With the Facebook backlash months behind us, those who have stuck by the social-networking behemoth (all 500 million of them) continue to change the face of modern communication. But as the debate about privacy calms down, Politics Daily contributor Helena Andrews makes a surprising claim: Social networking can actually make it harder to communicate to friends and loved ones. Plus, she finds it awkward having her 88 year-old grandmother keeping tabs on her.
It's like a social experiment on steroids, all the interfacing we do on the Internet. But where's the governing body to regulate all this non-contact contact? Sure, we feel more connected. But are we?
She notes that all the effort it takes to manage her social networking outlets--three Facebook pages and Twitter accounts--ultimately reduces her ability to actually communicate:
The typical [journalist/blogger's] day starts with writing a story, blog, column or essay (that requires thinking up, researching, polishing, revising, editing and, ideally, a click-able headline), then sending a Tweet about said output, then posting it to various faces (I've got three Facebook pages), and, of course, subtly planting its link in a very witty G-chat status message, and then frequently checking all the aforementioned online outlets to see who's clicking, who's commenting and who's retweeting. (Then I tweak my tweet.) Thrusting them out onto the social-networking main stage, like Mama Rose in Gypsy (sing out, Louise!), is 10 times harder. By the time all that's done it's 5 p.m. and whatever actually happened (you know, like outside) that day is lost to self-promotion.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.