Stumbling Through the Noise of Social Media
Technology is creating a rift between us. Advancements in Social Media, AI, and Virtual Reality is not bringing the world closer together by pushing the human race further apart. How many times have you been in a restaurant or sitting in a mall and see people talking to each other? Not often. Tech zombies walk around, their world engrossed on what is on their Smartphone.
Smartphones are part of our anatomy. You are probably reading this and saying to yourself, “ That is true”, or “ What the hell is he talking about?”.
Simply put, if a smartphone could be genetically spliced into our DNA there would be a waiting list for the procedure to be done to oneself or a human embryo. Science fiction? Perhaps. But as they say “Truth is Stranger than Fiction”.
Lately, I find myself becoming irritated when I see the human race, so involved with what is going on in their six-inch screen and completely oblivious to what is going around them in the “real” world. How many times has the person in front of you come to a dead stop because he/she has to text, tweet, Snapchat, or Instagram somebody? Resulting in you body slamming into them only to get a grunt or explicative mumbled in your direction.
Lights, Camera, Coffee…
Video sharing thanks to Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram has brought this level of detachment to a whole other level. I was sitting in a Starbucks a few weeks ago, amazed at how the “office” has become so mobile. Literally, every table was full. Laptops open in front of each person occupying those tables, fingers dancing across the keyboards. Fingers swiping over their touchpads.
Then I noticed in the back corner two tables pushed together and two young men and three women were doing a Facebook Live in the coffee shop. One young man was holding a selfie stick, iPhone attached pointing in the direction of the interviewees, and the rest watched on with focused attention and responding to the small red hearts, and Likes that were flashing across the screen.
Coffee shops are not the only studios where these “SM Livers” are creating, shooting, and producing their masterpieces. Parks, Gyms, Malls, and walking down the street are becoming the prime locations.
The Human Disconnect
The tone of this piece may come across as I hate technology. Far from the truth. Social Media is my business, and because of the advancement in technology, especially in the various platforms that are being introduced to us faster than we can try them out, I have learned to take a step back and assess the situation and how it affects me and my business.
The fear that I have is the disconnect between human to human interaction. Social Media has opened up new pathways of communicating with a large audience of people from around the world with a simple Tweet, Facebook post, or Instagram story. If this pathway is crucial to growing businesses, marketing new products, and building brands, why can’t two people occupy the same space without burying themselves in their phones, tablets, or laptops?
Small Businesses Telling Their Stories Through Social Media
Is it easier to shoot a 30 minute Facebook Live than it is to sit and talk with a person? I started my Social Media agency, Socialpath Media, a couple of months ago and my primary objective was to promote small businesses through Social Media and Digital Marketing by telling a story. Not solely relying on content posted on the various platforms, but starting a conversation through one on one conversations, videos, interviews, blogs, podcasts, etc. The story of the people behind the brand, company or product.
Hypocritical? Perhaps. I have read, watched, and listened to plenty interviews with Industry Leaders in Public Relations and Marketing and Entrepreneurs of both Social Media Marketing Agencies and Communication Companies and one thing are certain humans love their tech. Period. Apple fans will wait in line for days to get their hands on the latest iPhone. Social Media is not going away and people will still stop in the middle of the walkway to answer a text or send a selfie on Snapchat.
Time is Short: Engage with Your World
Technology will continue to evolve. Being able to connect with people of different cultures from all over the world will become quicker and easier. Like the saying goes, “ If you can’t beat them you mine as well join them”. But, humans need to learn that the time with those sitting in front of you is short. Take advantage of that time and use it to create a different sort of communication. Put down the phones and look around you. If you don’t. You might just miss the most important opportunity in your life pass you by.