Random musings on social media

Social media blurs the conventions many of us grew up with. Who are all these folks we connect with daily? Are they friends? Or just followers? Are they teaching us? Helping us get jobs? Inspiring good works? Or just scaling our lives upwards? After months on Twitter, I'm wondering:

When someone in my blood family is hurting, will blogging or Twittering or e-mailing my pain convey my concern adequately? Will it actually generate compassion for me and the ailing relative?

Me thinks no . . .

So, should my response to a family member's pain be conveyed differently from my response to a blogger in Idaho's pain?

Me thinks yes.

But, what if the only medium I know how to use is the 140 character text string? Is that adequate? Will the format truly allow me to convey the broadness of empathy? Or the fragility of uncertainty?

Or does the compression of the message demand that I convey certainty and authority regardless of the context?

Will snarky comments and Tiny URLS take over the crafting of an elegant personal note or the grace of bearing an awkward silence for a friend enduring a terrible loss, a sick child, or a frightening diagnosis?

Who knows what the future of personal expression will look like. My hope is that it will be adequate to express the complete poetry of our souls.


  1. That is so beautifully stated. I wholeheartedly agree!


  2. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. and even blogs seem to me to be closer to the nice folks I see every weekend at the market. I don't know them. I recognize them. I recognize their kids. I catch little snips of their life (like when her son refused to leave the candy aisle by sitting on the floor). They are good people but when the chips are down they are not My people.

    That's not to say some of them might not become My people, but that kind of relationship requires far more investment than shared snips.

    On the other hand there are exceptional moments in ones life; ecstatic ones and tragic ones. I suspect in those moments even the passersby folks in my life might stop to help share that moment with me.