It was oddly apropos to be mulling over the idea of social bubbles over bubble tea. Totally unplanned, though (as was the choking on a tapioca pearl). A friend and I were discussing the need to stop accepting online culture as the status quo. It's exclusive and exclusionary, with its own language, its own jargon and touchstones and for all of its ubiquity, the culture of the internet isn't universal*, not even amongst our generation. My brother-in-law doesn't have a Facebook account, my former coworkers had no idea what LinkedIn was, people who aren't using it don't give a flying...fig about Twitter and on and on. But if you're immersed in internet culture, it seems like the norm. Everyone blogs! Or comments on message boards. Or knows what a lolcat is, etc. It's not the norm, though. It's a bubble. And given that the topic recently came up again in an online (har, har, har) discussion wherein the majority sided in favor of the supportive power of surrounding oneself with like-minded folks for the sake of encouragement and motivation, I thought I should finally get around to digging out my hatpin and getting to work on breaking down (bursting if you're the punny sort) the idea of the bubble.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who's been on the job search in the last two or three years that networking is now being held up as the be all and end all of job hunting strategies. Normally, I simply skim this ubiquitous and rather facile advice (it's on par with Cosmo beauty tips when it comes to regurgitating the same ol' same ol'), but this piece from the Wall Street Journal was effectively the straw that broke the camel's back. I think it was the use of voila. It's a recession, lady. There ain't a whole lotta voila-ing going on, ya dig?