9 Jun

I’m reminded today that it is ever so important to keep our perspective as we go about our day-to-day, especially in this increasingly “virtual” world that we live in.

A local sportscaster complained that many of his fans on Twitter were insulted that said sportscaster didn’t post all of his show’s tweets personally.  This was not a personal Twitter account, this was his radio show’s Twitter account.  And the expectation was that this host should be spending his days and nights knee deep in tweeting?  Really?  When does he have time for his “real” job then?  And even if it were a personal Twitter account, what about his “real” life?

Other times I’m struck by how personally people take your presence or your absence on Twitter.  As if your world really does (and should) revolve solely around a virtual community of people, the majority of whom you’ve never met (if you’re really an active social networker).  What do we know about the people we follow and/or connect to online?  What do I know about you?  Or you about me?  All we know is what a person deems appropriate to share in virtuality.  And it’s safe to assume that the level of “sharing” is much less in the virtual world than it is in real life.

And that’s ok, and as it should be …

Why are we so taken aback by glimpses of a person’s real life personality?  What makes us think that a dozen updates or status feeds a day gives us any real clue as to who’s behind that avatar?

So many seem to lose their perspective in social networking.  Social networking is simply a tool for making basic connections virtually.  Those connections may lead to wonderful friendships in real life.  Or they might not.   And that doesn’t make virtual life any less rich or interesting.  There are great virtual socializers doing cool things online everyday, forging new ground, helping to reshape how we communicate as a society.

Most importantly, social networking has made the global community a place that we all can participate in and enjoy.  It’s made the task of connecting to like-minded individuals and exchanging shared ides, that much easier.

I enjoy my social networks, my connections/contacts/virtual friends.  And I try to remember that there’s much more to each one then the bits and bytes that are shared as our Facebook status updates and Twitter feeds reach out into virtuality, cross paths, and sometimes intertwine.

I’m not much of an unfollower and if I put you on a list, there you’ll stay (for the most part – on occasion I’ve removed one or two for extremely offensive language).  But I live my virtual life this way because something drew me to this person initially and if they turn out to be more or less than what I expected, I remind myself that I should not have expected much.

This is just a venue for a virtual part of a more complete (and complex) human being that I really don’t know.

And that helps me keep my perspective.


3 Responses to “Perspective”

  1. Rachel June 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Great post / perspective. I’ve had to remind myself that I should expect no more (or less) in the social sphere than I expect in real life. Social networks provide an opportunity to network, personal development, and stay abreast of what’s going on in the world. It’s also what you make of it =)

    • thesocialwriter June 9, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

      Rachel – thanks so much for stopping by and for your insightful comments! It is what you make of it, so true.


  1. Tweets that mention Perspective « The Social Writer -- - June 9, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rachel Smith, Susan B.. Susan B. said: Got Perspective? […]

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