instagram pic of someone with 10,000 followers, hoping in a secret place in our cyborg soul that the object of our affection will reward us with a wink or a link."
Mary H. K. Choi, “The Art of Sidling” - Wired
Yup, this is just a “Thing People Do” now.
"The Facebook, Google+, and Path networks liken online interaction to shouting in different-sized movie theaters, each of which contains a different combination of close friends, family members, and acquaintances. Most people in the movie theater aren’t even listening, others listen but ignore, and an even smaller group reacts to what’s being said."
Patrick Moorhead, Mashable: Why Social Media Needs to Get More Personal
I like this analogy, but the rest of the article seems underdeveloped. Don’t social media inherently enable an approximation of “real life” reality? Isn’t the burden to make it more personal on the user, not the platform? Aren’t the tools suggested already available on certain social media platforms (namely, Facebook)? Plus, I take issue with the notion that text messages and emails are something completely separate from the social media sphere, when both Twitter and Facebook offer versions of those. (No, I’m not suggesting that text messaging is social media, per se, but based on our ever-more nebulous definition of the term as a result of new features, text messaging is no longer a separate field.)
Appropriately timed, our director Lee Rainie and New York Times staff writer Jennifer Preston discussed how social media has transformed over the year (on Minnesota Public Radio). Listen to the full discussion here.
Have you had a personal transformation because of social media over the last year? Do you use it as your main source of news gathering or perhaps to assess news? Or do you feel like you are living in an echo chamber?
Yes to both, of course. It’s my main method of accessing news, AND it’s a total echo chamber. It’s a somewhat problematic conflation.