Arianna Huffington recently discussed the move by some museums and galleries to add social media to their er…contemplative environment:

So the question is how to use social media to support that mission without undermining the essential art experience that allows us to connect with something larger than ourselves.

“Every era has to reinvent the project of ‘spirituality’ for itself,” wrote Susan Sontag in “The Aesthetics of Silence.” And in our digital era, museums offer one of the most fertile grounds for that reinvention.

Which is why the danger of social media becoming the point of social media — connection for connection’s sake, connection to no end — is one museums need to particularly guard against.

There are parts of this that make sense, and parts that make marketing sense, and still other parts that are just, oh, I don’t know. Trendy?  Nervous?  Anyway, keeping in mind that I’ve always appreciated museums that request you not use your mobile phone, bringing in a bunch of social media apps to “increase popularity” of museum shows is not playing well for me. But what do I know?

Bottom line:

For me, the key question becomes: what happens after people make it through the entry point? Does the technology deepen the experience, or does it diminish it? Do we control it, or does it control us?

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