Okay, so that title isn’t actually in today’s quote, but it’s the phrase that came to mind when I read this passage in Tony Reinke’s 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You.
…our phones make it possible to share and consume a steady diet of information that is pointless beyond making us feel connected to others. This is phatic communication – trivial knowledge that is shared to maintain some sort of social bond, but not to convey ideas…Social media comes with an implicit contract, a sort of back-and-forth approval code that, over time, can erode the value of the information we share.
That phrase, “convey ideas”, brought to mind Charlotte Mason’s insistence on the importance of ideas and on avoiding “twaddle”, hence my post title. I may be trying to avoid “twaddle” in my reading, but how about online? Is what I share online worth others’ time? Will it encourage and build up others, or is it just gaining empty “likes”? These are some of the questions Reinke’s excellent book has me pondering.