Nathan Bransford, Author

Monday, April 22, 2013

Estrangement in the Social Media Era

Social media is built around maintaining your relationships. Facebook Timeline was introduced to help you remember your past.

But what happens when relationships fall apart and when there are parts of your past you'd rather not remember? Social media can thrust painful memories on you, often when you least expect it.

I was recently interviewed by the BBC Radio 4's show "Digital Human" about my experience with divorce in the Internet era, along with Becca Bland, who is estranged from her parents.

This is the first time I've given an interview about my divorce, and although it was a bit nervewracking to talk about my personal life, I'm really proud to have been a part of this show. It's a thoughtful examination of an area of modern digital life that is new and challenging but not without hope.

You can stream the show directly from the BBC's site or download it for free from iTunes.

My post from last year on divorce in the Internet era is here.

Art: Portrait of Ambroise Vollard by Paul Cézanne


Stephen Parrish said...

I read your post from last year once again. I remember being floored the first time I read it; I'd had no idea any of that was going on your life. It took courage to share. I hope things are better today, and that having legions of supportive fans helps.

It's nice to hear what you sound like.

Whirlochre said...

The internet has ramped up the stimulus count for most people.

On good days, this means you can drop in on the world and feast away to your heart's content.

On bad days, the information overload can be daunting.

Right now I'm all for an internet that can be switched off across a whole range of platforms. It should be my shout as to when I want in. What I don't want is to be alerted to death via a series of pop-ups, bongs, bleeps, tweets and other distractions. That's just annoying.

Matthew MacNish said...

I've had some previously estranged family members coming back into my life lately, and it can be pretty awkward. Luckily, they're not much for social media, which I'm sure would make it worse.

abc said...

"Number One: Do not fake your own death."

I enjoyed this piece. And it makes me want to go watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind again.

Rechelle Owens, Romance Author said...

Sharing your story in any type of public media can be difficult but it can also be inspiring and helpful. Thanks for being brave enough to share.

Veronica Rundell said...

It sounds a lot like divorcing when one has kids. You are distant from the ex, yet constantly tethered by parental responsibilities Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Those who do any kind of programming or user-interface design need to stop assuming they know better than we do what we want to see and where we want to go online, and what kinds of connections we want to make.

The real test of having our lives online will probably hit in the next 5-15 years, when people begin to realize why they might not want their middle-school insensitive joke, their high-school puppy-love angst, and their college binge-drinking episodes spread all over the internet, following them around forever. said...

How painful :(. Sorry you had to go through that. It was brave of you to do the interview. I can't imagine going through a breakup in the digital age; when I was young and wanted to cut ties with someone I'd just leave town ;). I'm sure it's all the more frustrating when you don't have the choice to kiss social media goodbye because of your job.

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