I just got off a Google Hangout with a group of dynamic new media folk, who interviewed me about Chat Republic.
It’s odd, and so appropriate to have these well moderated chats about a book that makes a big case for inviting the unscripted, un-fettered conversations. We had to pause whenever we ran into a glitch – technical issue, human error etc — but as the moderator, Adnan, told me at the end, he leaves the glitches and silly mistakes.
I try to respond to the famous questions about ‘over use’ or ‘dangers’ of new media by saying that this thing called social media is not one thing, with a handbook. To expect it to have a set of rules is like expecting there to be a set of rules for how to use the telephone or how to speak to your neighbor.
There’s a good column in the New York Times today on the downside of email, and how in interrupting us all day, it interferes with thinking time. It ends with a line that echoes something I touched on a few days ago, when speaking of Content Curation and TMI.
“And let’s never forget the value of face-to-face, or voice-to-voice, communication. An actual un-rehearsed conversation — requiring sustained attention and spontaneous reactions — may be old-fashioned, but it just might turn up something new.”
In a time when we could bypass human interaction with a messaging device, an app, or a process, let’s not forget that it’s the spontaneity of being ‘social’ that makes it such good ‘media.’