So its Friday!!!! and in the world of Twitters and Tweets it’s that time of the week when you grab the finest coffee beans which the grocery cupboard has to offer, brew the brew, find a quiet place in the garden or studio and, as the caffeine works its magic, begin to reflect on the past week and who you would like to #FF, recognise, honour, mention or avoid.
My reflections and thoughts this morning revolve predominantly around the amazing world which has been created by the internet and it’s associated links and streams. I have already said something about this previously so won’t go there again but thought that today I would share a little of my experiences “on the net”.
People that are cleverer than I have suggested that there is a finite number of social connections which an individual can have before managing the associated social interaction becomes impossible to track. This magic number is called the Dunbar Number, please allow me to quote from Wikipedia (I told you there was someone cleverer than I):-“Dunbar’s number is a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person. Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar’s number, but a commonly cited approximation is 150.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar’s_number)
If this is true and my social interaction is to be made more difficult exponentially as my follows, friends or fan numbers grow, what will this mean and how will it impact my day and the available time I have to designate for social media interaction. You see for me the problem is this, I love people and especially those people who are engaged in life, living their adventures and pursuing their passions i.e. bloggers, Twitterers, Tweeters, artists, writers…..you get the picture. Ten years ago such contacts were limited to perhaps a small local group or one or two national groups and with any luck, an international group. Correspondence was either done through news letters and the odd email which allowed sufficient time between meetings, reunions or exhibitions to digest the news and get the picture of what was going on in your social/organization or interest group.
Not so today! In the last week I have been exposed to so much amazing material,so many thoughts, ideas and people, all of outstanding abilities and skills that my spirit is overwhelmed. Perhaps its time for the second cup of that coffee which I call snake-bite. Maybe a caffeine induced trance will offer some solution to my condition. The point I am making is this, the speed at which these opportunities to engage arrive and the frequency at which they present themselves is outstripping my ability to honour all that I would like to.
Lets take #FF on Twitter for example. This is a great way to recognise people who make the Twitter experience so colourful and worthwhile. This week I have tried to check each profile on my followers list to “get to know” the faces behind the Tweets. In the process I have visited websites, blog sites, journals and galleries all of which have been so very interesting. I have read short blogs, long blogs, looooooooooonger blogs, comments and viewed some work and art of the highest quality and finish. Here’s the rub, I have so much to say to each one I visit that all my available social networking time is blown in a flash…..and I still have not even visited Facebook where I have 250 friends, some of whom I am corresponding with now for the first time in 30 years. Oh, did I mention that I also write and manage a few commercial blogs and tweets; you can see my problem, so many wonderful opportunities and people……not enough time. Alvin Toffler the American futurist, in his book future Shock, held the hypothesis that in the future technology would outstrip humanity’s ability to keep up with the speed and volume of information which was to be created; Alvin, buddy, I know what you mean.
I am now on my third cup of caffeinated venom and all is becoming clear. If Dunbar and Toffler are right then their ideas trash the modern concept of having 2000 people who you can possibly follow with any grain of integrity. Even Jesus decided on 12 as the most effective number to disciple and just in case you have forgotten, He is God.
Here’s what I propose as the solution to my current state of self-imposed overload. I am going to be led by my heart, which after my scan in May I am assured is working just fine. I am going to allow chance, providence, artistic energy, spirit and faith to each play their part in directing me to the relationships and experiences which present themselves. I will resist the temptation to feel guilty about who I have not touched base with for a while, who I have not heard from in a weeks or who I have forgotten to #FF or email. In short I am going to let my cyber-life evolve and just see where it takes me; this seems like the most creative way to go about this adventure. So when we run into each other again, share a tweet, blog, direct message, fan page, group affiliation, email or call, it will be sweet, it will be fresh and it will be unforced……it will be serendipitous.
Oi! waiter….bring me another cup and make it a double Americano please, I think I am beginning to see the light.
written by artbyjude, July 12, 2010