The Shallow Social Network II of III
In some ways, the random collection of ‘friends’ I see in social networks is nice. Despite the fact these may be people I only met once or never see anymore, it can be nice to connect with them by passively reading news stories about things they read on the wall street journal. I really feel like I am getting to know them.
In some ways, the random collection of ‘friends’ I see in social networks makes me numb. Thankfully, algorithms sort my friends for me. Computers know me best.
It’s comforting to realize my social networks produce real, meaningful relationships with my friends for me. I didn’t realize I could get to know someone I met once at a party in 2006 by seeing what games they play or what articles they read. And of course, what you do does say something about you, but is that how you develop a relationship with someone? By reading about what apps they use? Is that the real them?
Social networks are specialized in helping me collect friends and helping me get to know them based on what apps they use. It makes sense and it is a great model of reality.
You know, there’s something about it. Something’s not quite right. When I was a kid I didn’t get to know someone based on what Pokémon cards they had, I got to know them by trading cards with them. And now that I’ve grown up and moved around the country I am no longer in touch with those old friends; and that’s ok, my situation has changed. But, regardless of relevance, my social network will store them there for me, still showing me what Pokémon cards they are collecting. Still missing the point of why I collected them in the first place.
Something is a little off with social networks and I’m going to fix it. OurPangea will learn from all the things social networks do wrong, and also the things they did right. You’ll get to know me for who I am, not just what I like.