Too Much Information: Being Plugged In and Meaningful Friendships

とらちゃんとfacetime (2012/3/6) by yto
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とらちゃんとfacetime (2012/3/6) by yto

I had this one friend, when I was a kid, who always responded the same way when my mom asked if he wanted to stay for dinner. Let me call my mom and see what she’s making for dinner, he’d say. He didn’t mean anything by his response, but I later learned that mom felt that it was kind of a rude response. One doesn’t examine ones options when invited for dinner. Who knew? Today we might call this FOMO, or “Fear of Missing Out” syndrome, where one evaluates ones social opportunities often when engaged in one of the social opportunities. If done poorly or with too much obviousness, one is likely to irritate those in attendance with a sense that their presence is unimportant. This isn’t strictly a social networking phenomenon, given that my friend perfectly illustrated this behavior decades before the advent of social networking. But many feel, in this social networking era with friends sitting about at restaurants and other gatherings staring at their smartphones instead of talking with one another, that social networking is making this phenomenon worse.

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