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…

Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2005/05/27.html#a1578; comments are here.

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