anti-social networking

What’s the good of having a personal blog if you can’t use it occasionally for a personal rant? Today is one of those occasions.

Yesterday the subject line of an email urged me to PASS IT ON; the content of the message was simply:

VIRTUAL FRIENDSHIP IS AN OXYMORON

I loathe the impersonalisation of communications on the web. If someone wants to tell me that they’d like to keep in closer touch, I’d like to see something in the message indicating that it was intended for me personally.

The message was sent to a list of nearly 200 emails, many of which were clearly not personal contacts in any meaningful sense of the words – there was an address for bookings at a ski resort, one for the secretary of a school (and another for the same school), hotels, newspapers and other services; a lot of the names that were on the list had more than one email address listed – my own was on there three times, including the address that I use for serious business communications and two that have been so overwhelmed by spam that they’ve pretty much had to be abandoned.

I object to being written to impersonally and in all caps; I object to having platitudes and trite phrases sent to my business email; I object to my business mail being circulated to people and associations I have no interest in.

There is only one thing that was on target with the message: Virtual friendship is not what I think friendship should be.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

2 thoughts on “anti-social networking”

    1. And all we seem to have done with our wonderful technological advances is “foster indiscriminate writing among the inexpert and frankly incompetent”* and improve the ease with which junk information can be distributed. You try mass producing a cave painting and see how easy it is. And if you copy it onto a rock that’s small enough to pass around and I don’t like being a recipient, I can make my opinion quite clear by throwing it back at you.

      *That was originally written about the invention of the biro, and quoted more fully in another DCTN post.

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