So I was kind of stumped as to what to write about with social health in the design work and I was looking at the definition of social on Webster.com, the definitions/versions I found interesting was the one that defined "of or relating to human society, the interaction of the individual and the group, or the welfare of human beings as members of society." So how as designers do we create a health social relationship with our design world and friends? I think it used to be really simple, find contacts, keep in touch, make friends, make relationships and call upon these people for references, opportunities, ect. Now there is a whole nether world to this process, its call Social Media! In our advances in technology and a need to know obsession of what everyone else is doing we now have multiple outlets that allow us to find this information (as well as post it). Social media now comes in the form of Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Myspace, Flickr, ect. It's all over the place and in our faces. I know my generation is all about it and don't get me wrong I myself partake in a few of these guilty little pleasures, but my question is " Is this excessive amount of social media healthy?" Since when are we so self absorbed that we need to post on the Internet everything exciting or worth while that happens in our life? Via images, text or videos. I understand having all of these resources at our fingertips is absolutely amazing, but is it being used for the right things?
I read this article on AIGA Design to Empower the People by Zara Arshad, written March 03, 2009 and she talks about social media and how its changing our design world, "Socially responsible design is gaining momentum as designers are beginning to increasingly consider the context of their work, acting as indicators of current global affairs that necessitate action or response." Designers are taking the events and opinions that are happening around us and developing their design around it. She writes of "Guerilla Codes" which are those new QR codes that were seeing on a lot of advertisements and other designed things. This article is a little radical talking about social stances and standing up for what you believe in, using design supported by your beliefs. Although it's a little intense, I agree, as designers we should be grabbing all forms of new technology and trying to incorporate them in to our work. But this brings me back to how much social media is healthy for ones well being? I don't know. I personally tried participating in Twitter, I didn't get it and gave up, I don't really go on facebook anymore and haven't posted anything new in like a year, myspace is dead, I try to keep a blog but its difficult with a hectic schedule. I'd rather worry about my projects and the work I'm producing.
And all of a sudden im hearing from my peers and elder design people that if im not on these social medias im doomed in trying to find a job.... But how much time can I stress out about something that I really don't like to do or don't really want to participate in? Am I supposed to be obsessively updating my twitter account with cool design stuff or my facebook page with projects? Although these social medias are a great way of networking with people in your field, I feel like they are being pushed upon me in a forceful way. What happened to the good old days of talking to someone face-to-face or writing e-mail, now it's all about whom your following on twitter or if you're a fan of a design firm. To me its overwhelming and not in a good way. Maybe I should shut my mouth and do what I'm being told to do, the times are changing and maybe I should just accept it (but i don't really want to). What are your thoughts??