The biggest problem I have with social media, by which I mean twitter, facebook, digg and the like, is that it doesn’t adhere to a law of nature; that in life, there is a trade off between quality and quantity.
Take Terry Pratchett. To be fair, his illness makes him less able to be active, but still, I try to read his blog, follow his tweets, but he makes little impact. Yet, his books are some of the best. Or another author, James Herriot is dead! This makes it difficult for him to update his twitter account. And in this, has less value. Is this right?
Secondly, surely the point of “social” media is relationships? Does Steven Fry feel he has a relationship with the 54,284 people he follows? A quick look at his feed would see that it is perhaps suffocated by a majority of non relational posts. Does social media put us into a false sense of relationship? I have over 600 friends on facebook; many of whom did not get invited to my wedding. Because I don’t know them.
Thirdly, social media is daunting. Incredibly so. Let alone marvelling at the glory of God’s creation, just try following 500 people on twitter, and you can be overwhelmed with a tiny percentage of the creative power of just a sample of the world! How many articles are there of the 108 best articles, 80 best accounts, best 1000 logos, etc.
My worry is that this is making me appreciate text less. I will happily read a newspaper article about the changing etiqette within muslim schools in indonesia, yet I am less inclined to read a really well written music review about a band that may well interest me, online. Yes, that’s a personal behaviour, but also a factor of the overwhelming availability of text, photos, music, video and other stuff.
Anyway, I’ll leave it with that, and a link to visit – My friend Rich Wells (who I ‘know’ mostly through social media hehe) is creating a wonderful series of illustrations. Check them out at http://richwells.posterous.com!