Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Living Facebook Project: Day 3

Andy Marcinek is now friends with Todd Whitten
When I left my last post, I came to the conclusion that facebook is a giant time waster. What's more, is that facebook is not something I would classify as 'missing'.  What I do miss is the opportunity to share with people that only use facebook. With that element lacking, I decided to take sharing back to the basics and see what others thought about the analog process. So my question is...what happens when you want to share without any audience? And share with an audience of one? More, what would a connected room of students think about this form of analog sharing. I'm also wondering if people share more for the affirmation or more to genuinely help everyone in their network? 

Despite having more devices than I know what do with and a digital subscription to the New York Times, I still enjoy reading the print edition of the Sunday Times cover to cover. Call me old fashioned, but there's something very romantic about the Sunday Times. Along with Charles Osgood, I look forward to it each Sunday morning. This past Sunday I read a really interesting piece by Thomas Friedman that examined countries that have abundant natural resources versus those that don't. The countries that did not have an abundance of resources had more invested in education and performed better academically than those with the greatest natural resources. Regardless of the study, I found it to be an interesting read. I decided to bring it into school, cut it out, and share it with a history teacher. Today during Todd Whitten's US-China relations course, I interjected briefly to share the article. However, the first thing I did was to ask Todd if he would like to be my friend. I know Todd, but wanted to make sure we were friends before sharing something with him. Especially if I'm affixing that information on his wall. 

Andy Marcinek shared a link on your wall
I asked, "Todd, would you like to be my friend?"

"Yes." He replied. 

I wrote this exchange on his board: 

"Andy Marcinek is now friends with Todd Whitten" 

I then took the newspaper clipping that I found in Sunday's Times and tapped it to his wall. After I posted it, I asked for comments. I later found out that several students liked our new friendship and commented on the article that was affixed to Todd's wall. 

The students, along with my colleague, enjoyed watching me live out something we unconsciously do in the social media realm on a daily basis. So I'm curious. Why do we share? Do we share for us? or do we genuinely share to make others better? I'd like to think the latter, but I'm not sold completely. I imagine that some share simply for the affirmation and if you took away the social media platform that person may share less because the spotlight is limited. Obviously, this is a very cynical theory, but I'd like the comments that follow on this post to discuss this point and address the question: Why do we share? And would we share the same way if the social media vehicle didn't exist? 

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