The internet industry and the press mutter about the explosion of Social Media, the marketers, brands, and advertisers try and find how they can manipulate the populace using it, and the business analysts figure out ways to monetize it. But in the end, there is someone lost in all of this. Humanity. The individual seeking to connect. Really connect; with the other flesh-pods that inhabit this planet. Physical connections. Have we all become the equivalent of the 30 year old living in their parents basemen? Never venturing out?
Is a cocktail party, a bar, or even an industry event about true connections? or is it just a magical dance we all do because we are societally programmed to?
As I look at the effects of what we are all creating I am becoming more and more concerned about its impact on society. The physical world, real world, forced interactions that were uncomfortable. They force us to face what we are, what we really look like.
In the end I am starting to view Social Media online as no more than a voyeuristic and narcissistic extension of our culture. Selfish, and self-absorbed. It is the result of a society in which 25% of the homes are only occupied by one person. (in 1950 it was 10%)
There are times when Social Media is used in order to increase social interaction in the real world. How many groups do you belong to, how many “friends” do you have? Seriously? I have 800 people as “friends” on Facebook. Trust me, there is no way that that many people have gotten inside me enough to count them as friend. In the real world there are 6 people I can call friend. People I can count on. That would drop everything to bail me out of jail, or drive 300 miles to a broken down car, or literally give you the shirt off their back without any worry if they get it back. Selflessness. That is what a friend is. Giving, without any reservation, and expecting nothing in return.
Social Media online is but a shallow representation, the mask of who we want to project. But inside it is not us. The foundation on which it was built are faulty, flimsy.
We are becoming an increasingly entrenched, micro-community based society based on perceived interests, with no interactions outside our little walled off micro-societies. How do we learn if everyone around us practices the same thing? Believes the same dictates? How do we really start to connect with people, real people, in the real world, and experience what it is like to share human contact again. To connect at a level beyond the ordered mind of “understand. judge. package. file. retrieve.” Our little logical computer brains assembling our ordered world.
ranty rant signing off…