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Sept 1, 2009: Broadcasting Your Life

Blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking:
"The easiest kind of relationship is with ten thousand people, the hardest is with one." -- Joan Baez

For many, the explosion of social media has increased the amount of time we spend communicating through our computers and hand-held devices. Some believe these advances enhance our relationships while others see this trend as isolating, making us less human.

Do our social and interpersonal skills suffer as we choose to broadcast our activities and experiences as the latest news story? Do we have an increased sense of self importance? Has our sense of respect, propriety, and privacy been clouded? Is our dedication to a virtual "audience" imposing on our availability and attention to those we actually spend face time with?

The readings for this month are varied, but fun. We'll have a more focused discussion based on the questions above and I'm sure, your personal experiences.

The unique and intermittent dialect of "text talk"


Message board on what other people think about conversation becoming a lost art:

I want to leave you with this 4 min TED talk. The idea of distraction and our reality not being nearly as interesting as the story we're going to tell is relevant:

(If you're currently in Reader, you won't be able to watch the video).


  1. Thanks for a lively discussion last night. I loved hearing what everyone had to say, and I'm glad the discussion naturally led itself through issues I wanted to discuss such as manners, misunderstandings, branding ourselves, community and isolation.

    I just wanted to touch on a couple ideas we didn't really get around to:

    1) Privacy: I'm interested in how this move towards letting people into our daily (and sometimes quite personal) activities has affected sense of privacy. Whether it's our own privacy or the privacy of others. If we feel like voyeurs as our homepage reveals things we didn't necessarily want to know.

    2) Expectations: What expectations are associated with having everyone's "news" available to us at all times? Do others expect us to know what's going on with their lives without having to tell us because they've already put it "out there"?

    If anyone has any comments on these, or questions of their own, I'd be interested ot hear them.

    I personally love all these technological advancements but I feel they've come along so quickly that there hasn't been time to really set standards as far as ethics and etiquette are concerned. And who would be the authority on this? What are our responsibilities to ourselves and to our children as to how to best use these tools to enhance our human relationships rather than "cheapen" them (Mark's word).


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