Mike…interesting point about Turkle and the sociocultural changes in expectations of being listened to. i think she has an unfortunate tendency to frame problems in contemporary society as being the effect of contemporary practices, without always doing a good job of looking at what things were like even within living memory. it makes it hard to take some of her other points seriously, in spite of her excellent former work in Life on the Screen, etc. it’s like she got stuck on the idea that there’s a virtual world and it’s separate from the real, and she can’t unpack that digital dualism.
and it seems like what Stanley’s – and to an extent, Sherry Turkle’s – positions miss is an understanding of the nuances of digital identity and that the same rules govern sociality offline and on.
Stanley, what you just did is the equivalent of popping up in a public space – say a bar – inserting yourself into a conversation with a bunch of people whom you don’t know, and then calling the person speaking “insecure and alone.”
being dismissed as irrelevant to the conversation is one of the better-case outcomes of that kind of behaviour, in face-to-face interactions.
being “disappointed” at that response here is disingenuous, just as it would be in a bar.
if you have a public space like a blog or Twitter account (preferably both, so they can be triangulated) and you leave traces of yourself and your thoughts and ideas there for others to engage with, then people will interact with your “digital self” much in the same social way they’d interact with someone a degree or two removed from their social circles: as an entity. they may disagree with you but will tend to try to build some type of relationship.
whereas, if you only show up to poke holes in what other people say without any identity to which they can invest over time – no public traces, no identity for them to treat as part of the group – they’ll dismiss you. at best.