Friday, May 7, 2010

Seriously Social

Greetings Friends,

The one technological advancement I have the hardest time wrapping my brain around is the concept of "Social Media". Here in Canada, Rogers Communications just introduced a slew of new "Social Networking" phones, claiming they will make it that much easier to keep up with all your Facebook and Twitter pals. So, cough up $150.00 and sign your life over to the evil empire for 3 years, and you too can become a more efficient texter, twitterer, and virtual pal to your 476 Facebook "friends". By the way, does the number of friends you have on Facebook validate your existence? At present, I only have 49, so in the grand scheme of things, I am virtually non-existent. That's all I need; as if not being in the cool crowd in high school wasn't enough of a trauma.

Since I have borne witness to the birth of all this technology in my lifetime, I sometimes wonder what it would be like if none of it existed. Having gone from the black-and-white TV to having a satellite dish on the roof of my house and a high definition television in my living room; a PC in my home office to a 17" laptop literally in my lap, a phone I can talk anywhere on without worrying about stretching out the get the picture. So many devices have evolved beyond what they were originally intended to do...I sometimes find it scary; like in the Terminator movies: will computers really be able to think for themselves one day soon? I don't doubt it. In the meantime, I wonder: what would George Orwell think of Google? "Big Brother" has definitely materialized. And, I don't mean the 24 hour news cycle. Google watches every move you make in the great electronic void. I know that sounds paranoid, but it is true.

It would be foolish of me to not embrace today's Social Media. Not only would it be foolish, it would be profoundly hypocritical. After all, the first thing I do after I publish a post here is go to my Facebook page and alert my anemic list of 49 friends that I have a new post up on my blog. Every time I do, I remember someone I knew back in my community college days who was one of the first people chatting on those "bulletin boards". There were no fancy graphics, no FarmVilles or FarmTowns, or pages to become a fan of; just lines of text on a screen. That's where it all started. Now we have online "webinars" telling us how important this realm is, not only for business, but for individuals like myself, looking to spread the word about our talents (or lack thereof as the case may be). No more Sunday Times Classified section required. On one hand, you're saving money on stamps, not to mention trees. It's a virtually paperless world we now live in. For me, that's both a comfort and a conundrum. Maybe I don't want the great electronic void to know every minute detail of my life. Alas, it seems I really don't have much choice; Evolve or die.

Gone are the days of the anonymous resume; at least you won't find any pictures of me in compromising positions involving an ill-fitting bikini and a bottle of tequila. Thankfully, I've evolved past that part of it. In the meantime, you'll just have to imagine that I really do look like Jessica Rabbit!

Enjoy your weekend.


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