"On the Internet, I freeze up the way I used to at camp when I was ten or eleven, eating dinner with a group of girls whose sophistication and rapid-fire banter I sought in vain to match. Someone I admire from a distance tweets something at me, and I feel like the kid who has just been assigned lab partner of the most popular girl in school, who wants desperately to make a good impression but is terrified of saying the wrong thing."
- author Adelle Waldman on social media shyness in Vogue

Adelle Waldman social media Introversion

"The irony, of course, is that the more data we mine, and the closer we come to determining a precise calculus of sharing, the less likely it will be for what we know to remain true. If emotion and arousal are key, then, in a social application of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, we may be changing what will become popular even as we’re studying it. “If everyone is perfectly implementing the best headline to pass on, it’s not as effective any more,” [University of Pennsylvania marketing professor Jonah] Berger says. “What used to be emotionally arousing simply isn’t any longer.”"

The New Yorker looks at the science of what makes something go viral, in which University of Pennsylvania researchers found that positivity, arousal, and a sense of social currency drive people to share links. There is, of course, the obvious dark side – before we get too carried away, let’s not forget Schopenhauer’s admonition.

For a deeper look, see Berger’s book Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

(via explore-blog)

(Source: , via peachtherapy)

social media social science


If I have a point—and I am not sure that I do—it is that we do not have to give a quote to the New York Times just because they asked us for a quote. We do not have to write a Tweet just because we are waiting in line for the bathroom. We can spend entire days in silence if we so choose. You can keep your mouth shut. It is possible.

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"In terms of social media, a lot of times we’re just looking to see if this is somebody we want to work with or are they really … what’s the word I’m looking for … *strange* on social media circles, or lacking a level of professionalism in their online presence. Let’s just say there are some folks who have a Twitter/Facebook presence that’s a little … aggressive or antagonistic."

Literary agent Kristin Nelson on what she looks for in a potential author’s social media presence

Read the rest of the interview over at Scratch Magazine!

literary agents social media author writing books

"I do worry that new forms of communication make the experience of writing or even thinking less attuned to the quieter processes of self-reflection. I am truly blessed by my career as an academic because I can work by myself all the time. But social media pushes us to a sometimes hasty and invasive collectivity."
- The Nation columnist and law professor Patricia Williams, quoted in Guernica

(Source: guernicamag.com)

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