Links and articles about technology, design, and sociology. Written by Rian van der Merwe. Follow @RianVDM
And then there were four
You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a few days. I just wanted to let you know that I have a very good reason — possibly the best reason. On Thursday evening at 9:15pm our second baby daughter was born! Things are a bit hectic right now because she is still recovering in NICU. I wrote down a few thoughts about the experience in case you’re interested. So please bear with me as we get back on our feet, and then I’ll start posting regularly again.
I do, however, want to share a post that has been on my mind constantly over the past few days. In A Brief Pause Ethan Kaplan talks about the role that Facebook plays in building stronger communities. At one point he said something that really resonated with me:
I missed seven years of people because I had no means of finding them. Finding them over the last seven years led me being there for a friend, however I could, in a time of the greatest need. I can fault Facebook for a lot, and scholars and critics can fault computer mediated communication for a lot, but I can never give enough credit to both for making that possible.
It’s true. We complain about Facebook a great deal, but I can attest first-hand to the strength of the community in time of need. But this brings up some other, more complicated thoughts. How comfortable are we with sharing our struggles on social networks? We’re having a good discussion about this on Google+ if you’d like to join in. At one point I said this:
I’m happy to post links, jokes, and sunset photos far and wide. But now that I need the community to support us, I’m a lot more hesitant. I traced the root cause of my reluctance to share more openly what’s going on in our lives to the fact that I don’t want to be a downer on people’s timelines. See, if the language of social networks is likes and hearts, doesn’t that guide us to only share the good and ignore the bad? Where is the room to say “Hey, I need help right now” when the nomenclature to respond to that doesn’t exist?
And with that, I’ll leave you with a photo of Emery, and a promise that we’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming soon.