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Moving in together, having a baby, starting a new job or a business.., finding out the world is a sphere. All these things require a lot from a human. These changes do not come easy, we have to adapt our way of thinking.., our behaviour.., our philosophy.
The same goes for social media. It changes so much in the way we communicate, the way we interact with others, the way we do business.., that we have do adapt our way of thinking and adopt the social philosophy.
We (my wife and I) got our first PC in ’96 to email with friends in the US. We had a CompuServe account.., it was a blast.
A bit before that my brother already had an Internet connection and I did my first Yahoo! search and landed on a website from Japan. It blew my mind.
But, I had no idea how this phenomena would shape our lives in the decade to come. We travelled the world and had a Xoops website so family and friends could follow us. It was tricky at times, finding an Internet café, getting the photo’s from our digital camera, writing an update (in 2003 I had no idea blogs existed).
Now, it is all so ubiquitous.
Of course, people have always been social, it’s in our nature. We need to belong to a tribe, we need to share our stories and adventures any way we can.
We invented speech to do this and pictures to illustrate our meaning and save this for posterity. Script, books, the printing press, computers.., the Internet.., and now social media.
It would seem we have come full circle.
We finally found a way to write everything down, store images of everything we see, share this with anybody and save it until there is no one left to read it.
It changes everything, and not just in a way where it accelerates a certain process or production or even a revolution. No, the changes happening now to mankind are so profound that most do not even realise this.
It sounds silly, but I can now see what a friend of mine, whom I’ve never met for real, had for diner half way across the globe the moment he’s eating it.., and it looked good too.
The Social Philosophy
Just think about that. It’s not just some TV network using satellites to show you stuff from another country.., it’s you and me and that guy who films a young woman dying from a bullet during a protest. It’s unleashing a movement so vast it topples tyrants, it’s being witness to the birth of a small baby boy because the father is so proud he wants to share that with his Facebook friends.
And it’s all happening lighting fast. Facebook is not even ten years old.., and it is already impossible to imagine not to have it around, can you? I know we all have a love/hate relationship with it and some refuse to use it (good for you). But you still see it, you still hear people talk about it, you still have to explain why you do not use Facebook, just like a vegetarian needs to explain why he doesn’t eat meat.
To the point
Apologies for stretching it out, but my point is this. We need to step back once in while, take a breath, look around and enjoy the scenery.
We get sucked into this maelstrom of technology and developments. We buy and we join and we always agree with the terms of service.
But when you are in a airliner, 10km in the air and you log into the Wif-Fi and check in on Foursquare while you share a photo of your hot diner on Facebook and Twitter with a device that could have run the entire space program back in the day.., just think about what you just did.
Like running water, a loaf of bread or life in general.., we tend to take things for granted. Especially when they so easily slip into our daily routine.
But there is nothing ordinary about it.., in fact.., I believe these are the most extraordinary times we live in.., we’re just to busy updating our status to notice it.