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]