Social Media: The great communicator?

Rambling a bit on this one…not enough coffee…

In a recent WSJ article from our own Julia Angwin she notes that digital small talk really doesn’t replace a 1-on-1 interaction for finding out what’s going on with old friends (BTW – in this case ‘our own’ refers to the twitter community).

Julia’s (terriffic piece) is spot on regarding known friends – friends who we may hesitate to open a vein to because they were that much a part of the building of our own self-image through high school, college and our early careers that we have to keep that persona up with them. That is unless of course we’ve made a 180 in our lives and don’t give a darn anymore.
The segment that goes unaddressed in Julia’s piece are those who would not have met without Twitter and other social networks (Nota Bene: I don’t include FB and LI in this segment. For my proper personae I only use those for people I actually know or have worked with. Twitter on the other hand is an orgy. I do know a number of others who will connect with anyone on either – that’s simply not my style.)
Referencing my last post and making a bit of an exception to it (I promise I’m not bipolar but rather just see many shades of gray) – there are those I’ve met initially on twitter, followed by a long ‘acquaintance curve’ that once I actually do meet them in person or have a phone call with them, may actually be more aware of where they are now in their lives than a ‘long lost’ friend may be even with the assistance of status updates given my lack of prejudice from having known them for years.
For anyone tracking it, I’ve had the unadulterated pleasure of meeting a handful of you. With each coffee/drink meeting we were able to talk immediately, comfortably, completely passing over the awkward small talk of old acquaintances or the false notion of complete familiarity FB updates may bring. Each conversation would likely have gone on for many more hours (and some in fact did go on for hours).
The topic of twitter as the great icebreaker actually came up in May (sorry I can’t find the entire thread).
Of course the proof is in the pudding – it’ll be interesting to see how this all pans out next week at Masquertweet and we all get to play with a hundred-ish of our favorite people we’ve never met.
(PS — Julia, you are, of course, invited Masquertweet. I’m sure there’s more than one of us that would love to talk SM with you).

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