The recent deplorable scenes in English cities have got me thinking, which does happen from time to time. It appears that much of the violence and looting was coordinated via social networking, specifically the BlackBerry Messenger service.
I suppose it is quite apt that technology that symbolises the anonymisation of our personal relationships should help the faceless mob in destroying the very communities which have bred and sustained them.
That being said, the mob are not write as faceless as it first appeared, and now we see the delightful visages of hooded vandals spreading across Facebook, encouraging all and sundry to help the police bring the blighters in.
This is the more positive face of social networking, exemplified by the excellent cleanup campaigns orchestrated through Twitter and the passive resistance of Operation Cup of Tea.
I have long been a Tweet-sceptic, refusing to join the crowd in loosing off the minutiae of my daily existence in 140 characters or less... however the positive uses of the site over recent days, and a certain desire to follow what is going on, have finally persuaded me to join. Whether anything I tweet will be of any interest will remain to be seen! So – my online persona fractures a little further – across Facebook, Google+, Twitter and, of course, this blog! That is, if I remember to update them all…
This all brings me back to the original point of social disconnect; the number of ways to interact with people that don't involve actual conversation are myriad. Since I got into Facebook, the convenience of short, regular updates has meant this blog has been rather neglected. Worse still it was left on rather a low note with my daughter's meningitis scare when she was barely 4 months old. Things have moved on in a happier slant since that, as those of you who know me will of course already be aware. For those who don’t, however, I suppose I should say that everything is fine - we have a happy little 2 year old, busy running her father ragged and proving just as wilfully cute as her Mum. I may even get around to posting a picture of her... who knows!