The New Society Pages

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Back when not everybody was on the internet, we were in pocketed communities. There were people I could communicate with and tell things to about my life, directly and discretely, more or less. There was a pretty good chance news wouldn’t spread so quickly, and I always had somebody disconnected from the situation and the other spheres of my life who could and would listen and understand to a degree what I was feeling.

Now I need to muzzle myself from expressing things in general. Anybody can find it. I’m not talking about scandalous or embarrassing things; it’s often the tediousness, oversharing the mundane, or giving a ticker of live events that are not meant for play-by-play coverage. Smaller groups know the rules – it’s understood to what degree saying something is inviting advice; it’s a small conversation that accumulates in context and isn’t so easily joined by third parties.

The more thorough and open the network, though, the more people can pick up blips of incomplete information and chime in uninvited. It’s essentially dangerous to put anything of substance anywhere, no matter how casual in nature, unless it’s designed in the kind of newspaper announcement format that this has rendered obsolete.

The internet has become a much weaker social network ever since social networking came around.

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