Are Friends Electric?

August 10, 2010

On Sunday 15th August, Peggy of SPL communications officerdom (speaking, m’lud!) will be chairing an event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The event is called Are Friends Electric? and the blurb runs thus:

Biologists have claimed we can only deal with a certain number of close friendships. Facebook’s 400 million active users average 130 friends each. Twitter averages 50 million tweets a day. With this much information and this many people, are we emotionally and personally connected, or just sharing information? Join Jason Bradbury, Gadget Show host and one of the world’s most influential Twitterati, and Mariann Hardey, social media researcher and blogger extraordinaire, for interactive chat. #mustsee.

Supported by ESRC Genomics Policy and Research Forum, in association with The Skinny, this event is an exciting chance to discuss and debate the impact of social media. Here at the SPL, in the last few years, we have whole heartedly embraced social media developments available to us, so perhaps we are biased about the positive results it can have; we’re able to bring people and poetry together on a global scale, and that has to be a good thing!

But what do you think. Are friends electric? Do you feel that you have more than one online persona? Can you really be friends with someone you’ve only met online? We’d love to have your feedback before the event, electric friends! You can comment here, or join in on Twitter: please make sure you speak to us by using the hashtag #electricfriends.

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