Sometimes you run into an article that just blows you away. (Thanks for the pointer Lilia!) That's what happened to me while reading Clive Thompson's NYT article "Brave New World of Digital Intimacy". The article is very long, but super informative and gripping. It's about online social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter. I find everybody should read it!
The article questions why and how people use these tools. It basically answers the question with: You have to experience it to know. It also questions how real-life social networks relate to digital ones. Why are real-life networks smaller than digital ones and what does this mean for intimacy.
I love the terms 'ambient awareness', 'ambient intimacy' and 'ad hoc, self-organizing socializing' to depict these tools. Because it's true, that what I experience too when using Twitter, my blog and Facebook.
And I knew real-life networks were limited by the magic number, 150. But I didn't know Dunbar (ah, the Dunbar number) gave the proof for this number.
And I love the way the article is closed: "In an age of awareness, perhaps the person you see most clearly is yourself."
Did you like the article? If so, let me know and I'd love to discuss it in more detail with you.