Friday, July 4, 2008

A Sampling of Frozen Yogurt

How do we interact with people in the real world after viewing their online profile?

Our our expectations raised? lowered?

Are we comfortable discussing what we have seen online in person?

What if you have not seen the person for years and suddenly see them in the real world?

As social networks continue to grow and having an online profile is commonplace, it's interesting how our real world interactions are affected by the content we are exposed to online. According to Zanjoc's mere exposure theory, "the more exposure we have to a stimulus, the more we tend to like it." Basically, the more pictures we see of our friends online or view their online profile the more we like them. Our online profiles allow us to interact 24/7 and are a substitute for when we are unable to connect in the real world.

Although mere exposure has positive implications, it can also be overdone. After a certain number of impressions, we ignore the content. For example, I have friends who have over a thousand pictures tagged on their Facebook profiles. Am I really going to view all of these pictures? No. There is a strong wear out factor after viewing a few dozen.

I like to consider the content we post online, like sampling frozen yogurt. I don't want to give you the entire serving, but I will give you a sampling. I want to keep you informed about my life, but I don't want you to become super sized. This way our real world interactions are fresh and we are able to enjoy the serving together.

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