Friday, 30 September 2011

Broadcaster, follower, friend

So, you’re on Facebook right? Tell me, how do you use it? Do you share, share, share with your friends? Or simply spectate?


Here’s something I’ve noticed. Social networks give us a way to express ourselves and communicate with a large number of people. As a by-product they turn some of us into (admittedly small-scale) broadcasters. Broadcasting may make us feel important, particularly if we have a lot of followers or friends, but it’s not without problems.

When you’re a broadcaster, it’s a one-way relationship. You talk; people listen. Or so you hope. Sure, you may gain some satisfaction, or recognition, but it’s still a one-way relationship. Your words aren’t directed at an individual. Your entire audience isn’t sharing with you at the same rate as you’re sharing with them.

It’s like the relationship you have with a popstar, or politician, or A-List actor. You may know them quite well. You’re seen their speeches, examined their work, read the stories about their life.

Imagine you bump into them in the street, and start asking about their year. That would be weird wouldn’t it? Do they know you? No. It’s a one-way relationship.

The danger of one-way relationships is that the other half never invests. There’s never that return of energy that is the bedrock of friendship. It’s ironic that Facebook enables us to find old friends, and can seriously distort those rekindled relationships.

So, you did you hear my Lewis tale? Or my take on 27 dresses? Or that trip out with my wife? Why don’t you let me know? It’d be great to hear what’s up with you.

And if you’re all talk, talk, talk on Facebook, then might I suggest some balance? Once in a while write some news on a friend’s wall, or message them instead. They’ll know you’re talking just to them. And your friendship will grow.

1 comment:

Paul Morriss said...

I click the like button on other people's posts. Does that count as a 2 way relationship?