Ambient Intimacy & Legal Professionals

Philmont: Phillips Junction Ambient Intimacy
Ambient Intimacy

Ambient intimacy or ambient awareness is more than social media noise.

Ambient awareness on Twitter is only one aspect of Social Media that Legal Professionals need to master. My Project Social Media presents my thoughts regarding the impact of social media marketing on the practice of law. See my page to for more information.

Therefore let’s continue the topic of what ways a Legal Professional can use Twitter.

Ambient Intimacy

Ambient intimacy or ambient awareness is more than social media noise. It is the ability to keep in touch with people that you can’t otherwise because of time and space. It is saying “good morning” as you are walking down the hallway. You stay familiar with them by becoming away of the mundane issues of life.
Who wants this level of detail? Isn’t this all just annoying noise? There is great value in this ongoing noise. It helps us get to know people who would otherwise be just acquaintances that we would otherwise loose track. It makes us feel closer to people we care for but in whose lives we’re not able to participate as closely as we’d like.
Knowing details creates intimacy. It also saves a lot of time when you finally do get to meet face to face with these people in real life. It’s not so much about meaning, it’s just about being in touch.
Mikhail Bakhtin called it “the phatic function.” It is like saying “Good Morning” as you pass someone in the hall when you have no intention of finding out anything else. The phatic function is communication simply to indicate that communication can occur. It’s not so important what gets said as that it’s nice to stay in contact with people.
These light exchanges typify the kind of communication that arises among people who are saturated with other forms of communication. Another way to look at it is in child development. Out of sight out of mind: if the drops out of the baby, the baby forgets about it. By continuing to communicate in short bursts, those around us know we still exist: “Hi. I’m here and still practicing law”.
Next time, I will discuss more ways Twitter can be used by legal professionals.

**Why the picture of flowing water?  Twitter is a constant flow of information and communications. 


Ken StrongmanAbout the Author: Ken Strongman ( has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

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