Ambient awareness through Facebook

"What's going on?," is such a vague phrase that only formulaic responses come back.  It's hard, therefore, to forge a sense of connection with people you see only once in a while.  That's what makes Facebook so useful.

No one ever sends out an email saying "We're planning our summer vacation to Australia" or "I'm sick and tired" or "I'm surrounded by New Years' resolution folks at the gym" or even "I'm in Phoenix" (all actual status updates from my friends).  Yet, these updates give you a decent idea of what their life's been like when you do meet them face-to-face. It sets the stage for a better connection. As this this article points out:
Nobody avoids meeting people in real life by escaping to the Web. In fact, the opposite seems true: Short, continuous, low-content updates about the particulars of your friends' lives—Bob has the flu, Barbara can't believe what just happened on Mad Men, Sally and Ned are no longer on speaking terms—deepen your bonds with them. Writer Clive Thompson has explored this phenomenon, what social scientists call "ambient awareness."
Ambient awareness.  I like that term.

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