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The Sum Of My Connections

In response to Roger Cohen’s recent Thanks For Not Sharing — a rant about the oversharing he sees on Twitter and Facebook — Alexis Madrigal skewers him:

Your Anti-Social Media Rant Reveals Too Much About Your Friends - Alexis C. Madrigal via The Atlantic

My diagnosis is simple, Roger: your friends and associates are terrible and boring. Being that you are a smart and interesting guy who would distill only the finest information from any social network, the problem is the garbage going into your feed, which can only come out as garbage in your column. And that garbage is being created by the people who you choose to follow and know. 

Madrigal is being a bit snarky, but it’s actually true. The best thing about open social networks is that they are open: you can follow whoever you want. And the most positive and life-affirming thing we each can do is move ourselves in the network by adding new connections, and possibly dropping old ones.

I am leaving aside — as did Madrigal — the question of what others may gain by following Cohen. Or not.

But the possibility exists to be enlarged by this, and to share that: I am made better by the sum of my connections, and so are my connections. But I think Cohen is missing that point, completely.

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