It’s been almost a year since I wrote about how email is a dead medium (for me, anyway) and that we were all in a now-or-never moment to either embrace the social movement or forever be lagging behind. Months later, I’ve been noticing something with my own patterns of staying connected that almost worries me.
A friend of mine recently updated his Facebook status to ask if anyone was going to hire him, and I realized that I had no idea what he was up to. I knew that he was finishing up his second year of public policy field work in Niger, but we really hadn’t kept in touch. We’d both fallen out of email communication, blog postings became more and more sporadic, and attempts at communicating in 140-character bursts or through status updates weren’t quite cutting it.
As I’m trying to finish mapping out a curriculum for an online social media course for the upcoming school year, I’ve been thinking about how to sustain connections, to maintain ongoing conversations of substance. It’s become obvious that you need to stay with it. Twitter doesn’t become all that useful until you build a network of people to follow, start posting on your own, and start dialoguing within your network. Facebook isn’t much fun without any friends to keep track of. Even blogging can become somewhat of an isolating experience without a small collection of regular readers and commenters.
I’ll admit that I should probably start writing that lengthy email to my friend to get caught up with the last year or so, just to make sure that we actually connect.