Losing interest in social media: there is no there there

Jul 31, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

As readers know, I've always had a distant relationship with social media. My focus has always been on this website, rather than my Twitter presence or my Facebook profile. It's a stance that has come with some criticism, and has sometimes cost me readership. But it's no matter. I've never been a mainstay in the cocktail party circuit (if you're looking for me at one, I'll be the large guy in the corner nursing a drink and planning my escape). Social media is, as George Siemens says, secondary media, and while it's useful to keep in touch, at least to a certain degree, the important things happen outside, at the edges, where real people are having real experiences. And like Siemens, I find almost intolerable "the shallow platitudes and self-serving 'look at me!' activities of social media gurus whose obsession is self-advancement." But you know, this is how it works. You can make change at the edges, or take credit for it at the centre. See also Graham Attwell, John Connell, Clarence Fisher, Paul Rudman.
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