Is this the party to whom I am speaking?

September 1, 2009 at 9:20 pm Leave a comment

We can think of social media like the old time telephone party line.  A party line was when two or more customers shared the same phone connection.  (Prior to World War II most residential telephone service in the US was through a party line.)  If someone was having a  phone conversation, another customer could pick up the phone and join in the conversation, or just listen in.  As we can imagine, a favorite pastime was eavesdropping on the other parties phone conversations.  Party lines provided a lot of fodder for gossip.  I’m sure privacy issues were the main reason party lines fell out of favor.

Social media has resurrected the party line!  I post my status and everyone in my network (on my party line) can see it (listen in).  Not only that, when they write on my wall, everyone in my network and their network can listen in.  We are throwing our personal business out there into cyberspace with little regard for privacy.  We are posting and tweeting our actions, thoughts, desires, etc. and inviting others to eavesdrop and gossip.  We are giving out information to virtual strangers, hmmm I wonder if that is wise…..


Entry filed under: interpersonal communication, party line, social media.

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