… then as we stay in touch on meaningless things, we can eventually work effectively together,” John T. Cacioppo says, observing what is happening with the daily tidbits of news we get about each other via Facebook and Twitter.
Ironically, reading online about each other’s daily life means, for some including Julia Angwin, that they can dive into a “deeper conversation” when they finally do get together.
This “small talk” – even when not direct or in person, makes us feel more familiar to each other. Observes Cacioppo, “It’s like team practice – a basketball team has to practice together to win.” Cacioppo was speaking as a neuroscientist.
Yet there’s a big caveat. One may not get a true picture of what’s going on.
Angwin, as a journalist, compared what she read online about friends with what she discovered when she called them. While their brief online observations and comments were upbeat, both were going through difficult times.
That led Angwin to this wise, timeless insight, “I still find it reassuring to read my daily feed of status updates from friends and family. But next time I talk to my online friends, I plan to ask: “How are you …. really?”