February 19, 2010

I signed up for Twitter over two years ago and let it sit for over a year. I’ve also started several blogs, all of which quickly went quiet until I started this one. And I’ve joined so many social networks that I don’t even remember. But it’s just more recently (in the last year or so) that several friends are using social media beyond Facebook. And suddenly my ambient awareness has exploded.

Through all these different forms of communication, I’ve got a handful of people I know better than when I just knew them in person. Strange, right? Maybe not. When we’re all broadcasting the smaller details of our lives, it’s easy to stay in the loop. It’s completely different from when you call someone on the phone and attempt to recall the highlights of the last several months. Those conversations boil down my life into events – job promotions, travel, holidays, major activities, life changes. The Oh I passed out in the mall last week” conversations never happen. But with both blogs and Twitter, I’m suddenly getting those updates – even if I don’t read it til over a week later, I still know it happened.

The weirdest part for me is in my long distance relationship though. My boyfriend and I try to talk almost every day. With the time difference and scheduling conflicts, it just doesn’t always happen like that. Falling asleep mid-conversation and not even remembering the phone call happens to me much more often than I’d like to admit. But he follows all my posting. So he knows what’s going on even if I’m not telling him personally.

However, he doesn’t blog about his life. It’s funny. He shares his location with me through Google Latitude, which to me is a ridiculous thing to share (I appreciate it definitely, but it still feels stalker-esque). And yet, I don’t know where he went Saturday night or what the last game he bought was or that he was contemplating going out of the country, leaving this week, unless he remembers to tell me on the phone. It’s a weird thing to have that level of awareness with some people, but not everyone.

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