Evaluation of Social Media as a Dialogical Environment

Qualitative Time & Space

The creative and generative aspects of social media induce a natural ludic atmosphere. The ‘place’ in which this engagement occurs is highly liminal, in that it is not mundane space, meatspace and is open, even within the technological constraints in which it forms, to the possibility of quality over quantity.

The asynchronous nature of communication is also a foray into kairos as opposed to chronos, being unstructured by normal time; able to flow in and out of time where a thread can pick up, as if never dropped, in seemingly magic ways. While at the same time, the immediacy of the environment in has a quality of unreal to it; such as the apparent relative immediacy of a BBS or e-mail to bridge distance and periodicity of other modes of communication, but moreover the now seeming instantaneousness of tools like instant messaging or Twitter at bridging distance, real and imaginal, between people.

Good Faith & Willingness

Although I find dysfunctional in general the an almost unnatural proclivity to to trust others, their statements and identities, online; this points to the presence of good faith by participants in the social media. The willingness to engage is also significant not only with familiar contacts but also with strangers, to the point that it seems in a social media environment unknown people are in some sense instantaneously already familiar strangers merely by being present in the environment.

The fact that trust can be broken through faked identity or malicious spoofing in the online environment merely points to the a priori, already present and existing, good faith and willingness of people to engage.