They can warm you or the atmosphere; they can light up the room or the sky; they can heat up discussions or help the creative cook up food for thought. But while a campfine can warm you, cook your food and bring you light, stand too close and you get burned. In fact, the the heat of the vile play on social networks can be so intense as to force retreat into cold isolation, lack of involvement, and loneliness.
In our daily connected world of social networks the reported second leading cause of death on college campuses is suicide. And the rash of suicides related to cyberabuse are at pandemic proportions and getting worse. In a world where you or I can start a social interaction on a phone with the push of a button–why are so many burned by social networks and churned into isolation? You know the answer.
Alone Together, the legendary title of Sherrie Turkle’s classic book, reminds us of the illusory nature of social networks–the illusion of closeness, the fact of distance. They can be a harsh reflection of the cold isolation of the world. And, like fire, social networks can burn you if they are abused by those out to hurt and destroy.
Not all of our guests have been burned on social networks–as far as I know. But not one of our guests is immune to the dual nature of social networks and how they can play such contradictory roles. Nicole Breanne reminded us of her fascination with the dual nature of social neworks. Anyone who has been attacked by a cybermob or a lone troll knows the burn of evaporating trust and the sting of fear. We are so fortunate to have many of the world’s foremost innovators promoting Service, Safety, and Sustainablility coming on our show to help you to learn to navigate the sometimes social networks where, under the best circumstances, you can derive so much pleasure. Our amazing guests and their important ideas, actions, and innovations have been helping our listeners learn to use social networks better for personal and business use. Just like fire we must learn to handle with them caution.