Russian Social Media

Russian Social Media

How social is Russian social media?



I posted a comment on twitter today.

But as I pressed the send button, I suddenly had a thought.  Actually, I had a multitude of thoughts. Some of them had to do with how effective twitter was as a form of social media. The rest had to do with whether we had lost the ability to talk what with the explosion of all things virtual.

You see, there used to be a time when if something required to be said or needed to be asked, the person doing the asking or the person saying what they needed to say actually formulated words.  They asked their question or said what they had to say out loud to the person with whom they were communicating.

For me speech has always been an almost tangible concept.  It isn’t an object that can be physically held or touched.  But it can be heard.  And it sure as hell can be felt.

And there is something about the way that a person speaks that makes it distinctive.  It’s not only because each person’s voice is unique in that it cannot be imitated or replaced.  It’s because the tone of our voice and the expressions and gestures that we use when we talk that have the capacity to speak another thousand words.

The word social is defined as relating to activities in which you meet and spend time with other people and which happen during the time when you are not working.

Social media on the other hand is to a large extent described as web-based and mobile based technologies which are used to turn into interactive dialogue between organizations, communities and individuals.

And this is what is so interesting to me.  That the conversion of communication between people interacting in the same space into virtual dialogue between people situated in different locations is somehow still defined as being social.

How social can Russian social media be when we are not even within physical proximity of each other?

How much can we actually say when our thoughts are articulated into text often limited to 140 characters and when our emotions are converted into smileys?

And more than this, when I talked to my Russian friends of how virtual communication has become I am reminded of the movie Surrogates featuring Bruce Willis. 

The basic premise of this movie is that people live out their lives remotely from their homes via robotic surrogates which are mechanical representations of themselves. These remotely controlled robots assume their life roles and are what interact in society.

Now, of course this type of technology does not exist today.  But the premise of social media does.  People communicate remotely. 

They no longer require to be in the same space in order to interact.  And this allows people to create an online persona of themselves, a virtual representation of how they would like to be characterized, as we are what we are.  Of how we want to be perceived.

Let’s take Russian Facebook for instance.  It is the image that we are presenting that free of imperfections and stereotypes. We don’t strive because in reality we are expected to be perfect or strictly comply with the rules. 

Social media in Russia has changed the way we live our lives, the way we build relationships, the amount of time that we actually spend with each other, talking to each other. Social life has taken on a whole new meaning.

And as time goes by, our connection with each other expands.  It doesn’t mean that our ability to talk will diminish, as we still keep our friends by our side.

Of course, sometimes it is affecting our lives. Technology has evolved to such a large extent that people no longer need to socialize in the conventional sense of the word.

Why call someone when you can email them.  The need to talk is not as important as it once was because social media, in all its various forms, now services that need.

When I think about it, it still involves people, not text.

It is the social network that allows me to expand my circle of Russian and international friends who live virtually around the world. And it depends on me, if I can express myself, so it will make them to share my posts, make them laugh and respond.

  1. It`s not easy. It stilldepends on myability to keep the conversation going and find people who share my views, create circle of online friends who share my hobbies and interests. But it is much easier than communicating face to face, as I know that these people are looking for something similar too.

What do I get back? Real, not surrogate views, a shared conversation, laughter…

My life became richer, as I manage to live my life both in real time and online. Because I am me, and I do not intend on becoming an alternative version of me. And it makes me happy.

Social media buddy


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