Muting is for nerds; tuning out others is mainstream. The problem Matt writes about is a huge one.
-Stephen Hackett, “The Real Problem of Muting”
A great conversation has begun that started with Matt Alexander’s discussion of muting within social networks. While I don’t always agree that muting as a practice is a bad thing, I like Mr. Hackett’s follow-up, which gets at the heart of the issue: egotism. People like to believe that their point of view is the right one and surround themselves with others that agree with them. Americans are especially bad at being held accountable or being challenged and many of us hate confrontation, even when constructive. Thankfully, I know very few people agree with my views, so it is hard to delude myself into that notion.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.