Is it really “Social” Media?

Social MediaI’ve got 36 friends on Facebook, 122 connections on LinkedIn, 178 Members in my MyBlogLog community, a couple dozen on MySpace, about 60 friends on Yahoo! Instant Messenger, 20 on AOL Instant Messenger and a whopping 951 contacts on Plaxo! I’m also on Ryze,, Jaiku, Twitter and I read about a dozen friends’ blogs (among the 300 or so other feeds I collect and review).

I’m embarrassed to tell people that I have three Internet accounts… not one. My phone is connected, my home is connected, and I have a T-Mobile account for access from Starbucks and Borders (where I do actually meet with friends). I also have it at work, of course. You can laugh, but chances are that you’ll be wired at the same level in a few years, too. It just happens to be my career and hobby.

Given all the social media I’m a part of, am I really that social?

Second LifeI was speaking with some non-profit marketing professionals the other day and I tried to explain Second Life to them. Try explaining Second Life to print media marketing professionals and you can’t help but get some chuckles and snickers. Finally someone said:

“This doesn’t sound that social to me. It sounds anti-social.”

Personal Note: Second Life is definitely a level of uber-geekdom that I am not striving to obtain. I have enough challenges with my First Life than working on a Second one.

I think she was dead-on. This isn’t social at all. Social requires more than watching, reading or listening… there’s recognizing peoples’ body language, attractiveness, touch, smell… simply looking in their eyes.

Sometimes when I’m deeply engaged in my work, my daughter will get on the computer behind me (literally 6 feet away) and IM me… “Hi Dad! lol” (she’s 13). I usually turn around and start laughing… it means I’ve been on the computer long enough and need to spend some time away from the monitor. Thankfully, she’ll sprawl herself across my chair and bug the heck out of me until I step away from the laptop. I’m lucky to have someone who cares enough about me to do that.

Brain Accounts

TelosianIn 2000, a monkey controlled an arm via the Internet. Now there’s even a startup, called Numenta, which is working to match artificial intelligence with human intelligence.

This is starting to remind me of the Telosians on the first Star Trek episode. They were the ugly dudes with big fat heads that would keep folks prisoner by creating illusions in their heads telepathically. (Tell me you remember that episode, “The Cage”. It was pre-Shatner even! The most expensive pilot on NBC).

We used to only be connected at work, then at home, now on our cellphones… is the brain really next? Will we even have any type of life outside the Internet? It’s getting kind of scary, isn’t it?

Oh sure, if we can connect via brain to the Internet, just think how quickly we could write and deploy code. I could build a developer farm with piped in coffee and mashed pizza via stomach tubes and build One Point Five Life. (Somewhere in between the First and Second Lives).

Doesn’t sound too social to me, either. I do need to get out more.

PS: What do you think that Brain ‘Net account will run?


  1. 1

    Is this a bad time to tell you that you missed a GREAT concert at The Lawn on Friday night, or a good time to remind you that your presence was missed? Good luck with your occasional unplugging. It has served me very, very well. I may have a little less knowledge but I definitely feel more connected with people.

  2. 3

    Switch off your phone from time to time.

    Switch off email from time to time.

    Go see the mountains and forests and the sea!

    No need for Second Life, no, thx!

    I have enough technology in my first life now! 🙂


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