Large social network imposes an higher attention degree on what goes on worldwide

by Lilia Efimova on 27 May 2005

Riccardo redefines social pressure:

We are used to think of Social Pressure as that feeling of “I have to do more” to stand up with the expectations of others.

Today I experienced another kind of Social Pressure, the one being imposed by your expanded social network on your attention/focus.
Let me explain:
I read on Kottke‘s that an explosion caused massive power outage in Moscow.
Normally this would go totally unnoticed. But today something different happened: the words “explosion” and “moscow” rang a bell. My mind ravaged on a query for “is there anybody you know who could be in Moscow now?”.
Of course yes.
Next query was “May she actually be there?” and, yes, I remembered reading something about that, and I had this sensation she hadn’t blogged in a while.
A quick check confirmed these feelings.
The fact I couldn’t find her on IM made me worry even more. All these well knowing the nobody were injured or whatever, that’s funny.

Fortunately, there are no reasons to worry – I’m back :) I was in Moscow during the outage, but spent the whole day at a workshop in the Northern part of the city that went unaffected (although the high temperatures were raising even more with hearing the news). And – to be fair – I was pretty happy that for the last few days there I moved from my sister’s apartment in the South to my parents’ place – she told me her story of dark shops, people storming buses or giving up and walking along the street.

Anyway – I’m more or less back (travelling a bit more for a few coming days).

And I loved how Riccardo puts it concluding the post:

Anyway, the point is that having a large social network actually imposes an higher attention degree on what goes on worldwide, and in a sense can make you listen to and be sympathethic with topics you’d never noticed before.

This is pretty logical, but still feels strange – your main focus is still more or less on things you do and people around you, but your peripheral vision extends to far away world…

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