Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 12:55 pm
The Future of Intimacy Is But a Text Message Away


So gradually, having a cell phone ceased to be something I thought of as something one has a choice about. One can’t comfortably opt out of a social medium that has become part of everyone’s standard reality, if you want to stay in their social sphere. However, at the same time, in the new standard reality, social life in general is no longer anchored in the same way; the cell phone, as a new medium for social behavior, has brought plans for socializing closer to the fluidity of real time, for better or worse. It seems altogether understandable, natural even, that plans mutate at the last minute, that meeting places get scuttled, that calls get screened, that the casual chatting in and around practical conversation gets dropped in favor of terse, no-nonsense texts.

Something similar seems to be happening with social networking; it’s becoming naturalized. Attempting to opt out of Facebook is beginning to have broader consequences than merely making a protest. For example, in an April post at O’Reilly Radar called Promiscuous Online Culture, Alistair Croll mentions how companies are evaluating social-networking pages of potential employees, noting that not having one is likely to make a person seem inherently suspicious. If you present an identity, but have no Facebook page to substantiate it, employers and other verifiers (i.e., the contractors/skip tracers/private-investigation firms that get hired to do background checks) might presume you have something that you are trying to hide. Croll calls this “peer-reviewed identity”:

Peer-reviewed identity in the era of open social graphs is a game changer. Consider, for example, the work involved in creating a false identity today: Photoshopping childhood pictures, friending complete strangers, maintaining multiple distinct Twitter feeds, and checking in from several cities. It’s enough to make Bond retire.

The implicit idea is that everyone should have a Facebook presence that is internally consistent with ones’ current self. The absence of such a presence—now that it is considered “normal” to have a Facebook page—could signal to employers a potential risk. Croll notes that “if employers rely on social networks, they may be creating processes that disadvantage the part of the population that isn’t using social media.”

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Reply Fri 2 Jul, 2010 01:00 pm
interesting, i don't use social media to mirror or improve my real life i use it as an escape from it, that's why i rarely use my facebook, and stay relatively anonymous on twitter

why do i want my real life on line, that's what real life is for, on line is for relaxing or exploring new avenues
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