Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Facebook Ain't Face Time


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This is a perfect subject for ProductivityGoal, Valeria. I'll be working on it in the next day or two.

Jan said something thought provoking about the number of friends people have on their various networks. I've often wondered not that it might be an exaggeration so much as a status-symbol collection. Of course, that line of thought leads to self-esteem talk and other canned worms. Hmmm. Perhaps thought for other posts/discussions.


Bravo. This is a really good piece of introspection and a valuable insight in some of the drivers of this phenomenon.

On residual distance, those who know me have heard me quote Rainer Maria Rilke before. He wrote a beautiful piece in Letters on Love:

"But, once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole and against a wide sky!"

And it has been proven that we all have the tendency to exaggerate ;-)


You asked if I think people are afraid of being alone with their own thoughts and if that could be the reason these social networks and media become so popular.

My answer is a clear yes and no :-)

I believe everyone is if not afraid then concerned at least that they are the only ones thinking or feeling like they do. It doesn't take long to realize that you aren't though. Everyone may bring their own voice, but a lot of us think and say essentially the same.

On the other hand do I not believe that being afraid of being alone with ones thoughts is what drives the networks. It may play a role in the media side, but less what the networks are concerned. There you would rather have to be afraid of not being able to hear what you think for utter utterances about this and that and then some.

Something which is more a concern to me is how people talk with each other. Not the obviously bad parts of it, but how everyone seems to forget the residual distance that will always be there because of the differences in time, location and so on.

When I hear how many friends someone has on some network I cannot help wonder if they actually believe in it themselves. I got in trouble on another blog for claiming that sometimes people online exaggerate their expressions, but it does seem to me that this is what happens and that language gets inflated that way.

The world may becoming smaller and smaller, but in reality we are just as far from each other as we were yesterday. Exaggerating our expression of feelings and adding everyone to our network account wont change that. Hence do I still prefer to put my thoughts forward on my blog as that to me seems like the best basis for actually connecting meaningfully with someone despite the distance.

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