The change addressed in “You’ve got mail. Do you care?” (Page A1, March 30) is indeed noticeable. But what is most interesting about it, I think, is that the switch from e-mail to social media leads to a drastic change in the quality of communication.
Leaving spam aside, an e-mail (just like the good old letter) used to be written often with one addressee in mind. What I might post on Facebook or Twitter, however, is from me to the world. The focus is not the other person, but what I want a fairly large group of people to know about myself.
As Rudina Seseri, a partner in a venture capital firm, says, “If someone actually cares what I think, they can make an effort and follow me on Twitter.” This sort of communication is essentially a one-way street. Comments may be encouraged, but they, too, are public. Whatever happened to thoughtful, intimate exchanges?