RAISING THE DUNBAR
Cliques & Clickstreams
British Anthropologist Robin Dunbar studies Primate socialization and came up with the Rule Of 150. That is the figure he attached to the number of meaningful, stable, social contacts that we would naturally maintain. This number is presumably imposed by the neocortical processing capacity that we inherited.
For most of Human history this was probably quite true. Humans probably spent nearly half of their time focussing on social grooming in order to keep the group together. We naturally form protective cliques to protect ourselves, even out here..damn that Selfish Gene.
Now Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs, are stretching our little Primate brains to their limit. Cybergrooming is redefining the meaning of socializing. We may be grooming more people, but how much of it is sustainable and meaningful?
I think that this is why Bloggers get burned out and quit. The cost/benefit analysis & work-to-fun ratio simply might not provide enough of a return on your investment. Cybergrooming & networking may be very important to you and for many it is equal to or eclipsing the connections in the so-called RW or real world..is it?
All of this chat-ronizing also has a sinister shadow lurking beneath, the clickstream. Like it or not, every click on your keyboard is being recorded, colated, and analyzed, so that someone, somewhere, can sell that information to somebody else, who is going to try to sell something to you and your demographic cohorts.
Some of us forget that digitized chatter is so easy to lock and load. I've fabricated some outrageous notions and expressed unpopular views that are definitely not politically correct. Many of my blog postings, taken in or out of context, would open me up to a world of grief should any of those narrow minded little asshats ever get motivated. HA! WhatEVERRRRRRRR!
That being said, I still have this bizarre idea that this may be the last bastion of free speech. You still can't say things on the opinion page of your local newspaper the way that you do out here. For the most part I am expressing my views because I have a safe cyber-room full of like-minded peeps, whom I in return, reciprocate and groom..see, there is that damn selfish gene again! Maybe I wouldn't be so brave if I was getting kicked in the balls everytime that I said something stupid?
Most of us are not super-connectors with hundreds, thousands, or millions of contacts, so chances are excellent that nobody could be arsed to get on our tits about what we say..they just want to know where we go...for now.
How conscious of your predicament are you?
A are you overextending your social grooming abilities?
B do you care that your clicks and cliques are being sold?