There was a time when there were only two types of thoughts: those that you shared and those that you kept to yourself. Call it discretion, or social etiquette … but learning to interact in any culture mostly meant learning the unwritten rules about how much to share and how much to keep to yourself.
Social media has led to a third type of thought: one that you share with a virtual social network instead of those who you may be interacting with in person. This might lead people, for example, to post a review of a menu item at a restaurant on Facebook instead of sharing that same thought with those who they are dining with.
When you have and share this type of "third thought," the big cultural question is whether this is anti-social behaviour, or just a new kind of social interaction. How much should we focus on being in the moment versus amplifying our experience by sharing and interacting with our virtual social network to add context to our real life interactions and activities? In other words, where is the line?
Each of us needs to answer this question for themselves, but below are some "visual notes" (thanks to Sunni Brown) from a panel discussion I led yesterday at SXSW where we explored this exact question and came up with some interesting conclusions.