Social Media – Nine Years In

Nine years ago this evening I sent my first Tweet. I believe this was after I joined Facebook, but it’s all a blur. For years I was energized by the small pipe platform of Twitter. I saw it as a way to connect with people all over the globe. A platform to learn, gain knowledge and better understand the world. I viewed Facebook as a convenient way to share and connect. I didn’t think Facebook was as pure as Twitter, and I still don’t. Facebook has always been burdened with; should I friend them? Why are they friending me? What about my boss or direct report? So much cognitive weight.

How did that work out? Social media, led by Twitter and the largest thing in the world, Facebook, have become the opposite of connectedness. Facebook and Twitter separate, segment and quarantine people.

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

Houston, we have a problem.

  • Power – Opinions are frequently weaponized.
  • Open and Connected – Anyone can say or post anything, including their suicide.
  • Connect with Friends and Family – I’d love to see the real stats on this. For the most part, Facebooks tries to connect you to complete strangers or companies because they can profit from it.
  • Discover What’s Going on in the World – Facebook is it’s own reality. A planet Twilo. Keep your oxygen tank filled.
  • Share and Express – Totally nailed it. Bring it on.

I’m listening to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s soundtrack to The Social Network (so brilliant) as I write this. All the while realizing the genesis of social media (losing the caps) is nothing new. I grew up in the ’60’s and I know what a revolution looks like. We stated, “The revolution will be televised.” Today the revolution is fractured. Hamilton has resonated precisely because it repurposed a timeless message. The brilliance of Hamilton shows us nothing has changed.

Silicon Valley thinks only of the future. Of what the next world could / should be. To that I say hooray. But don’t leave behind the foundation that gave you this privilege. Being able to express an opinion is a privilege, not a DIGITAL RIGHT. Rights are fought for, they can’t be coded. Silicon Valley is fighting mostly for profits.

Time is the ultimate teacher. The final arbiter. How much time do you have or are willing to spend in the world of bits? How much time will you spend in the world of atoms with your family and friends without a wall of code between you? Social media is a force multiplier. The question is, of what?

Amazon Prime makes my life easier because it delivers atoms to my doorstep. Things I use, need, and yes, indulge in. That’s worth my time.

Notation: I embrace technology on all levels. I am pre tech-innate. I am suspicious when opinion coupled with technology is peddled for absolute truth.

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