Remember when twitter was a great place to have conversations? I invite you to join me on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 12pm Eastern Time for Family Medicine Rocks Podcast Episode 300. My guest will be Meredith Gould: Digital Strategist, Writer, Blogger, and Founder of the Church Social Media Chat (#ChSocM).
This landmark show was sparked by the Meredith's tweet above about two weeks ago: "Ah Twitter. I remember when public convo offered rich engagement among tweps wrestling with great questions. Now I get that via DM."
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. I've been active on social media since 2006 (has it been that long already?), and I remember a time when blog posts regularly received dozens of comments back and forth. Then, when twitter first started, there were these great spontaneous group type discussions out there on topics. Scheduled twitter chats have kind of replaced that, but chats are structured, and leave little room for tangential/sidebar discussions.
When people now want to have a little bit deeper discussion, I receive the twitter/facebook direct message. People send me an e-mail, or even a text to my phone - and the conversation takes place off the "public" airwaves. But why?
In my opinion, here are reasons why "rich engagement" has gone private:
Political Correctness prevents deep analysis: We live in a world where people focus more on being offended than expressing a fully thought out opinion. Sometimes truth hurts, but people hesitate to go there in the public forum, because of the fear of being labelled a "hater." So, the discussion shifts to private messages.
This hyper-partisian world leaves little room for the "middle of the road" opinion: No matter what public opinion you express, whether it is on gay marriage or who will win the Final Four, people will attempt to paint you as some kind of extremist. How has the world evolved to this? No wonder people shift to the private message.
Being taken "out of context" is no longer the exception, it is the rule: This kind of goes along with the reasons above. To negate your argument or to deflate your point of view, people don't take all of your statements head-on, they are selective in the arguments they make. People pick out the statements they can easily defeat or label as "extreme" and then they reason the entire opinion is null and void.
I hope that even some of this makes sense. I'm looking forward to my live conversation with Meredith Gould on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 12pm Eastern Time on Family Medicine Rocks Podcast Episode 300. Hope you can join us!