Social Media as Façade
Is technology a façade or a mirror? Either way, the metaphor speaks to an image, a construction, an outward appearance that conceals a hidden truth, an authentic, lived experience, a reality behind the façade or the reflection.
The names we have for the media that have dominated online public discourse betray a flippancy toward the commons.
Facebook is about an image that we project into the public space of the life we aspire to. The competitive arenas of high school and post-secondary education are the metaphor for the social interactions that define our success or failure in the public sphere.
Twitter is about the short attention spans and lack of focus and depth of conversation that reduces issues of social policy, governance and public discourse to isolated, fragmented, ideas in a stream of consciousness that amounts to a sort of public jury, judge and executioner of the thoughts and actions of those who can garner the most attention.
The foundations of our social architecture do not have the structural capacity and integrity to be able to support the crumbling edifice of our public life. Now that we have the technical ability, the creative capacity, and the data analysis to know that we have built something that is unsustainable, how shall we rebuild to restore our broken social infrastructure?