Must we see everything of one another?

Not sure where to place this in my blog – to escape from the drudgery of grading papers (2000+ pages of 200+ students), I clicked myself through some favourite blogs, like Andy Boyd’s Croeso … found there first Twitter and later Skitch. (You can see “Twitter” messages – tweets – in the navigation panel on the right hand side of this blog). These two are an example for other killer apps, which allow pretty seamless integration of your activities “on the go”: clients, acquaintances and friends can follow each other and exchange fairly high-level content without having to be on-line. Works via mobile phone.

A big question for professionals, of course: are all these social networking applications more time-sucking than effectual? Do they serve actual needs? Do they help you to start, develop, nurture, use people networks, and/or will they lead, over time, to a deterioration of our physical social skills (the competences tied to sharing the same room, e.g.)? My experience is that people who communicate very well electronically often also are superb communicators IRL, in person, that is. This should not be a surprise. Because the end-all of all communication is to be seen by others. And the set of skills to be seen is connected to the skills of giving other people the feeling that they, too, are seen. Both are developed with the whole body – speech, style, body language working in perfect concert.

What would old Friedrich Nietzsche say to all this? Perhaps he would shudder, and repeat:

“A friend should be a master at guessing and keeping still: you must not want to see everything.”

And now, to lighten the mood, if you haven’t seen it already: Simon the cat’s take on social skills – “Cat Man Do”. Things to do if your man (or woman) won’t respond to your twittering … e.g. because the bastards have turned off their mobile phones! 😉
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