Yes I am going there…
Firstly some facts.
I have made some amazing new friends over the last two years by connecting to people via social media. Without my late night excursions into facebook or twitter I may have never met some of these people, so for that I am extremely grateful.
I have also seen first hand how giving people a platform to communicate around their particular point of interest, has bought forth a lot of amazing new talent and incredibly useful information.
BUT… and it is a BIG BUT, like… oprah in her fat days big… Technology has failed you.
Yes I am talking to you.
Here was the plan. Back when we first invented machines, it was meant to do the work of man, so man could do other things like control the machines. Then when we invented computers, they were meant to control the machines so men could go and do other things. Things that only men can do, think, create, play … live!
Technology has the power to do the ordinary things for you, – you can shop online for everything from your groceries to your clothes to your house. You can do your banking online, you can pay your bills online, you can learn online, you can very much EARN online… which means that you can spend time with people.
If technology allows you to do all the tedious time consuming things online, why don’t you. That way you could talk to real people at a time of your choosing
Somehow over time, as technology has freed us from the shackles of our tedium, we seem to find a way to take those same shackles and bind ourselves to something else… for the purpose of this post… social media sites.
I have no issue with social media sites if you use them to create relationships that cross divides, find friends you would have never met or contribute to communities where you can’t tread. However to exist solely online and throw pillows, give bears or share hearts with people is futile and does nothing for the human experience.
I was recently involved in a project to create a social platform for the fishing industry, and it has been well received and united fisherman, many of whom now organise trips, catch ups and other related activity. We gave them a place to call home, they found the people they call friends.
My issue with facebook is it is random and wide, it doesn’t do anything more than wrangle a whole heap of people into one place as some kind of social experiment. These people will find things to share, and find groups with which they have common interest, but like any big gathering of people, there will be people who support it, and people that exploit it, and sadly the later tend to be smarter, quicker and there is more of them.
If I could actually communicate with someone at facebook, (it might be easier to get through to god and ask him to send Mr Zuckerberg a message), I would ask him what is his intention? Why are they allowing people to create apps with out hardly any control (My example here is how is it possible that my 12 year old nephew, new to facebook, was able to ask his Nan to take a survey of how good she was in bed… seriously?). Why are they seemingly unable to be contacted when I have a question about the site and the way it works?
Twitter on the other hand tends to move much faster, you are forgotten more quickly, and the other side of the same coin… if you have something relevant and useful to say, then you meet your tribe much faster (thanks for the word Seth). The reason twitter works in my opinion, is that it is simple. It is so so simple, and if you don’t get it, you have never got in the flow.
I spend a lot of my time on Social Media, it is part of my job, and I do enjoy the connections I make, but once I know a friendship is real, I make the effort to get off my arse and meet people. People do business with People. That is a fact of life.
The clarity and learning’s I have had over the last few days in regards to all areas of my business and my life have reinforced my need and desire to be a champion for embracing technology to improve the way we live. The internet and the evolution of digital media coming in devices such as the iPad are amazing and can do wonders for your business, and your personal life, but it will never replace the warmness of the first handshake with a new friend or the strength of the hug once you REALLY know them.