Black & White: Are Social Networks Divided Along Racial Lines?

Black_and_White_on_Facebook A fellow author whom I respect said to me today, “Despite everything, whenever I imagine a character who hasn’t been fully described in a book, I see him or her as a Caucasian.”

That set me wondering. Is that a touch of racism that he’s admitting to? Or is it simply human nature, to imagine people as being like ourselves?

Then, he went even further. He asked me to look at my social networks, at the profile pictures associated with the thousands of “friends” and “likes” of my various pages and profiles.

I was surprised. Among my social network connections who have an actual photograph rather than an avatar or symbol for their profile pic, the vast majority are white or pale skinned. Not that it’s all vanilla, but the handful of Blacks, Asians and such were so sparse that they seemed to be the exceptions that defined a rule.

My friend’s explanation for it is that we have become more and more tribal as a culture and a country, that everyone tends Read More

I Tweet, Therefore I am?

According to CNET, “Twitter users spawn 24.1 million Super Bowl game tweets.” It used to be that if you didn’t have a photo of it (whatever it is), it didn’t happen. Now, it appears that tweeting is your proof that you’re alive and doing.

What about just being there, experiencing the moment fully? Has social media become the way we make memories, connect with life around us? That feels too passive to me.

Stepping out of our lives every few moments to comment on it erects an edifice around us that might feel comforting and connecting, but it seems more like a wall between me and the effervescent now.