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Monday, July 21, 2008

The text version of hanging out

There is a place for micro-blogging (such as with Twitter), and not just for hyper-communicative youth or parents on business trips who use it to keep in constant, drive-by touch with their kids. Fascinatingly,
Clive Thompson at Wired calls it "social proprioception" - the social version of the hand knowing what the foot's doing. He writes that Twitter "gives a group of people a sense of itself.... It's almost like ESP.... You know who's overloaded ... and who's on a roll.... Twitter substitutes for the glances and conversations we had before we became a nation of satellite employees." This is in contrast to past claims that the Net isolates us from one another, and it's where the social Web is heading, Clive suggests. He also offers a good reason for why it's widely misunderstood: It's "experiential" - you can't just view it to understand, you have to do it with a group of friends or colleagues, people with shared lives or interests. Dipping into it from the outside is like walking in on the hanging-out banter of a group of close teenaged friends - you not only need to know a bit about what they're talking about, you need to know them to understand what's going on.

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Anonymous Kate Olson said...

I just found your blog through 3 different educators linking to your post on Club Penguin on Twitter! The fact that you posted about Twitter on a family site interests me because of a topic that I just raised last night with several other adults - I now have several 13 and 14 year olds following me on Twitter, and many other adults are experiencing the same thing. While I don't think that I have anything remotely racy or inappropriate to worry about kids seeing, it would definitely concern me if my preteen or teenager was spending a lot of time on twitter interacting with mainly adults. I love Twitter and spend a TON of time on it, but I think that the accessibility of EVERYONE is a little worrisome when it comes to younger users.

I'm not a fan whatsoever of scare tactics and am the biggest fan you'll find of educational technology and integrating social networking into education, but this is one area that I do think parents should keep an eye on.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Excellent point, Kate. It is a little concerning, not so much because of the content as Twitter's past selective enforcement of its Terms of Service (I don't know if you saw this item of mine on that a while back). Thank you,

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I send panic-ridden parents and kids struggling with various types of cyberbullying issues directly to Anne’s NetFamilyNews.
Wide Circles

2:46 AM  

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