Ok I think I get this now . . .

I’ve been thinking a lot about my last post about not having faith in social networking.  During my travels through the internet I happened across this interview with Stephen Fry which really started to bring things into perspective (it is a half hour long and while the whole interview is interesting most of the point that I got from it regarding this class is in the first 2 minutes or so).

Here is the video (it wouldn’t embed for some reason).

The reason why social media works for so many people is that (~4:20 in the video) is that there are always people more interesting than themselves and social media allows you to connect with those people.  It isn’t that I think that I am more interesting than others its that social media sites/texting/etc have become too slow for me.  I’ve started to appreciate actually talking to people either on the phone or face to face which gives you instant feedback to what you are saying.  Your sample space is minuscule in comparison but the amount of information about the other person you get through a conversation is so much more than through twitter or other forms of social media.

I realize that only looking around at the people in your immediate network limits the people you can talk to and it is limiting but I have started to realize that I find the social networks limiting in the same way.  I keep picking on twitter but statistics recently released show that twitter conversations are not terribly deep.  Only 1.53% of twitter conversations are three levels deep (there are all sorts of interesting twitter stats found here).


About mrthejud

I'm a teacher at Greenall High School in Saskatchewan.
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4 Responses to Ok I think I get this now . . .

  1. courosa says:

    On your last point, I don’t think you’re taking into account what happens beyond Twitter. Twitter can be a starting point for deeper connections – my best connections from Twitter are relationships that began on Twitter, but became augmented through shared collaborations on documents, Skype conversations, or even, in some cases, face-to-face meetings.

    Each tool plays a part – Twitter is not always the best for deep conversations (most people admit) – but it’s a doorway to greater relationship and once-impossible collaborations. Look beyond each tool, and stats are really limiting when considering human relationships.

    • I do realize that it is all of the tools working together that allows people to interact and develop relationships. I don’t mean to pick on twitter but it is the only social network that there are statistics about. If you look at the other statistics on the site it is interesting to see how tweets are aggregated through retweets mostly only in the first hour of their existence or that 71% of tweets don’t get retweeted or responded to.

  2. Giulia says:

    It’s true, I’ve met some really amazing people through Twitter and the face to face interactions have been much richer because of Twitter. I was just at Educause last week and there were many people that I had not ever met (in person) before, but that I sought out to speak to, listen to and engage with because of the insightful things they’ve posted on Twitter. We could jump right into deeper conversations because we didn’t have to waste time on small talk finding out basic information or relying on random encounters.

  3. Theresa Murray (@tamurray) says:

    I agree with what has been stated in the prior comments . . . twitter can be a great introductory tool. Interactions outside that medium are where real connections and bonds can be made. I have gained a whole bunch of information from the information shared via Twitter, but I also have learned where I can go for more information and ideas if I need it.

    Last night I mentioned wanting to go to EduCon in January…I would never have heard about it in my little part of central NY. Last May, the teachers in Philadelphia were talking about the first un-conference (EdCampPhilly) and the idea intrigued me. I made hotel reservations and took my pre-service daughter on a 4 hour road trip for my birthday. We went to EdCamp and it was an interesting experience.

    Neither of these would have been on my radar if not for the network I created over the past year or so. I’ve made connections that could last for years. I’ve learned that there is a huge world beyond the walls of my school building. Let’s face it, I would never had heard of this class if it was not for having followed @courosa back when I started to lurk in the twitterverse.

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