Social media: How much is too much?

Does social media actually make us more social? Cristin Norine, a freelance production manager and Jay Elliot, a commercial photographer, are putting this to the test in a project called “Public Isolated“, where Cristin will spend 30 days in a gallery communicating solely through social media platforms.

The gallery features two large sheets of glass, which Jay says represents a computer screen and the short communications back and forth represent how we tend to communicate online. She cannot come into contact with anyone from the outside for 30 days, which she argues is no different to anyone else these days.

This experiment has surely raised the question further: is social media media making us less social? “We think we are being social on these gadgets, but really we are not”, said Cristin. Perhaps technology’s grip our personal life is so tight we don’t realise it.

This experiment also alludes to the way social media is something of a glass house, in terms of its utter transparency, and how your ‘social’ life is put on a pedestal and publicly displayed.

Jay told CNN that the total lack of privacy is taking its toll on Cristin and even on a Sunday, when she just wants to take a break from her project and have a cup of coffee, she doesn’t have the chance as people are knocking on her virtual window to get her attention.

Their ‘installation’ is currently on its 22nd day, and you can follow her progress via her blog at Public Isolated Project. At the end of the day, we need to take personal responsibility in how we use social media: yes social media may make you a life-long friend or get you that business deal, but projects like these highlight the need to put a limit on the amount of time you spend being wired-in, so the traditional way of connecting is not lost in the digital world.

[Image Credit: Public isolated project]

Editor in Chief at here SMNZ, I have a passion for social and digital media. When not writing and managing SMNZ I am the Head of Innovation at TAG The Agency, a digital ad agency and the Head of Sales and Marketing for End-Game, a software development agency. I'm also involved with a number of startups and I am always keen to support those that are bold enough to give things a go. Start something, better to try than to live wondering what if...


  1. aimee w Reply

    I’d suggest that actual research might also be a good way to find out whether social media is making us more, or less (or, my own theory, differently) social. There’s been a few articles this week, in fact, about new research showing that social media is making us _more_ social…

    1. John Lai Reply

      Thanks Aimee for your comment

      I think this research is interesting because it really shows social media in a real everyday life situation, what would it look like and nothing like the best research as self imposed research, putting one through things and see what the outcome of it is

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