Today’s Times article on Facebook captures a lot a great insight into the connundrum of web 2.0 and it’s meaning to social networks of the future. Covering the connective and disruptive power of uniting social groups under one public communication tool, journalist Brad Stone brings the wonderousness of reuniting families who have been long separated or estranged with the tragedy of a exec who Facebooked his way to being fired after he criticized a co-worker.
Quaker plain speech, as translated into our 21st century world, offers itself as a strong way to move between all social networking groups. Characterized as simple and democratic speech, plain speech doesn’t depend on who you are talking to, but offer something to everyone who hears it. The simplicity of the message can bring unity between people and remind us that something that is said online should match with what is said in public. Aren’t they one and the same in today’s interconnected world?
Of course, privacy settings, visibility status, multiple/fake accounts, and development of niche social networking sites can continue our sectionalized online life where speech can remain segregated between groups. However, interconnections can now be built between disparate areas of online speech via RSS, cross-posting, and other push-technologies (a la “your Twitter is in my Facebook” one-post-to-many-sources solutions) where there were previously fixed separations. Web 2.0 technologies giveth and they can taketh-away,
Now, more than ever, “let your yea be yea and your nay be nay” (Matthew 5:37) brings bearing to an ever-connecting world. Quaker plain speech, simple and caring, can bring light where conflict arises, take away the power of “truthiness,” and help build a stronger connection between the inner and outer self.