the meta of twitter

raul started, or continued, a conversation on his blog that i think we should all take seriously (or let’s say, play with). he states there is a

need for higher-level, more philosophical/ethical/larger scale discussions in the social media world, and about topics on internet and society.

frequent readers of my blog know that i totally agree, and i’ve written a number of musings about it myself (see the list below)

raul asks some questions:

  • what are the ethics behind social media?
  • where are the ethical boundaries drawn?
  • what type of best practices are taking place and how can we avoid faux pas?
  • what is the impact of twitter and other social media on society?
  • who is benefiting from early adoption of social media?

let me ask a few more and then hand it over to you:

  • is twitter changing language? and if yes, how do we react to it?
  • does social media take away from face-to-face relationships? and is this question answered differently depending on how deeply a person is involved with social media?
  • as information races towards us increasingly fast and in increasing amounts – are our ideas of what it means to know something changing?
  • and a question that i’ve been wondering about for a while – how do our brain’s neuronal connections mirror the interwebs (the webs cast by the internet and by social media), and do these changed connections result in permanently changed brains (hindbrain, limbic system, neocortex and web brain, perhaps?)

what questions do you ask?

these are earlier posts on related topics:

why we blog and other intelligent waxings on self-expression

blogging yourself home

MentalHealthCamp – the power of social media

social media etiquette

simplicity and the internet

blogathon: internet, the great procrastination enabler drug

quickie: what’s a friend?

comment aspirations

bloggers – who are they?

compassion and social media

on blogging and research

metta. and that includes the internet.

designing the web

the psychology of cyberspace


  1. Lot’s of great questions!

    My own experience is that social media brings me more contact than I would have with my extended family and friends – especially as we are geographically all over the place. It’s not a substitute for face to face time but is an extension. It has also extended the circle of those I call friends – a couple of whom I’ve even met face to face, which I wouldn’t have done without (in this case) Twitter.

    Twitter (and IM generally) is surely changing language. One factor is the international nature of the media which develops a more universal form of English – and also develops new forms. My current favourite is ‘my bad’ which I’ve now heard move from IM/social media into spoken English.

    I also think our relationship to knowledge has to change. No longer are there a small number of recognised sources, but a whole range of sources. Which needs us to be more discerning about what we believe and what we don’t.

  2. Thanks for an interesting topic.

    I guess the social media breaks down and reinforces social isolation. My partner and I email each other articles and such when we are in the same room on our computers.

    I suspect it changes how comfortable people will be face to face – though I think it will be a generation before we see how this works out.

    The culture of social media seems approximately middle US. It’ll be interesting to see what happens as China becomes the world power.

    I think twitter and other social media allow us to gossip with more/different people. This seems to be the function increasingly of some magazines and reality TV and so on. This seems to me to be a way of creating a shared world of meaning. No bad thing to my mind but I do have some views about what meanings we should share.

    I think the medium can affect what is communicated. Deeper analysis and discussion won’t occur in 140 space grabs. But facebook is different for instance.

    People are not (only) about information. Perhaps we could come up with a new name for social media connections rather than ‘friends’? How about “smate” = social media mate?
    .-= Evan´s last blog ..The Benefits of Modesty =-.

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